Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday's Fave Five #456

Welcome to Friday's Fave Fives, where thankfulness takes the forefront.  Please join us as we look for blessings and good things from the past week and share 5 of them.

~Extra day off~  Because Remembrance Day fell of Saturday this year I got Monday off in leiu of.  It was really nice to have that extra day of rest.  A little sleeping in, a little extra reading and computer time, an extra chore or two done.  Was a great day.

~Painful tooth gone~  While this may not seem like the best of blessings, when one has basically had an ongoing tooth ache for about a year and a half to two years (even after an expensive root canal!), it is so nice to finally be pain free.  I tried a new dentist and found her to be really kind and compassionate which was awesome.

~Caring friends ~ I've had a few friends check on me to make sure everything went okay with the dental appointment.  Such a small thing, these texts and calls were, but they sure did make my day and made me feel cared for.  I pray I am that way for other people too.

~Dentist ordered milkshake for supper~  Gotta love when the dentist's aftercare instructions are to have only warm broths, ice cream and milkshakes (no straws allowed!) on the first day.  Like my daughter said, when the doctor orders it becomes void of calories!  LOL.

~New dayhome family signed on~  It's been a stressful 4 months trying to replace 4 of 6 child care spots in my dayhome.  Children leaving all within a month of each other for school, parent transfers, parents staying home and pregnant mommas really put a hole into the numbers.  But a couple wonderful families have signed on one to start December and one January so it's a nice staggered start.  Whew.  Only one more spot to fill.

What have been your favorite blessings this week?

Saturday, November 11, 2017

This song always resonates with me on Remembrance Day.  Taking a moment to pause and remember and be thankful.

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Dionnes by Ellie Tesher ~ Book Review

If you are Canadian, you no doubt know about the Dionne quintuplets.  If not, you will still find their story fascinating.  They took their place in Canadian history when they were born in the 1930's to typical French Canadian farmers.    The world's only surviving quintuplets at that time.   Because of the uniqueness and miracle of their birth the unthinkable started to happen.  In order for the to survive, the doctor had the other siblings removed from the house to keep all germs down so the babies would have every chance of survival.  The government stepped in and because of news of their miracle birth and survival spreading across the province, then Canada, then worldwide they built a "hospital" for them across the road from their parents home.  They staffed it with the doctor and numbers of nurses.  Then it got bizarre, as the parents were kept away from them.  The nurses (and nuns who eventually schooled them in the compound) were not allowed to show any affection or interfere with the doctor, they were poked and prodded and tested for research for years by doctors.  They formed a unique bond beyond the normal twins or triplets bond because they only had each other for love.  The government of Ontario saw a chance for a great money making opportunity in them as they saw the world's fascination with them.  The hospital turned into a compound where the sisters were put on display daily for tourists to gawk at.   In the act of supposedly protecting them, they were turned into exhibits that the government sanctioned.  Wrenching control from the parents they were made guardians of  various agencies.  Many from the government to their father to advertisers benefitted from these children.  At first their parents tried to fight what was happening, their babies taken from them, a doctor rigidly controlling their visits,  but soon it became apparent that they were losing the fight for the quintuplets and meanwhile their other children were suffering.   But then the father also saw an opportunity to provide for his other children things like quality education in expensive schools that they would not have been able to have otherwise. 

When they were 9 and no longer bringing in the cash flow, the government turned their world upside down yet again and built a huge furnished house for their family, shut down the compound and forced them to go live with the family who were virtually strangers.  Living in the fortress-like mansion, the sisters were kept isolated and separated from the world due to the father's fear of kidnapping while their other siblings lived normal lives.  Trying to fit in was virtually impossible for everybody.

When they became young women their whole lives had been so abnormal, that they all came away as adults with many issues.  Added to that was that the trust fund that was supposed to take care of them for life was found to be depleted by the very people that were supposed to manage it for them; their father and the trust fund board.  From their fund everything the government was saying they were providing, the sisters were actually paying for.  It was a strange upbringing brought about by a greedy government that interfered in the lives of a family when they saw potential for big dollars.  By taking over, it allowed the exploitation of 5 little children, power struggles between government, the family and appointed care givers.  Media manipulated a public who was in the throes of a depression and fed on their need to have something hopeful and happy to grasp onto.  After two of the siblings passed away they disappeared from the public eye. This particular book looks at the sister's 1990's step back into the spotlight after years avoiding it to fight with the Ontario government to get what should have been rightfully theirs to begin with.

This book is older, published in 1999, but I was curious about their story.  It is heartbreaking, totally unbelievable in today's thinking.  It's a story of greed gone wrong, prejudices and views of the time, a public looking for something good in life to the point they were willing to overlook what was really happening, and a quest for justice. The author not only gave their childhood background, but also through conversations with the 3 surviving sisters looked at the how their adult lives were anything but a fairy tale as all were living in poverty with many issues.  The author of the book, as a journalist, covered their story of pursuing justice and it helped cause a public outcry to force Ontario's government at the time to pay them what was due them.   Very readable, super interesting and because of it's unbelievable happenings, it was hard to put down.  I finished it in a couple of days.

I gave it a 8.5/10

Friday's Fave Five #455

Welcome back to another edition of Friday's Fave Five.  The days are going by so slowly individually yet so quickly collectively.  How does that even happen?  It's a good thing that FFF helps me to notice the good things in these weeks.  Please join in.

My five in no particular order:

~ Extra time for those chores that always get pushed back ~  I've been short about half my child care numbers as I try to replace the families who have left this fall.  I'll not lie, it's been tough but this week, I just determined that during the days when I have all kids who nap after lunch, I am going to put that time to good use and get all those chores knocked off my list that I always procrastinate because they take time I don't have, chores that I can't do with little ones around, chores that I'm too tired to get to.  So far this week I've washed all the kitchen cupboard doors, fronts and handles, scrubbed down all the backsplash tile, and started on the kitchen lights.  Next up will be finishing the lights, do the baseboards and then wipe down inside all the cupboards.  This being productive instead of stewing, pouting and worrying is a good blessing.

~ A lovely smelling kitchen ~  One of the rewards of doing of good deep clean. Thanks to Avon Orange & Honeysuckle bubble bath!  I think I've mentioned it before but it really is lovely to clean with.  Everything is sparkly clean and it really does smell nice.

~ Extra reading time ~  When I'm done whatever chore I've chosen for the day, I get to sit with a nice cup of coffee and get some extra reading done while the kids are snoozing.  Reading is my escape of choice and I love the extra time to relax and let my imagination go with the story.  

~ Caramel Brule Latte is baaaack! ~  My most favorite drink at Starbucks.  I get it half sweet (working my way down to 1/4 sweet) and it's the perfect weekend treat.  It's seasonal so that is a good thing.  I remains a treat I look forward to for a couple of months of the year.  And I just got an email that I have enough stars for a free drink!  Bonus!!

~ Feather Duvet is on the bed ~ One good thing about November and the colder weather is that the feather duvet gets put back on the bed.  I just love it.  So puffy and warm and comfy without being heavy.  Just makes me sigh when I get into bed and pull it up.

This weekend is Remembrance Day in Canada and as we pause to remember all the sacrifices that have been made to keep our country free I just want to thank all those who have sacrificed and/or  fought to give me the privilege of living in this freedom.

What are some blessings and good things you are thankful for this week?

Friday, November 03, 2017

Friday's Fave Five #454

Welcome to a very chilly, snowy Friday everyone.  Here in Alberta we're experiencing our second snow dump of the season.  But no matter, it's still a good day to look for blessings.   Feel free to join in, no matter the weather where you are as we try to become more thankful people.  The following quote could not be more true.

My favorite blessings I am thankful for this week:

The Word of God.  I'm not gonna lie, this week has been a bit of a struggle for me.  Another long time family from the dayhome had their last day.   I finally got to the dentist who had not good news for my aching molar.  Long story short, it's a goner.  Stress related to having to replace too many children in the dayhome all at once.  The sad news of the attack in New York.  It all presses in.  But I'm so thankful that in times like that I have to Word of God to turn to to receive encouragement and have my faith built that God is good God and He is there even in the midst of struggle, chaos and pain.  I become very aware that not everyone has the blessing of having as many bibles as they could possibly want laying around the house such as we have in this country.  

Laughter in the midst of a very stressful moment.  My youngest daughter and I had a real good belly laugh over a funny misunderstanding today right in the midst of a very stressful moment in my day.  I laughed till I cried, it was so silly.  I can't share 'cause she asked me not to but suffice it to say that it brought things a bit more into perspective and I'm so thankful we shared that funny.

Caring and giving friends.  After I emailed all in my lady's group that I had to cancel because of the toothache, one of the lady's dropped by and gave me a full bottle of a natural oil type thing called Theives that is supposed to help with tooth infections and aches.  It was very thoughtful and generous of her and I really appreciated the gesture.  It's nice to belong to a group of women, though from such diverse walks of life, that really care and support each other.

Hot tea in the evenings.  With the cold weather my craving for hot herb tea in the evenings rise exponentially.  My lovely organic peppermint always is the favorite standby by this week I've also enjoyed Bengal Spice and Belleni Peach Orange.

Sunday family meals.  With everybody all grown up and moved away or working, our times of the Sunday meal together are all that more precious when they occur.  My son was down from his city again this weekend, my youngest wasn't working and we were able to sit down together along with his grandma and enjoy a Sunday meal. 

What were your favorite blessings of the week?

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Author Charles Martin's Response to The Mountain Between Us movie

For those of you interested, here is Charles Martin's response to the backlash of how the movie was changed from his book.  While I was disappointed it didn't follow the book better, I thought this response was excellent and I have used the opportunity to talk with others about the changes and direct them to the excellent story and messages in the book.  In fact, half the ladies during my workout time at gym are getting the book to read which is great because it will spur more discussion.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday's Fave Five #453

Well Friday blew in here so fast.  It's like just yesterday I was writing the FFF for last week?  Good thing I can take this time to pause and think about my week a bit and find the blessings to take note of them.  Join in with us.

Movie and light supper out with friends.  My friend and I were so excited to see a movie adaptation of a favorite author's book and we finally got a chance to see it on the weekend.  Dragging our hubby's along Our hubbies joined us and we had a bite to eat afterwards and enjoyed great friendship and conversation. Though the movie was disappointing in regards to way too many liberties taken with changing up the story to the point I thought it lost a lot of the most important aspects that made the novel so good, and script writing that felt stilted at times, the friendship of being with a couple we like was the blessing.  And that has got to be some kind of record for a long sentence!  And don't get me wrong it was still a good movie with gorgeous scenery just not the same essence of the book.

Bible studies that apply to life.  While I love bible studies that take on a more studious tone like studying Greek words and apologetics and the like, I do love a study that takes a book of the bible and totally applies what you are learning to the nitty gritty of living everyday life.  Our group is studying the Book of Ruth and this week's lesson really made us think of how it applied to our lives at the moment.  We were examining the gifts God has given to each of us and taking a good hard look at how we use those blessings to bless others in practical ways....or not!  Discussion was great and we all left with much to think on.

Funny things toddlers say.  The two year old in my dayhome has taken off seemingly overnight in the talking department and some of the things he comes up with are hilarious.  For example one day our conversation went as follows:

"Susanne, guess what?"
"You never know"

One wonders where a barely two year old comes up with this stuff.  Keeps me laughing.

New family signing on with dayhome.  This is a huge blessing.  It's one of those seasons where the dayhome is finding itself in a huge transition.  Kids going to school, moving away, mommas pregnant means from August - December I am losing more than 3/4 of the kids in dayhome.  This week I signed with a wonderful family that has two children and will start January.  Whew, now thank you Lord for 2 more!

A break in the wind today.  It's been windy all week and yesterday was crazy windy again.  It was nice today to have a break in the gusting wind.  More chilly but calmer.  I'll take that over the other.  Caught a beautiful picture of the chinook arch with the sunset and high level bridge underneath it though which kinda made the crazy wind worth it.  No wind, no chinook arch, no amazing picture.

What were your blessings and good things this week?

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Home All Along by Beth Wiseman ~ Book Tour and Review

Publisher's Description:
Charlotte, an Englisher, is living in Amish Country, and she has formed strong and lasting bonds with the people in her new community. She has even fallen in love with an Amish man. But just when she is considering a permanent conversion to the Amish way of life, her world crashes around her. An unexpected death and a mysterious visitor unsettle Charlotte, and she begins to question her faith and her choices. Daniel loves Charlotte and wants to share his life with her, even it if means leaving the only world he’s ever known. But as he walks alongside of her through her struggles, his own world is turned upside down when a loved one receives a grim medical diagnosis and a prodigal relative returns home. Will Charlotte and Daniel’s relationship succumb to the many pressures around them, or will their faith and the strong community around them allow them to weather the storms of their own lives in order to build a life together?

My Thoughts:
This is book 3 in the "An Amish Secrets Novel".  I reviewed book 1 here.  I didn't read book 2 but I didn't feel lost at all in the 3rd book continuiing Charlotte's story.  I really like the author's portrayal of real life tough stuff  in this series and especially this book.  This was not a fluffy Amish romance.  Though there was a love story involved, there were some strong story lines of life's crisis' and hard decisions both from an "Englisher" perspective and an Amish perspective wrapped around Charlotte and Daniel's love story.  I like that the author took these head on without trying to downplay them or the struggles with faith that they bring.  The characters had to really work through the issues and I thought she did this well from both perspectives.  Though not an action filled book it really drew me with the characters, their journeys, the honesty of emotions and where God fits into it all.  Nice finish to the series.   I already bought book 2 and will read that later in the year.   I know, out of order but I want to see what the second adds.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions were my own and I wasn't required to write a positive review.