Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Reading List

Only read 64 books this year. Didn't reach my goal of 75, but I did enjoy them anyway.

1. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
2. Flabbergasted by Ray Blackston
3. Leaving November by Deborah Raney
4. Betrayed by Jeannette Windle
5. Frasier Island by Susan Page Davis
6. Searching for Spice by Megan diMaria
7. Three Days by Melody Carlson
8. Just Jane by Nancy Moser
9. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
10. Just Cause by Susan Page Davis
11. Revealed by Tamera Alexander
12. Remembered by Tamera Alexander
13. Homocide at Blue Heron Lake by Susan Davis
14. Diamond Place by Robin Lee Hatcher
15. The Salt Garden by Cindy Martinusen
16. Finding Marie by Susan Page Davis
17. Inside Story by Susan Page Davis
18. Through a Glass Darkly by Gilbert Morris
19. Too Good to Be True by Trish Perry
20. On a Killer’s Trail by Susan Page Davis
21. Julia’s Last Hope by Jeanette Oke
22. Blind Sight by James H. Pence
23. The Tapestry by Gilbert Morris
24. Austenland by Shannon Hale
25. Fireproof by Eric Wilson
26. Until We Reach Home by Lynn Austin
27. The Secret Life of Becky Miller by Sharon Hinck
28. The Heir by Paul Robertson
29. Blinded by Travis Thrasher
30. Consent To Kill by Vince Flynn
31. Playing By Heart by Deborah Raney
32. Against All Odds by Irene Hannon
33. Lonestar Sanctuary by Colleen Coble
34. The Longing Season by Christine Schaub
35. The Guy I’m Not Dating by Trish Perry
36. Danger’s Hour by James Francis
37. Tides of Hope by Irene Hannon
38. Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell
39. He Chose The Nails by Max Lucado
40. A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist
41. The Justice Game by Randy Singer
42. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
43. From A to X by John Berger
44. Through the Fire by Shaun Grady
45. Beyond This Moment by Tamera Alexander
46. The Christian Lover by Michael Haykin
47. Jesus on Trial by Boice/Ryken
48. An Eye for an Eye by Irene Hannon
49. Beach Dreams by Trish Perry
50. Pirate Hunter by Tom Morrisey
51. Stepping Into Sunlight by Sharon Hinck
52. A Time to Surrender by Sally John
53. Out of Her Hands by Megan diMaria
54. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
55. A Vote of Confidence by Robin Lee Hatcher
56. That Certain Spark by Cathy Marie Hake
57. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
58. The Swiss Courier by Trisha Goyer
59. Pontius Pilate by Paul Maier
60. The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander
61. Fit to Be Tied by Robin Lee Hatcher
62. Chocolate Beach by Julie Carobini
63. Dear Lady by Robin Lee Hatcher
64. Random Acts of Kindness by D. Markova

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Quiet Night at the "Office".

Dec. 30, 2009.

Outside my window...a dark, very cold winter night. (Minus 25 C with the wind chill factor).
I am thinking...that the College of Nurses Quality Assurance gets more ridiculous each year. Now, instead of letting you decide what you need or want to learn related to nursing, they make you choose to learn something related to the two "competencies" that they've chosen for the year, such as Ethics and Infection Prevention & Control. So, being an honest nurse and a rule-follower, I do it, but honestly, I find it more helpful to learn about something directly related to my practice (Oncology Nursing). Being interested in what I'm learning is a huge factor for me in whether or not I retain what I've learned. Just saying...
I am thankful for...both our daughters. They are becoming fine young women. Our eldest is still in Kansas City at a conference. Our youngest and I had a great discussion the other day about politics and world issues. I'm so pleased that they have concerns for people around them and for the bigger issues. So many girls their age are only interested in boys, or gossipping or shopping.
I am uniform. I'm at work. The O.R. is closed this week. Tonight there are only five patients for two nurses.
From the kitchen...ham, potatoes, asparagus.
I am reading...Dear Lady by Robin Lee Hatcher.
I am hoping...that I get New Years' Eve off after all.
I am hearing...a very quiet unit.
Around the house...I spent the whole morning on the phone, cancelling existing services and setting up new accounts for our new house. It's days like this I thank God that I'm not a secretary. I hate telephones and admin. But it did get me more excited about moving. Can't wait.
One of my favourite things...a warm house and bed on a cold day like this. We are blessed.
A few plans for the three nights of work may change to only two. On New Years' Eve we're expecting to have only one patient left. They may do what they did on Christmas Eve and transfer them, close our unit, and give us the night off. I was looking forward to time and a half, but I wouldn't mind the evening off. My husband is bringing the New Years' message at church this year. Plus we have a potluck dinner and board games. It'd be nice to go.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Review of Resolutions, Schmesolutions

The beginning of a new year always brings about the inevitable questions about New Years’ Resolutions. Because most people are notorious for not keeping them, present company included, I’ve long since given up on even making any.
However, I do set goals for myself. I find if they are realistic and measurable, I can usually attain them.
I break them down into categories: physical/health, spiritual, professional/intellectual, relationships, household/financial, and hobbies. Then I think about what I’m currently doing that’s worth keeping, plan to continue that and improve in some small way in each category, so I’ll grow.
For example, when my daughters were still very young, I didn’t have much time for reading. So, back then my reading goal was for four books per year, because I figured I could manage one every three months if I worked at it slowly. It seems laughable to me now, since I’m currently on my seventy-third book of the year, and the year isn’t over yet. But, as I said, I made my goals realistic for how my life was at the time.
So, I think 75 books is a reasonable goal for next year.
As a Christian, I don’t think it’s unspiritual to set goals. I still need God’s help to reach them. But I do think that if your goal is to be a spiritually mature person, you’ve got to take steps to get there. It’s like saying, “I want to be a world-class pianist”, and then never practicing the piano. It doesn’t work that way.
So, that being said, I’ll share my goals, partly to make me accountable. I can check back at the end of 2009 and see how I did.

Here is my end of year assessment, written in CAPS.

(I won’t make any extravagant goals here, because I know myself. I can start out well, but then I quit. If you set your sights low enough, you’re sure to reach your goals.)
-Lose 10-15 pounds by whatever means, diet, walking, etc.-LOST 18 POUNDS, 18 INCHES WITH SURESLIM.CA THE ONLY DIET THAT HAS EVER WORKED FOR ME.
-Dentist 4 times a year, Doctor once a year. Yearly screening mammogram.-DONE.

-Attend church twice a week.-DONE.
-Take sermon notes. (buy a new journal).-STARTED BUT DIDN'T FINISH.
-Increase weekly tithing amount.-DONE.
-Bible reading: a chapter a day. This works out to reading it through in three years. I know if I try to read through in a year, I usually quit at Ezekiel.-I DIDN'T GET FAR ON THIS ONE, AGAIN. I HAVE SO LITTLE SELF-DISCIPLINE.
-Attend Carey Conference and other conferences, if able.-CAREY, ANNUAL SGF ASSEMBLY.
-Continue with nursery, kitchen, cleaning at church. Find a new ministry at church.-DONE, AND WILL BE STARTING A COLLEGE AND CAREERS GROUP IN THE NEW YEAR. ALSO SPOKE AT LADIES' MEETING.
-Contribute to the church website—book reviews, testimony.-NOT DONE. HAVEN'T FIGURED OUT HOW TO INPUT DATA, NOT VERY USER FRIENDLY.
-Serve at Carey Conference for final year.-DONE. YAY!

-Work full time.-DONE.
-Obtain at least 20 hours of oncology nursing continuing education hours to keep up my C.O.N.(C) certification.-DONE, AT ONS CONFERENCE IN SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS.
-Do the College of Nurses quality assurance requirements.-DONE.
-Hospital on-line inservices and continuing education as required.-PARTIAL.
-Read at least two books on current events/social issues.-NOT DONE, ONLY OTHER FICTION AND NON-FICTION.
-Watch the news. Stay current on world events.-DONE, ALSO NOW ON TWITTER.
-Read the magazines we subscribe to.-NOT ENOUGH TIME.

Marriage—continue weekly dates.-NOT QUITE, AT LEAST MONTHLY.
-Travel with my husband: south in the winter, to the cottage in the summer, and away for a few days for our anniversary.-MAYAN RIVIERA 10 DAYS, NO KIDS, ANNIVERSARY TRIP WITHOUT HIM DUE TO STUPID CITY STRIKE, COTTAGE AT CAREY CONFERENCE, BUT NO EXTRA TRIPS DUE TO STUPID CITY STRIKE.
Extended family—keep up socially, with facebook.-YES, ALSO ON TWITTER,
-Attend family reunions, events, weddings.-YES.
-Send Christmas letter update.-DONE.
Friends—facebook, blog.-YE.
-Entertain friends at least once a month.-YES, SOMETIMES MORE.

-Refinance remaining debts.-DONE.
-Continue to support other charities.-YES.
-Set aside money for daughter’s university fees.-YES.
-Repaint the main floor walls.-DONE, TO PREP FOR THE SALE OF THE HOUSE.
-Renovate bathroom.-PARTIAL.
-Buy two more bookshelves and reorganize.-DONE.

-Read 75 books in total.-ONLY 65.
-Watch as much soccer as possible. (I love goals like this. Everything isn’t about work.). Take in a TFC soccer game, if possible.-SAW ONE TFC GAME, BUT WATCHED LESS ON T.V.
-Complete one of my inspirational romances, work on the others.-DIDN'T FINISH AS THERE WAS A PROBLEM WITH GETTING THEM TYPED AND I DIDN'T HAVE THEM FOR MONTHS.
-Continue to blog at least twice a week.-ONE TO TWO TIMES A WEEK.
-Write book reviews as I read.-DONE FOR ALL.
-Attempt another month of 100 words a day.-NOT THIS YEAR, BECAUSE OF THE MOVE.

Well, that’s me. I know that equals a busy life. Sure, I could sit around and watch mindless t.v. instead, but what is there to show for it at the end of the year? I hope this inspired you to make your own goals, instead of resolutions.


Letting Go

December 27, 2009.

Outside my window...we had a green Christmas. Snow would have looked nice but I can live without it.
I am thinking...that potential terrorist attack on the plane on Christmas Day is a scary concept.
I am thankful for...a great Christmas, the last in our home of eighteen years. See the following posts.
I am wearing...a skirt and burgundy sweater.
From the kitchen...leftover turkey.
I am reading...Chocolate Beach by Julie Carobini, which is Christian chick-lit.
I am eldest daughter has a good time at the ONE THING conference she's at in Kansas City. She drove down with other people from camp. I was quite worried about them being on the roads in winter, at night but I guess there comes a time when they make their own decisions and you've got to let them go and trust them to God's care.
I am old Sherlock Holmes movie. My husband likes them more than me, but sometimes you just do things to spend time together.
Around the that Christmas is over, I've started packing. Half the library is packed with very little effort. Four weeks should be more than enough. We've chosen a moving company and now are beginning to inform companies of our move. I'm sooooooooo excited.
One of my favourite things...Turtles, my favourite chocolates. Yes, I got more than I should have.
Some plans for the week...Shopping with my daughter tomorrow, work three nights, including New Years' Eve this year, attend our niece's baptism on Sunday.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Never Too Late

It's never too late to be who you might have been. - George Eliot

Christmas Day

Today was Christmas Day. We slept in till 10, then the girls opened their stockings and we goofed off until four. I only had to make desserts for the meal today. I made a trifle and a chocolate mousse pie, and brought along leftover Finnish desserts from yesterday. My sister-in-law made a great meal of turkey, salmon, ham, curried goat, rice and peas, sweet potato, carrots and peas, salad, stuffing, and appetizers, punch, and dessert. Sooooo good. Jamaicans live life loud, and the comparison in our family gatherings is sometimes quite funny. Lots of reminiscing about the old country, and many silly pictures were taken. More gifts, mostly gift cards, that will be helpful when we move next month. Also a book, music and wine.
Now my husband and I are relaxing in front of the big screen watching a soccer game. (It's only Man U and Fulham, so I'm fine with either team winning).

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

We celebrated our Finnish Christmas tonight. That means we had a ham dinner, along with a few other traditional foods, like mashed turnip casserole. It's better than it sounds. My mom cooked and my sister's family joined us. After dinner we opened our gifts. I got an electric blanket (to be used only in the day when my husband isn't with me), a book (Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin), a CD by Casting Crowns called Until the Whole World Hears, Turtles (my favourite chocolates), Tim Horton's coffee (another favourite), and gift cards for IKEA, Pier One, RONA, and Chapters. The first three will be helpful for our upcoming move, the last one will just feed my bookaholic addiction. No complaints, though.
One of the gifts my husband received was a Christian reggae CD by the son of a Pastor we know. He's a white guy, but it's amazingly well done, with catchy tunes and good lyrics. H also received gift cards, sweaters and socks.
For our eldest daughter, we bought a weighted keyboard for her to use at her house in university. It's supposedly got the feel of a piano. That was her main gift because it was expensive. Our youngest daughter received money, books, music, and movies. Her main gift was actually not for herself. She asked if we'd donate money on her behalf to International Justice Mission, which is an organization she would one day love to work for as a lawyer. The money was towards their ministry in South East Asia and is related to their work in redeeming girls from the sex trade. This is a ministry close to her heart. How can you say no to such an unselfish gift?
This was our last Christmas in this house. We'll start our packing after our Jamaican Christmas with my husband's family tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Make My Life a Prayer to You

This is a song by The Second Chapter of Acts

Make my life a prayer to You
I want to do what You want me to
No empty words and no white lies
No token prayers, no compromise

I want to shine the light You gave
Through Your Son You sent to save us
From ourselves and our despair
It comforts me to know You're really there

I want to thank You now
For being patient with me
Oh, it's so hard to see
When my eyes are on me
I guess I'll have to trust
And just believe what You say
Oh, You're coming again
Coming to take me away

I want to die and let You give
Your life to me that I might live
And share the hope You give to me
The love that set me free

I want to tell the world out there
You're not some fable or fairy tale
That I made up inside my head
You're God the Son
You've risen from the dead

I want to thank You now
For being patient with me
Oh, it's so hard to see
All that You have for me
I guess I'll have to trust
And just believe what You say
Oh, You're coming again
Coming to take me away

I want to die and let You give
Your life to me that I might live
And share the hope You gave to me
I want to share that love that set me free

Monday, December 21, 2009

Some Gifts You Shouldn't Give

We have a couple that are new to our church. They just had a baby, so we decided to provide a few meals to help them out. I had planned to make curried chicken and rice and peas, as she's from the Caribbean, but then I was reminded he was a vegetarian. I set aside the chicken for our dinner on Monday. Plan B was homemade macaroni and cheese, veggie burgers and buns. I prepped the mac and cheese and put it in the fridge.
The next day, I grabbed the food out of the fridge. It was already in a bag in the fridge. I told the guy that I had a meal for them and handed it to him. When I got home I opened the freezer and found the mac and cheese I had made for them. I couldn't imagine what I had given him out of the fridge. Was it leftovers? I called around and got his number, and then sheepishly asked him what I gave him in the bag. He said there was veggie burgers and buns, which they ate, and some chicken. I said, "I gave you raw chicken? That was supposed to be our dinner. Your mac and cheese is still in my fridge." I was so embarrassed. Who gives raw meat to a vegetarian? Luckily, his wife eats chicken, and will cook it, but I had hoped to help them out by doing the cooking for them, not giving them raw meat. Another blonde moment.

Friday, December 18, 2009

No Vacation

"A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing."
Eugene Ionesco


"At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Different Perspective

Pontius Pilate
by Paul L. Maier

This was historical fiction based on the life of Pontius Pilate. Although I've read about the trial of Jesus Christ many times, this story, based on a Roman perspective, was refreshing and unique.
It helped me understand Pilate's strong political motivation to crucify Christ even though he knew Him to be innocent. While not excusing Pilate, because ultimately, he did what he wanted to do, it showed that when faced with the choice of doing what was right or saving his political skin, he chose self-preservation.
It gives great background into many other historical figures and events of the time. I highly recommend this book.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Almost Ready

Dec. 3, 2009.

Outside my window...a light dusting of snow. An hour north of Toronto they had a metre of snow within two days. That's just, wrong.
I am Pastor shocked me this morning when I found he out he was an Infralapsarian. I'm Supralapsarian. I've agreed with him on everything else so far. Oh, well. Who knows? Those things are non-essential and we'll be corrected about many things when we get to heaven.
I am thankful for...the faithful preaching of the gospel at my church. I think our Pastor is one of the best preachers I've ever heard.
I am wearing...jeans, a burgundy sweater, and a grey cardigan.
Fom the kitchen...mashed potatoes, karjalanpaistia (Finnish meal with beef and pork), veggies and chocolate cake.
I am reading...The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander.
I am ex-brother-in-law will come to his daughter's baptism is January. I'm so happy for her. We've taken her to the Carey Conference for years, and now that she's going to school in Hamilton, she's been attending Trinity Baptist Church.
I am hearing...the movie, Flyboys, which I've seen before. I'm more of a Navy girl, myself, but it was interesting.
Around the house...ready for Christmas. Cards are sent and I've sent care packages to the girl we support in Haiti and a soldier in Iraq. My husband was sick the past week and now he's off for two weeks so he can get a few things done around the house before we move. We had the youth over Friday night for the dessert part of a Progressive dinner.
One of my favourite things...having my family at home. I love that my daughters get along so well. They went to a different church together. I'm glad they want to go to church.
Some plans for the with my daughter who is home for a few days. Work Monday night. Ladies' meeting potluck dinner Tuesday, work Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

House is Sold!

Dec. 2, 2009

Outside my window...a rainy day. Toronto actually got through November with no snow. That hasn't happened in over 100 years.
I am thinking...I need to compare moving companies and find a reputable one that won't hold our stuff hostage while they extort more money from us.
I am thankful for...the quick sale of our house. There were five offers, and we sold for almost $19,000 over the asking price. It was sold to our next-door neighbours. I'm glad they got it. They seem very happy.
I am uniform. I'm at work.
From the kitchen...pork loin, mixed veggies, stuffing.
I am reading...Pontius Pilate by Paul L. Maier. It's historical fiction. It's very well researched and interesting to hear the familiar story from a Roman point of view.
I am brother-in-law's house across the street will sell soon. They don't move until March, so they have a little more time.
I am hearing...a quiet unit.
Around the house...decorating for Christmas. We'll start packing in January. It shouldn't take too long, since we already cleaned out our closets and shed to show the house, so everything that's left if what we want to take with us. My Christmas letter is done, but my cards aren't addressed. Mostly I'll post it on facebook and save the hassle of mailing except to those without computers. Half our Christmas shopping is done. I haven't baked yet.
One of my favourite things...being organized. I seem to alternate years. This is a good one. Also I don't have to cook Christmas dinner this year, so less stress.
Some plans for the four nights, again. Shop. Send out my Christmas cards. Get a haircut. Clean my house.