Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Two months

TWO MONTHS OLD!! These are some pics from the last month. Our little boy sure is growing and we're really enjoying his expressions, especially the smiles!




haha, it's a little big. Snowsuit from Great G & G Bogusky.





Thursday, November 5, 2009

Caden

Caden Quinn Bogusky
Born October 16, 2009
First bath in the hospital...
Snuggling...
This works for Daddy, but never for Mommy...wonder why!?!
4 Generations of Bogusky...
Daddy propped me up...


How cute am I? ...
Why am I standing in a pumpkin? ...
"Parents!!"

Finished this post just in time...someone's awake from his nap...adios!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Scrapbooking...ugh!


Scrapbooking...I despise it! Yes, I said it. I haven't been to one of those parties in years, thankfully I haven't been invited lately, so I haven't had to come up with excuses for it either. (With no offences to those of you who enjoy it, its just. not. my. thing.).

I like pictures immensely.

Which leaves me with a problem...I want to store my pictures with captions, but there is no way I'm going the scrapbooking route.

I think I need to visit some photo stores and maybe a craft store, just to see what kinds of albums are out there that will allow me to caption. Does anyone have any other unique ideas? I can't be the only one that doesn't enjoy it...??

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

38.5 weeks

This baby is nearly done growing...inside the womb anyway :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Update

Here we are...35 weeks!

Time has definitely flown by and Baby B - you've had the biggest growth spurt in the shortest amount of time in your entire life...

"look how big I am!" - Baby B.

Baby B has already made friends and can't wait to meet everyone. Lots of loving family and friends have expressed their excitement to meet you Baby B.

I am on vacation right now and will officially begin mat leave around mid-September. And what a week for vacation!! This is probably the best week of the summer yet! I accidentally got a little too much sun yesterday...no worries, I'm staying hydrated.

Yes, God certainly has been watching over us, his faithfulness astounds us continually, how Great is his Love for each of us.

Psalm 100: 3-5
Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us,
and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts
with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

House Guest

Our house guest for a week...Patriot!
He's been chirping, talking and flying around...we're happy to have him over for a visit.
Below he is visiting Jackson III up close and personal...they're buddies.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Grip

I just finished reading the latest post off this ladies blog, (some of my blog friends follow her blog and subsequently I've been following).

I can't help but get emotional when reading about the trial their family is going through.

The reason I am posting about this is, I found one quote from her particularly powerful...

"Resting in God's unfailing grip." (when describing how she is coping through her child's illness).

HOW TRUE!

When we trust in Him, we can know that He holds onto us, walks beside us through anything and everything and NEVER, ever lets go...ever. And we can rest in it. There may be better scripture to describe God's unfailing love, this one fits too...

Romans 8:35-39
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Now that's a promise!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Misplaced

I do the majority of the cooking/baking in our home. My husband frequently handles breakfast on the weekends, is great at hosting and great at cleaning up after the party...sooo efficient. He also frequently fills and cleans out the dishwasher.



On my days off when I'm home alone and I decide to bake or cook dinner, I'm reminded of Quinn. How am I reminded of Quinn? Well, besides the fact we text a lot, Quinn leaves little reminders of him in our kitchen.

When we moved into our first apartment, I unpacked the kitchen, sorted the cupboards, it was a smaller kitchen than what we have now, so Quinn was quite familiar with the location of all the various cooking tools and dinnerware.

Earlier this year we moved into our second apartment together, Quinn's Mom graciously unpacked the majority of our kitchen. She asked if I wanted to tell her where everything went, I said "No, thanks" and gave her full discretion as to where all the dishes would go (I was unpacking other things). It didn't take me long to become familiar with the new kitchen as I'm in those cupboards a little more than Quinn.

So Quinn, my love, takes a little more time to familiarize with the placement of the dishes, fun for me because I get to find random dishes in random spots in the cupboards...

And each time I do, I love it, I smile, I laugh and think of him.



Love you Quinn, the most helpful, attentive husband! XO

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Forced Post :)

Now the questions:

What are you wearing today?
My maternity dress, black and white hoops all over it, with a white mini cover-up (you know what I mean, just goes over your shoulders) and my black dress sandals

What's for dinner?
it’s early morning and we were out last night, so I don’t know yet.

What relaxes you most?
Sleeping :), the couch or the bed. The other night I had 10.5 hours of sleep. Quinn saw I was tired and said I should rest...7:30pm, I was out.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would it be?
Still wanting to head to the Dominican, someone has been asking us to come for a long time.

What language do you want to learn?
I used to want to learn German and live in Switzerland. Now probably French, b/c I’m sure our child will take it in school, that would be fun to converse. Noir, Rouge, Orange, Juane, Trois, Cinq…I’m well on my way…haha

What do you love most about where you currently live?
It’s Home, home, home, home!

What style is your current home decorated in?
Quinn & Lyla style..?? A little bit modern, a little homey, good mix.

What is your favorite color?
Verte! Jokes, I don’t know

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?.
Current maternity wardrobe, probably the T-shirts and tank tops I got from Garage. No, Garage does not sell maternity clothing, but the T-shirts these days are really long, so you just buy a size larger then your norm, fits to a T.

What were you doing ten years ago?
July 1999. Just graduated, working at the restaurant in Austin

What are you going to do after this?
Work.

What are your favorite films?
ummm, don’ really have favs, I watch it once, that's usually enough for me.

What is your favorite book?
Non-biblical: right now I’m reading John Piper books, anything that increases my knowledge, I soak it up.

Do you collect anything?
nope.

What makes you follow a blog?
The drama! Jokes. Another way of keeping in touch with people, communicating, sometimes people communicating joys, fears, hurts and walking with people in those times.

What was the most enjoyable thing you did today?
Well…let me tell you, ate a delicious bowl of Vector with blueberries, the morning routine, getting ready together, (sometimes its a little rushed), but mostly I enjoy it...then my husband and I drove downtown to work, KISS!

What makes you comment on a blog??
depends on the blog…Sometimes there is nothing to say..blanks.

What is your favorite thing to do when you have free time?
Be outside

What is a talent you wished you had?.
?? don’t know

Who is your favorite actor?
I don’t have one.

Other than Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, etc. what are your most frequently visited websites?
Yahoo mail, Gmail, sometimes Globe & Mail

What was your favorite subject in school?
School was not a favorite for me. I like learning now, maybe because my learning isn’t measured by test scores.

As a child/teen how did you envision your adult life?
Working, traveling, maybe that would be all-in-one. Then someday I would get married with child(ren). Turned out little bit differently and I’m thankful my focus has changed from lifestyle to living with purpose (not that I always know what the future purpose holds)

How much time do you spend on your average blog post?
prob 20 minutes. Then I have Quinn check it out, then post.

If you could, would you want to control the weather?
I don’t know, certain days, yes. If I had controlled the weather this summer, I would have cranked up the heat to 30’s, but seeing as we have had a few hot days, I know now that might not have been good for me.

Tiffany's Question: If you could have any job/career you wanted, and money wasn't a factor, what would it be?
I would volunteer, don’t know exactly what kind or where.

Sonya's Question: What major event are you really looking forward to?
welcoming Baby B!

Candice's Question: Will Lyla actually play along with us?
Stranger things have happened…

Angela's Question: Who is your favorite singer/band?
Tough one, lately I like to jump around to Weezer, OC Supertones, and then I also like Jack Johnson. U2 and Todd Agnew sometimes, although their music makes you think, so depends what vibe I’m in.

I'm tagging: No one.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bad Experience

One of the last things to switch over to my married name was a credit card. Back in April I called the cc company and asked them to change my name and also issue a card for my husband under the same account. I was required to fax them a signed letter and marriage certificate to make these changes, which I did. About a month later, in May, Quinn and I received our new cards. I tried to call the number to activate my new card, but it seemed to already be activated when I went through the prompts. When I went to buy Quinn a birthday present, (in order to avoid him seeing a transaction on our bank card), I thought I would use my credit card as he wouldn’t see those transactions for about a week. At the store I presented the card and it came up declined (how embarrassing, don’t know what the cashier thought of me, “it has a $0 balance, it’s a new card!”)

Anyway, I thought then that maybe it hadn’t properly been authorized since getting the new card. I forgot about calling them to activate until the beginning of July. Around this time I also noticed my online login to view my account wasn’t working either. So I called and asked what the issue was, they transferred me to the Security department. The guy looked into my account and online login and said “Your account has been closed.”

“WHAT?!” “how can my account be closed?”
“You will have to call back during regular hours to speak to an agent”
“But who closed my account??!!” I was quite frustrated!
“You will have to call back between 8-5 to speak with an agent”.
Fine. That poor agent...

A couple days later I call the “regular agent”. I explain that Security told me my card has been closed and I would like to know how and why.
“Oh, I’ll transfer you to Security department”
“No. No” I said. “You will not transfer me, I already talked to them, they said I had to talk to you. Who authorized closing my credit account”
“Just one moment” HOLD
“Mrs. Bogusky, your account has been closed, in order to open it, you will need to re-apply”
“What?!, who closed it? I did not authorize my account to be closed?”
“Just one moment” HOLD
“Mrs. Bogusky, your account has been closed, we don’t have any other records.”
“I made a name change to my account and asked for a card for my husband, which we received”
“Yes, I see that you sent us all the legal documents”
“OK, and after that who closed my account”
“I don’t see that, there is no record beyond that. If you want to open your account, you will need to re-apply.”
“Why do I have to re-apply? I didn’t close my account.”
“Just one moment” HOLD
“Mrs. Bogusky, yes, you will need to re-apply to open your account”
“I’m very disappointed in your service, you make sure to tell your supervisor how disappointed I am”
“Yes”
“I have been a cardholder for more than 5 years and always maintained good credit, right now the card has a $0 balance and PC Financial closed it on me. I am very, very disappointed in your service. Be sure to tell your manager this.”
“Yes”
“I will not be re-applying for your card, nor will I recommend your credit card to anyone, be sure to let your manager know.”
“yes”
“Bye”

I was quite frustrated. I probably should have talked to a manager, but clearly by putting me on hold, she was discussing it with her superiors, so I didn’t see much point. Of course I don’t want to re-apply, that would mean my credit getting hit with an inquiry, why would I want that?

We don’t need the credit card, we simply like to have a MC and VISA, for emergency purposes. We’ll be watching for new Mastercard promos with a different vendor.

Tiffany, remember you, Steven and I applied for these cards at Superstore about 6ish years ago. We got a free bag of Chocolate Chunk cookies, they were good cookies and of course as students we couldn’t pass it up.

I have a feeling that in the process of changing my name on the card and issuing a duplicate card for Quinn, my account was inadvertently closed. However, that’s not my fault, if they had done the right thing, they would have re-instated my account without having to re-appply. The kicker...I actually had a credit on the account of $0.69, did I get 69 cents mailed back to me when they closed the account? - NO!

So, in conclusion, dear friends, I would not recommend the PC Financial Mastercard.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Important News Bulletin

Quinn and I happened to be in Babies R Us recently and came upon the most interesting baby product yet. We're seriously considering purchasing this product as we believe it to be the most advanced concept in the modern-baby-boy world.


If we are to have a boy, this would have to be our most beneficial purchase.


The Peepee Teepee for the sprinkling WeeweeAlthough I think Quinn's idea of a small paper cup would be slightly more comical - then when baby went peepee, the cup would whirl around in jet-propelled motion...maybe :)
Only boys...

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Purposes

The past few days I've thought from time to time about people and their trials in life...the loss of a loved one or other trials can be so difficult to comprehend. (I think anyway).

Over the last month or more I've been reading a book by John Piper "Life As a Vapor". The chapter I read last night (not-so-coincendentally:), helped bring clarity to this topic.

Piper writes "But in reality our pain and losses are always a test of how much we treasure the all-wise, all-governing God in comparison to what we have lost."

He gives examples like: "Deut. 8:3 Moses said, "And [God] humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD." In other words, God ordains the hard times ("he...let you hunger") to see if we have made a god out of our good times. Do we love bread, or do we love God?"

This reminds me of an example Pastor Mike (from our church) gave of love between husband and wife...he likes to be at church on-time, his wife is running late...if he gets upset with her...he steps back and asks himself: "Do I love my wife more than I love being on time for church?"

This example was similar to me of what Piper was saying:

"And we see that in the life of Paul. When he prayed for his thorn in the flesh to be taken away, Christ told him what God's purpose in the pain was. "Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'" (2 Chorin. 12:8-9) The test for Paul was: Will you value the magnifying of Christ's power more than a pain-free life? (Bolding mine)

"God ordains trials to refine our faith and prove that we really trust His wisdom and grace and power when hard times come. (ref. 1 Peter 1:6-7)."

Piper goes on to talk about idolatry, how it can rule in our hearts over our love for God and his purposes...

"Our trials reveal the measure of our affection for this earth - both its good things and bad things. Our troubles expose our latent idolatry. For those who believe that God rules purposefully and wisely over all things, our response to loss is a signal of how much idolatry is in our souls. Do we really treasure what we have lost more than God and His wisdom? If we find ourselves excessively angry or resentful or bitter, it may well show that we love God less than what we lost. This is a very precious discovery, because it enables us to repent and seek to cherish Christ as we ought, rather than being deceived into thinking all is well."

We show His infinite worth by treasuring Him above all things and all persons. Believing in His all-ruling, all-wise sovereignty helps reveal our idolatries in times of pain and loss. Not believing that God has a wise purpose for every event helps conceal our idolatries."

(I know, I should have just told you to read the chapter :)

Piper writes a much more in-depth book on world catastrophies, evil, such as how to understand the Holocaust and other "sinful acts"...the book is called "Spectacular Sins and Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ". I could read it, as my father-in-law just got it, but it might be over my head. Some of John Piper's books are for the academic (theology experts) and some are for people like me :) I'll have to ask my FIL after he reads it.

I thought I would share my learnings with others...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Baby B says Hi

video

19 weeks

Psalm 139: 13-14

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Friday, May 29, 2009

God's medicine

Don't you love it when you see something wonderful and it evokes laughter or joy enough to make you cry? Moments when you see children with child-like spirit laughing and playing or you see them spending time with their grandparents and the connection there...it's not just children, also enjoying time with family, friends, your spouse, having dinner with your spouse each night, how special is that...? I believe the Holy Spirit evokes us to emotions at times, laughter or crying with joy.


I was reminded of God's endless love for us, he delights in caring for us, not just providing for our needs, but giving us amazing gifts of friendship, laughter, joy. This verse made me think of these things...the verse in Gen. 21:6 "Sarah said, God has brought me laughter and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me." (regarding her pregnancy in a very old age). As my Bible mentioned, God is the "bringer of laughter", I would add: the bringer of pure joy!


So smile today, whether it be your children, other children, laugh at your mistakes, laugh over spilled milk and others in your presence will laugh with you :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Birthday!

Good morning Quinn!



video


Present from Mom & Dad B...

I like this pic...

Quinn and Lyla and Baby B ...

Mom B. experimenting with camera...



Love you Quinn, to many more years!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Servant

The Servant of the Lord


Isaiah 42: 1-9


1 "Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will bring justice to the nations.

2 He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.

3 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;

4 he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his teaching the islands will put their hope."


5 This is what God the LORD says—
he who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth with all that springs from it,
who gives breath to its people,
and life to those who walk on it:

6 "I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.

I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,

7 to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

8 "I am the LORD; that is my name!
I will not yield my glory to another
or my praise to idols.

9 See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter 2009

I took some pics of our nephew and niece - Conner & Jaiyla - at the family Easter gathering...


Such a boy, his birthday is at the end of April, Auntie Lisa got him an ice cream cake...

Conner will be 2!

Precious...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Baby Bogusky

Quinn and I are anticipating the arrival of Baby Bogusky on or around October 1st.


The last couple months have been exciting and exhausting (exhausting for Lyla mostly). Yesterday we had the priveledge of hearing our baby's heartbeat. We were amazed and mostly speechless. Little Big miracle!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The BIG, big bad wolf

Dinner Theatre at WEFC...
Chanda
Muleya

Ange & Jeff, Kennedy & Charlotte and of course the kids attended with us, what fun!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Stayin' Alive

Despite what Tiffany may think, I thought I had really strong plant care abilities, I still believe I do with the right plant ;)

In January Quinn and I purchased these 2 plants, one a Majesty Palm, the other a Yucca Cane. The Majesty Palm likes humidity, partial sun and water, water, water. The Yucca Cane likes it dry, pretty much water every 2 weeks. The Majesty was FULL of branches and green when we initially bought it. We have central heating and air in our place, there is always a breeze, the Majesty was in the breeze all the time, likely drying it out. The fonds of the Majesty like to be misted frequently...my bad. I've done some research and found the Majesty's are really difficult indoor plants to keep alive. I pruned it as you can see below, trimmed all the dead off (reminding me of a certain Ontario individual who's inclined to prune plants to the core ;) . Quinn wants it to go, but I want to give it a little longer, see what it will do. Apparently the Areca palm is much hardier, if the Majesty doesn't hold out, I might try to replace it with an Areca.



Yucca Cane is so far doing well, I should do my research on that one now before something happens.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Tears of Joy

Last night we went to see the Watoto African Children's Choir.

Yes, I got a little emotional on their opening song...what a performance, they can dance and sing like nobody's business!

These children were all rescued by Watoto, either left as orphans by the war or AIDS epidemic, and with one or both parents deceased. Watoto gives them a new home with a home mother and each home holds eight kids (siblings), creating a new family for them.

Some of them gave testimonies of what Watoto has done for them and more importantly how Jesus rescued them from despair. They told us of their aspirations to become doctors, pastors and pilots, even a taxi driver!
An incredible organization. They started the organization in 1994 and recently Baby Watoto hospital (or home) opened in 2007 - rescuing babies and they just opened a community which is rescuing and rehabilitating child soldiers from the civil war.
I forgot our camera at home (ugh!!), but here are some online pics.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pro-Canada - Interesting Article from Newsweek

Worthwhile Canadian Initiative

Canadian banks are typically leveraged at 18 to 1--compared with U.S. banks at 26 to 1.

BY: Fareed Zakaria

NEWSWEEK
From the magazine issue dated Feb 16, 2009


The legendary editor of The New Republic, Michael Kinsley, once held a "Boring Headline Contest" and decided that the winner was "Worthwhile Canadian Initiative." Twenty-two years later, the magazine was rescued from its economic troubles by a Canadian media company, which should have taught us Americans to be a bit more humble. Now there is even more striking evidence of Canada's virtues. Guess which country, alone in the industrialized world, has not faced a single bank failure, calls for bailouts or government intervention in the financial or mortgage sectors. Yup, it's Canada. In 2008, the World Economic Forum ranked Canada's banking system the healthiest in the world. America's ranked 40th, Britain's 44th.
Canada has done more than survive this financial crisis. The country is positively thriving in it. Canadian banks are well capitalized and poised to take advantage of opportunities that American and European banks cannot seize. The Toronto Dominion Bank, for example, was the 15th-largest bank in North America one year ago. Now it is the fifth-largest. It hasn't grown in size; the others have all shrunk.


So what accounts for the genius of the Canadians? Common sense. Over the past 15 years, as the United States and Europe loosened regulations on their financial industries, the Canadians refused to follow suit, seeing the old rules as useful shock absorbers. Canadian banks are typically leveraged at 18 to 1—compared with U.S. banks at 26 to 1 and European banks at a frightening 61 to 1. Partly this reflects Canada's more risk-averse business culture, but it is also a product of old-fashioned rules on banking.

Canada has also been shielded from the worst aspects of this crisis because its housing prices have not fluctuated as wildly as those in the United States. Home prices are down 25 percent in the United States, but only half as much in Canada. Why? Well, the Canadian tax code does not provide the massive incentive for overconsumption that the U.S. code does: interest on your mortgage isn't deductible up north. In addition, home loans in the United States are "non-recourse," which basically means that if you go belly up on a bad mortgage, it's mostly the bank's problem. In Canada, it's yours. Ah, but you've heard American politicians wax eloquent on the need for these expensive programs—interest deductibility alone costs the federal government $100 billion a year—because they allow the average Joe to fulfill the American Dream of owning a home. Sixty-eight percent of Americans own their own homes. And the rate of Canadian homeownership? It's 68.4 percent.

Canada has been remarkably responsible over the past decade or so. It has had 12 years of budget surpluses, and can now spend money to fuel a recovery from a strong position. The government has restructured the national pension system, placing it on a firm fiscal footing, unlike our own insolvent Social Security. Its health-care system is cheaper than America's by far (accounting for 9.7 percent of GDP, versus 15.2 percent here), and yet does better on all major indexes. Life expectancy in Canada is 81 years, versus 78 in the United States; "healthy life expectancy" is 72 years, versus 69. American car companies have moved so many jobs to Canada to take advantage of lower health-care costs that since 2004, Ontario and not Michigan has been North America's largest car-producing region.

I could go on. The U.S. currently has a brain-dead immigration system. We issue a small number of work visas and green cards, turning away from our shores thousands of talented students who want to stay and work here. Canada, by contrast, has no limit on the number of skilled migrants who can move to the country. They can apply on their own for a Canadian Skilled Worker Visa, which allows them to become perfectly legal "permanent residents" in Canada—no need for a sponsoring employer, or even a job. Visas are awarded based on education level, work experience, age and language abilities. If a prospective immigrant earns 67 points out of 100 total (holding a Ph.D. is worth 25 points, for instance), he or she can become a full-time, legal resident of Canada.

Companies are noticing. In 2007 Microsoft, frustrated by its inability to hire foreign graduate students in the United States, decided to open a research center in Vancouver. The company's announcement noted that it would staff the center with "highly skilled people affected by immigration issues in the U.S." So the brightest Chinese and Indian software engineers are attracted to the United States, trained by American universities, then thrown out of the country and picked up by Canada—where most of them will work, innovate and pay taxes for the rest of their lives.

If President Obama is looking for smart government, there is much he, and all of us, could learn from our quiet—OK, sometimes boring—neighbor to the north. Meanwhile, in the councils of the financial world, Canada is pushing for new rules for financial institutions that would reflect its approach. This strikes me as, well, a worthwhile Canadian initiative.


Friday, February 6, 2009

The 'moon

I was reminded and nostalgic today of four short months ago, our visit to the island...I don't think I ever posted some of our honeymoon pics, so here goes...

One of the views from our resort balcony...


In front of the harbour, we were waiting for our whale tour to start..

On a hike we took...

At the winery...

A 'piece' of our resort...

Oh, we were so blessed to see Victoria, so much beauty!

Nothing compares to His creation!

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Debate

Aside from owning a house for family/space purposes, what is the leverage when considering renting or buying. I have always been raised in a mindset of owning a house is a necessity, something that must be done. Why would you throw money at monthly apartment costs for the rest of your life? You can build equity in a home. Really? I believe, the cost-benefit is non-existent.

For example:
House - $200,000, over a 25 year mortgage you're likely to pay 1.5 times the cost of the house in interest. Taxes, on average $2,300/year. Utilities including hydro and gas, $150/month

Apartment, with the cost of renting increased yearly, let's set the monthly rental at $1,200 for an average.

House:
375,000
57500 taxes
45000 utilities
Total: $477,500 - with renos, etc, cost would be moreso 500-600,000

Apartment:
$360,000

Now, at the expense of renovations every 10 years or so of your house, yard care, etc...the Total for housing costs would end up being much greater in the end. Maybe after 25 years, your house sells for 25% more of its worth, maybe more, giving you 250, maybe 300,000 at the end. My numbers may be off slightly, but the cost of a house/payback in the end is equal – if not, more significant in costs over the same time period and return is not guaranteed.

So, I particularly don't believe houses or cars for that matter should be viewed as an investment, more-so a cost of living. Costs of each, obviously dependent on the lifestyle you choose.

Where I want to go with this is not simply, the cost of living vs investment… It's more an example of what humanity strives for: a life. A better life. It doesn't just happen here in North America. It happens everywhere, from a rural village in Cambodia to coffee farmers in Columbia to refugees in Africa. Would they be satisfied with owning a hut outside the refugee camp or would they strive to better their living conditions to a structured brick home with a tin roof or more? I think so. Same happens here in North America, we go from roommates in an apartment, to our own suite, then a better neighbourhood to maybe a house in the future with our spouse. Is it wrong of us to strive for more?

Ecclesiastes 8:15
So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for people under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.
Luke 12:48
...From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

I think its worth recognizing that a home, regardless of type is being entrusted with much. Joy, the enjoyment of life, being glad: is reasonable and should not be felt as undeserved.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Workouts

My last few posts have been a little on the serious side...even though I enjoy humour and love to laugh - when I'm writing, somehow serious is easier. Likely due to the fact I avoid being vulnerable. So, here goes...

Some of you may know, I work out from time-to-time. I kinda ;) took a year off while Quinn and I were dating and our engagement. I started again a month before Christmas, took a month off over Christmas and now back at 'er. I enjoyed the workout from the start, sometimes it almost seems easy while I'm doing it, the next day my body tells a different story as it creaks rolling out of bed.

Even tho I've worked with this video for a while now, one set of reps nearly kills me...
This workout video is approx 33 mins long, at about the 27th minute, the instructor tells you, we're going down for a little ab workout.

Ok, I pull out my mat and follow instruction: Lie on your back, bring your legs up, cross your ankles over one another. Now, bring your arms up, with your fingers folded in your palm (not clenched), keep your wrists close to each other, with your hands just in front of your forehead, elbows pointing to your knees. Now, bring your head up, shoulders off the floor, your arms and forehead in the direction of your legs (which are in the air). Now, proceed to do 4 slowish reps bringing your upper body (arms incl), to your knees. On the 4th rep, hold!! your upper body to your knees (keep your abs tight, breathe!)...after about 5 secs, rep fast 8 times to your knees, go back down for not even a second, back up, slow rep 4 times, hold on the 4th, quickly 8 reps to your knees. (after the first full rep my abs shriek in horror at the maliciousness of what I just put them through). I believe she goes through this whole rep 4 times, altho I've never made it through that sequence of brutality.

Sigh, my abs are clenched just thinking about it. Remember, this is done close to the end of my workout, just before the cool down. And you hear her holler out in excitement, "Are you feeling this? Hang in there." Nope, not feeling a thing??!!?? Quinn! please call the ambulance! Quinn glances over from the computer desk and goes back to his work, knowing it's something I want to do and an intervention will not bode well for him.

I encourage you to give this a try, let me know how it goes, maybe after you've worked out for 1/2 hour already.

Disclaimer: Always consult your physician or health care professional before performing any new exercise, exercise technique or beginning any new diet -- particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, elderly, or if you have any chronic or recurring conditons. Any application of the techniques, ideas, and suggestions in this document is at the reader's sole discretion and risk.

p.s. in case you were hoping to find more seriousness on this blog...I read this earlier today on Creationism, nothing to blog about, its all laid out already... just read if you are so inclined.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Kenyan Taxi Drivers take - on politics

I read an article today from Daily Nation website...here's part of it. Although some nations elections are corrupt, it made me wonder...if an African nation does have the liberty of voting in their political party - are they often voting for only loyalty or ethnic reasons? Although we, not being a Third world country, have voted on the basis of trust just the same and some on party loyalty - we also have corruption occuring, maybe not to the severity of some third world politicians.

Question: Do leaders in third world countries understand their own poverty any more than first world country politicians? hmmm...

By Lucy Oriang'Posted Thursday, January 22 2009 at 18:30

In a week when I have some trouble getting around the city of Nairobi, I discover two things. Taxi drivers talk a lot. No subject is taboo. No leader escapes their scathing comments, be it the president and the old guard that surrounds him, or the political wannabes.

It could be just their way of keeping their customers engaged. It could also be that they have a finger on the pulse of the nation. Either way, they keep their customers entertained with their running commentary on the news of the day– proving what I have always suspected: we are a nation of closet politicians.

State House and Parliament had better watch out. In some countries, the general population is obsessed with celebrities, the good life and the latest lifestyle trends. They do not eat, sleep and drink politics — and the misery it brings.

So there I was, heading off to the city centre with Nzikalu at the wheel. Before long, the conversation drifted to the Obama inauguration and the Kenyan connection.
Nzikalu is going on about the virtues of the new president of the United States. I decide to throw a spanner in the works.
“Would you have elected him had he been contesting in Kenya?”
Nzikalu pauses for a moment, and then admits that this would be unlikely. The ethnic issue would arise. And Kenyans do not vote on the strength of manifestoes and commitments to the people. And then, he adds bitterly, they have the audacity to complain when the people they elect do not deliver on the promise.


“The only person I see who comes close to Obama here is lawyer Patrick Lumumba,” he says. “When that man speaks, he does so from the heart, and you can see that he really believes in what he is saying.”

But he stood for election in Kamukunji last time, I point out, and did not come anywhere close to getting the seat. If he is so brilliant and honest, how come he performed so dismally?Constituencies in Nairobi tend to have an ethnic flavour, he fires back, and Kamukunji was always going to go to either a Kikuyu or a Somali.

But that’s Kenya for you. There was a brief window period in the 1960s when the spirit of nationalism ruled the land. If Nzikalu had his way, the present crop of politicians would all go home today, including the three main presidential candidates in the last poll who now share power.

It is a tale of one betrayal after another, he says. You have the politicians on one side, and the people on the other — and their interests do not seem to coincide.

One side seems hell-bent on surviving intrigues and manipulations on the corridors of power. The other just wants to put one foot in front of the other as one crisis rolls into another.
“But what do we expect,” he asks, “of a government that emerged out of bloodshed? It’s a curse. That’s why we seem to come from one problem to another.”


The men in power, he reckons, will never understand what the poor go through just to make a living. If they ever knew poverty, it must be in such a distant past that they have forgotten it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dream

I remember several years ago, driving in my car, I think it was the Avenger :) …anyway... That must have been the year I was in-between jobs in January, because around 10, 11 am I was driving in downtown Winnipeg on a Monday, I remember I was on Carlton listening intently to my radio. Our local Christian radio station was somewhat honoring the day and played MLK’s famous speech. The speech is so vivid in my mind, it feels as though he just made it a few years ago.

I am at work today, but it’s a pretty quiet day (market-wise, I'm still busy), all the US markets are closed and I was nostalgic of when I heard his complete speech a few years ago, somehow that moment was embedded in my mind. Well, here’s an excerpt from his speech made in August of 1963…

“I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.


I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together." (quoted from Isaiah 40: 4-5)


This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.”


Martin Luther King

Sunday, January 18, 2009

List of 86

  1. I like ironing
  2. I like my kitchen
  3. I like baking more than cooking
  4. cooking creatively in the context of a full-time job takes a lot of effort
  5. considering our house only operates with a fridge freezer for now
  6. that should mean we cook more with fresh food, which is good too
  7. I like icy squares
  8. I made puffed wheat cake for the first time since Quinn and I have been together, he really liked it
  9. he also really likes fudge brownies
  10. I guess we both have a sweet tooth
  11. it’s dangerous to my health
  12. we enjoy hosting
  13. I like planning ‘the big meal’ and it can take a lot of time
  14. My Mom says “don’t worry about the food”, just as long as people are together
  15. The end result is fun
  16. people are leaving Manitoba
  17. our friends are going to Sudan for 4 months
  18. They will live in a hut, in a village, with hopefully not too many rats
  19. they will be immersed in missionary life
  20. I might work out soon
  21. I have a good work out video
  22. if I stay with it for more than a month at a time, I know I would see great results
  23. I need to firm up
  24. Summer is coming
  25. We need camping gear
  26. we don’t have much storage space
  27. we could set up a tent full time in our living room
  28. how entertaining would that be??
  29. we could play games in it when our friends come over
  30. we bought some new games
  31. Ticket to Ride (Germany) and Jungle Speed
  32. Quinn’s Mom put a dent in their wall when we played Jungle Speed
  33. We laughed a lot
  34. We also got the game Canasta and Racko at Christmas time
  35. Racko is not a game of strategy, mostly chance…once Quinn discovered this, he started winning and I came in 2nd a lot
  36. I should go make my daily tea latte, 1 part water, 2 parts milk…and a little bit of sugar
  37. It’s a good idea to set up a TFSA account -you can save money, earn interest, take it out if you want to - or transfer it into your regular RRSP account if you wish - once its in your RRSP, you don’t want to take it out, it’s a lot of taxes
  38. we need it to warm up a bit here so we can go skating on the river, maybe this weekend
  39. we went skating at my sister’s small town rink last Sat, it was fun
  40. except when Quinn lost his wedding ring, it fell off as he took his gloves off
  41. there was fresh snow on the rink, my family helped us look for it, Quinn went to check if he had maybe lost it in the shack
  42. I prayed we would find it, Quinn came out and started looking, found it right away, YAY!
  43. Loretta & Paul left this week for California
  44. Going to do construction work with Mennonite Disaster Service for a week
  45. They have 2 horses, they said we could come over and ride sometime
  46. each family has their own ‘culture’ we talked about last night with friends
  47. creating your own culture as husband and wife
  48. Recognizing a culture is important here as well as in a foreign country
  49. Quinn and I meet for lunch during the week whenever possible…so most days
  50. Who knows how long either of us will work this close to each other, we don’t take it for granted
  51. I had a song by Skillet in my head, I don’t know the name of it
  52. I started making pasta salad with veg, real ham and cheese for lunch
  53. now I have the song Mighty to Save in my head
  54. Quinn’s parents gave us some clementines they had bought at Costco, they are so tasty
  55. Our Christmas tree is still up…I like Christmas trees, plus it was Ukrainian Christmas last week, so we’re still within ‘one week’ of Christmas day
  56. Our office might be moving…from the 5th floor to the 15th floor of our building – we are being forced out of our suite by our neighbors, the CRA…they want our land…something the government is familiar with doing ;)
  57. we don’t mind, that means we get entirely new redesigned office space…if the company can afford it
  58. I still need to get our honeymoon pics developed and put them in an album
  59. I really liked Vancouver Island, what a beautiful place
  60. and Quinn and I both like seafood, oh it was delicious, if you want to know where to eat good seafood on the island (or where the bad restaurants are), just let us know. OH! Salmon!
  61. I am almost done changing my name everywhere, I have my Mastercard left, which we want to make ‘our’ Mastercard
  62. our fish’ name is Jackson II
  63. I like antipasto on crackers with vegetable cream cheese
  64. I also like pickled Dill Asparagus spears, even better wrapped in soft tortilla with herb cream cheese
  65. Ecclesiastes 8:15 is a good verse
  66. my father-in-law has a vast home library of Christian literature, I think it would be good for me to tap into it, if he lets me
  67. I am a little older than my husband
  68. My husband, his father and his grandfather all married women higher in age than them.
  69. When I was 26, my Grandma was not yet 70
  70. I have never broken any bones in my body or had any type of surgery
  71. I have 20/20 vision
  72. In a span of 8 years, I purchased 3 vehicles
  73. I’m supposed to be on a 4 day work week as part of a cost-saving initiative by our company, however there is too much work to reduce my work week at this time, maybe in February
  74. We don’t own a coffee maker, only a Bodum (French press)…much to my father’s dismay
  75. The other day I had a SEMG and Thermography scans on my spine, I had a lot of subluxation according to the chiropractor, I think she said my neck vertebrae were the worst she’d seen. Subluxation (misalignment): A problem in the spine where abnormal position of the vertebrae disturbs communication of the Nervous System causing disturbance in the body.
  76. Much like an MRI without radiation…the chiropractor now has a technical way to verify what she felt in my spine.
  77. We still have Christmas chocolate, I think I eat one a day, 2 on the odd day
  78. my phone number includes my name
  79. this list has been a 5 day task, therefore the numbers in 83 and 84 are skewed
  80. I would rather be writing a blog
  81. I really want to post pictures too, it’s a fair amount of work, b/c I compress them before I post them
  82. We were rear-ended last week, but we’re ok and the vehicle seems to be without a scratch too, although we will have it inspected.
  83. I have been married for 110.5 days
  84. For Quinn and I to celebrate our 60th in 2068, you would need to times 110 days by 200 = 22000 days, divide it by 365 = 60 years…minus a few days
  85. The only Math class I did well in was Consumer
  86. this is a list of 86 things about me, my family, friends and surroundings. You may have been amused, annoyed or ambivalent…now Go, do something ;)