Friday, March 10, 2006

Indulge me...

I don't know - it might be that it's Friday after a long week - a bit of a hard week - with migraines and backaches and more than you want to know...

Or it might have been the picture of the Tiny Size chicklets over at Donna's.

and her mention of that striped gum we used to chew so long ago...

Something sparked this nostalgic voyage to virtual candy shops - finding the favourites of my childhood.

My poor mother would shudder to see a picture of this sugary item - "Ton O Gum". It was about the size of a deck of cards and my claim to fame was that I could put the whole thing in my mouth at once - chew - and blow the biggest bubbles of all my friends. Oh, it made my jaws ache!

But the best candy of all was MacIntosh Toffee. It came in a cardboard box and it was the best buy for your money when it came to treats. Only 10 cents a package! And if it didn't pull your fillings out, it would last through the whole Saturday afternoon matinee at the "Show Hall".

I still love toffee treats although I avoid MacIntosh - it's already caused too many dental disasters in this mouth and it's so hard to look like an adult when you're sucking on a long, sticky streak of toffee.

But I still splurge on these dainties - a more grown-up version of the same type of candy treat.

It just wouldn't be Christmas without a tin of Quality Street. At our house it's a tradition, with almost a ceremonial flair, to open the tin and take out the insert that lists the descriptions of each brightly wrapped confection - Hazelnut in Caramel - Chocolate Strawberry - Orange Crunch - and my favourite, Chocolate Covered Toffee Finger!

This brings back another memory. Shortly after my husband and I were married, we travelled all around Europe and the British Isles. We spent a few weeks in Scotland on a little island called Raasay - near the Isle of Skye. While there we attended church in the free Church of Scotland - a small stone building that has housed worshippers for hundreds of years.

The service was very solemn and formal. There was a large family seated in the pew behind us and the children were very well-behaved. There was no whispering, giggling or shuffling but I could hear a noisy smacking all through the service. They were sucking on "sweeties" for the full hour, everyone one of them, from the very large papa to the little toddler. Upon asking our host, I discovered that eating "sweeties" during the service is the custom.

One final sweet memory

During that same trip, we spent some time in the southeast part of England, in the little coastal town of Folkestone. I remember an old-fashioned sweet shop that made different coloured rock candy - Rowland's Confectionary. A crowd would gather outside the store window watching the candy makers in action, as they rolled the mixture out on large tables before cutting it to size.

John Bricknell of Rowland's Confectionary, Folkestone, England

Ahhh - sweet memories!

And if I've whet your appetite for a tasty treat go HERE.

I think I might try the PEPERMINT BARK or maybe the DESSERT DAISIES.

Hmmm I wonder what LOLLYGOGS are??

sound delicious too...

But if you're trying to battle the bulge - or avoid a sugar high - you just might want to pop over HERE and have a visual feast.

Now - what do I need?
a few more pounds of sugar,
peppermint flavouring,
Where is my candy thermometer??
I know it's here somewhere....

Hope your weekend is sweet!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I give up...

More downs than ups this week in the life of motherhood.

and I feel



There are a few scenarios involving teens and a mom that I am rewriting in my mind... the mom is a lot more thoughtful in the revised version - a good listener - she doesn't resemble a tasmanian devil at all.

But, sometimes, I forget that it's not about revisions or improvements...

but, instead, it's about

less of me

and more of Him.

He must increase, but I must decrease - John 3:30

I know that I can't try harder - instead I must give up.

Does that sound risky? I'm willing to give it a try. I'm willing to give up my way.

I feel that, too often, I am missing another way.

A way that nudges but doesn't push.

I seem to recognize it after I've gone in like a whirling dervish to make things better.

Maybe if I stepped back, and listened, I would hear something unexpected

a fresh insight

a deeper understanding

a new direction

a very present Help.


that feels less like giving up

and more like gaining...

Paul prays this way for the Phillipians

"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God." 1:9-11

That's my prayer today.

Alphabet of Praise - D


Photo credit Rinda Dean

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Out With The Old....

Out with the old .... in with the new bathroom!

probably not the day to have a migraine headache.... but learning how to sleep during band practises has its pluses.

By the way check out sparrow's new additions to the family. I'm wondering if maybe Abby and Lily were separated at birth from Sam and Jack?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Alphabet of Praise - C

Come ...

photo credit Rinda Dean

By quiet waters

He leads me

photo credit Rinda Dean

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Do you sometimes feel like Sisyphus? Pushing and straining to move an enormous boulder up a steep hill only to watch it come rolling back down again?

For all you homeschooling parents out there I have a confession to make....I am a slow learner. Although I have I learned that there are some things which are as futile as Sisyphus's actions I still think I can achieve them. Waste of energy - discouraging - and worst of all sometimes that boulder gains a lot of momentum as it tumbles back down and ends up farther back than where it was.

What am I talking about? This past weekend I tried to talk my son into a mission trip - because I -emphasis on I - think it would be so good for him. In the process of that little "chat" (I think he phrased it as pressure) I was pushy - anxious to see him take hold - go deeper - almost casting it as if he had any spiritual interest he would want to go. Oh dear...not good...not a total disaster but why didn't I remember that this boy is not his brother - who went on a mission trip and came home on fire. This boy loves the Lord of the Rings - perhaps I should have it cast it that way - a great adventure - a quest. Instead I cast it as something he needed as if he was deficient - something "good for him" - about as appealing as "eat your vegetables".

I know this doesn't work - it is a Sisyphean task. I cannot by my desire - by my will - by my striving - make my children grow spiritually - anymore than I can make a flower grow. I can only provide the right climate - prayer first - love - protection - instruction - encouragement - and when a boy is 17 almost 18 - freedom. Oh dear...almost a man is a hard place to be - and mom of almost a man is a hard place too.

I need to grow - this is more my issue than his. He is a good boy - growing in his faith - fun to live with - not rebellious - just quieter - more inward - less expressive.

I need to learn to wait for him just as I wait for the bud to flower in springtime.

I need to trust - yes trust - that God will do the work in him and all my children. That His desire to see them walk in the truth is so much greater than mine. And I must remember that He is the only one who can accomplish that inward growth.

It is so hard for me to wait - to rest - to trust - especially when it come to my children because nothing in life is as important to me as seeing them wholly given to Him - on fire for Him - passionate about Him.

I am so grateful to be able to pour that desire into prayer - I know He hears. And He also deals with me - with my fears - my anxieties - my need for control.

This prayer of John Baille is mine today. Into Thy hands...

Almighty God, in this hour of quiet I seek communion with Thee. From the fret and fever of the day's business, from the world's discordant noises, from the praise and blame of men, from the confused thoughts of my own heart, I would now turn aside and seek the quietness of Thy presence. All day long I have toiled and striven; but now, in stillness of heart and in the clear light of Thy eternity, I would ponder the pattern my life has been weaving.

May there fall upon me now, O God, a great sense of Thy power and Thy glory, so that I may see all earthly things in their true measure.

Let me not be ignorant of this great thing, that one day is with Thee as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.

Give me now such understanding of Thy perfect holiness as will make an end of all pride in my own attainment.

Grant unto me now such a vision of Thine own uncreated beauty as will make me dissatisfied with all lesser beauties.

Though earth and men were gone
And suns and universes cease to be
And Thou wert left alone
Every existence would exist in Thee

I am content, O Father, to leave my life in Thy hands, believing that the very hairs upon my head are numbered by Thee. I am content to give over my will to Thy control, believing that I can find in Thee a righteousness that I could have neve won for myself. I am content to leave all my dear ones to Thy care, believing that Thy love for them is greater than my own. I am content to leave in Thy hands the causes of truth and of justice, and the coming of Thy Kingdom in the hearts of men, believing that my ardour for them is but a feeble shadow of Thy purpose.

To Thee, O God, be glory for ever. Amen.

from the evening of the fifth day - A Diary of Private Prayer