Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins #95

To see more responses click link.

Ok, here we go......

1. Right now, I'm feeling very tired as I'm finishing a double shift and knowing I'll be back here in 8 hours.
2. In bed beside my husband is where I want to be.
3. How does one know what to cook everyday that the kids will eat?
4. Making a list of things to do keeps me on track.
5. Please don't ignore me as if I'm not here.
6. My children's smiles fill me with joy.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to taking the kids swimming and getting back to life with no one ill or throwing up, tomorrow my plans include taking the kids to my mom's while Hubby & I work and Sunday, I want to play with my kids as I haven't seen much of them all weekend!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Text: RYB

I am not in the technoligically elite who send or receive text messages and who apparently no matter where these people are, if the get a text , they have to stop and read it. However I'm just as bad with IM on the computer, if I see a flashing orange box, I have to stop what I'm doing or excuse my kids as "I just have to check this". At church we just finished a sermon series about if God send you a text message, would you read it? The truth is He has, it is called the Bible. One of the reasons texts are so alluring is that they are relevant and personal. Well that's the same as the Bible, it is both relevant and personal. It is a guide to our feet and a light to our path. The Bible is the greatest miracle as it is made up of 66 books, over 40 authors and spans 1500 years. Yet they all tell the same story - redemption. Beyond just reading the bible my pastor encouraged us that we should take it to the next level and go beyond reading and PERSONALIZE the scriptures. One scrpiture that has been speaking to me is Romans 8:38,39. - ...nothing can seperate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!....not lonliness, self-doubt, low self confidence, finances, economic hardship, divorce, family difficulties, anger....NOTHING! His love endures forever! This is repeated over and over for us in Pslam 136 and I personlized it here:

To Him who allowed me to grow up with a Christian influence through various churches, youth groups and Christain school.
His love endures forever.

To Him who burdened my heart for the ministry
His love endures forever.

and provided a way for me to go overseas,
His love endures forever.

and had his angels watch over me while overseas in a foreighn culture.
His love endures forever.

To Him who put dear friends in my life
His love endures forever.

and who provides a way for us to keep in touch even miles apart.
His love endures forever.

To Him who holds the whole world in His hands
His love endures forever.

and provides for every little thing even when we don't understand His ways.
His love endures forever.

To Him who brought my husband and I together
His love endures forever.

and has us in the same profession allowing us to be a support for each other.
His love endures forever.

Even when I have a bad day, He never leaves me.
His love endures forever.

To Him who blessed with three strong, happy, and healthy children
His love endures forever.

who love Him and want to know more of Him.
His love endures forever.

To Him who provides everything my family needs.
His love endures forever.

To Him who made the seasons, colors, and the sun to rise and set.
His love endures forever.

To Him who loves us even when we stumble and helps us back up on solid ground.
His love endures forever.

To Him who comforts me when I'm lonely or feel far from Him.
His love endures forever.

To Him who weaves the plot of our story-His story-from beginning to end.
His love endures forever.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Friday Fill-ins #94

1. Follow the Leader.
2. My digital camera is something I always take with me on vacation.
3. To achieve your goals, you must be organized and stick with it.
4. I've been overseas to several different countries and cultures but I haven't been to Europe and REALLY want to go someday is something I'd like you to know about me.
5. I have a frog fettish (that's a good thing right...atleast that's what I meant to say- I had frogs on my wedding cake & invites, frog stuffies, frog decor in my nickname is even Toad). 6. Anything that floats makes a great pool toy.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to spending the evening alone with my youngest as the others go to a party, tomorrow my plans include working and Sunday, I want to go to church before working again!

Click the image above to read more great Friday Fill-ins!

A Halloween-Loving Christian?

I found this article last year and never did get around to posting it. I, myself, wouldn't say that Halloween is anywhere near my favorite holiday however my kids enjoy it and therefore I also participate in the fun of the evening. Such as dressing up, getting & receiving candy and playing a variety of games. We do not participate in the scary, gory or violent aspects of the day. I have talked with several people (many of them christians) and they all have different feelings toward Halloween. I understand where many come from that are against it but I have never been convicted for recognizing the holiday. I just wanted to share this article as it says much of how I feel but in better writing style than I could do.
At the end are many comments, some agreeing and some against. What are you feelings toward Halloween?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

One Year + a Day

Oops, as many other things, I had good intentions but I'm late again. I realized last week that it will be one year since I started this blog on October 14 and I decided I'd write a one year post. Well, it is now October 15th!!!! OOPS (again)!!! I started this blog off last year after one failed attempt to do a blog. So I tried again at the encouragement of a friend who has been blogging for several years, you can check out here blog here. I honestly didn't think I'd have anything interesting to say or be able to stick with it. Well here I am...STILL and I must admit there were definite periods of "'drought & famine" on Toad's Secret Spot but I'm enjoying it all the same. It is a great way to keep a journal of times past, precious once-in-a-moment memories that you may not remember a year later, and to communicate with friends and loved ones. As well as the opportunity to meet new friends and read other blogs...feeling like I have more of a social network than is visible. Also, I'm using it as a way to motivate myself to self-improvement. Well, must be off so here is to another great year. I know that kids grow up fast and the 5th birthday is here before you know it.....hopefully I can say the same thing about my blog. Thank-you to those of you you have commented and supported me in the past year. Here are a list of all who have visited (and left a comment on) my blog in it's first year. I must say I was very surprised as to how long this list is. I honestly thought there would just be a few and I could compile this list much quicker...anyway here it is, check them out as there are many interesting blogs here:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

A woman was asked by a coworker,
'What is it like to be a Christian?'
The coworker replied, 'It is like being a pumpkin.'
God picks you from the patch, brings you in,
and washes all the dirt off of you.
Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff.He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed.
Then He carves you a new smiling face and
puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.'

I got this in my email and thought it was so true. Can't say I've ever heard it put like that before, but from one pumpkin to another I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. I so love the fall season and how nature just shouts God's praise with all it's beauty. In this season of thanksgiving there are so many things I'm thankful for but to just name a few I'd have to say my beautiful family, my friends that are always there for me no matter how far away they are (as most of them are). I'm thankful I was able to reunite with many of them this summer, thankful for the food in my cupboards and especially the eggnog I was drinking last night :) Thankful for my warm cozy house, especially now that is is so cold and wet outside. Thank you God that I was finally able to get my driver's licence and still have it 6 months later. Also I'm thankful for wet little kisses and warm little cuddles. :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Good For A Laugh

2000 Anybody who knew me growing up, knows I did NOT look like that in the 80's, 90's or 2000...which is infact the year I was married. But it's still fun to see these pics. If you want to try it go to and have fun! :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Big Book List

I am on a campaign to read some decent, classic-type literature. I used to read more for fun and relaxation, which means that nine times out of ten if you had a look at the book I was reading it was probably some kind of light-hearted "fluff"- chick-lit, that sort of thing. Then when I went to school, most of what I read was nursing related (lots of journal articles for research and required readings. I never seemed to have time for me books anymore. And now that I'm a married mother I seem to gravitate toward parenting and marriage books but seeing how much others have read (even my husband), I got inspired to up my reading-level. I found this book list ona blog I read and it looked like a good place to start and catch up on all the classics I apperently missed or didn't make time for. I was horrified to see that I have only read a few of the books on the list and think I may have read others but can't remember. Good grief! So I am thinking Ill try working my way through some of them, in an attempt to become more educated and academic ;-)The list I mentioned is a meme kind of thing and the deal is that you:1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.2) Italicize those you started but did not finish.3) Underline the books you LOVE - on blogger can't underline :(, so I made them red for "love".4) Highlight green-the ones you still want to read but just have not had a chance yet.5) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 or less and force books upon them.
1. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
2. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
3. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
4. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
5. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
6. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
7. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
8. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
9. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
10. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
11. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
12. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
13. His Dark Materials (trilogy) - Philip Pullman
14. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
15. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
16. The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
17. Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
18. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
19. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
20. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
21. Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis (Hubby owns them and I see them on the bookshelf everyday...guess I should read them)
22. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
23. Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
24. Animal Farm - George Orwell
25. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
26. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
27. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
28. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
29. Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White (I'm going to read this one to my kids)
30. Hamlet - William Shakespeare (we did the play in high school)
31. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (we have seen the movie, but I'm also going to read this one to my kids)
32. Complete Works of Shakespeare
33. Ulysses - James Joyce
34. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
35. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
36. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
37. The Bible
38. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
39. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
40. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
41. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
42. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (my mom has the book and me husband read it but I have yet to)
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
45. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
46. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
47. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
48. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
49. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (saw the movies)
50. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
51. Little Women - Louisa M. Alcott (and we picked up Little Men free and I plan to read it as well)
52. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
53. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
54. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
55. Middlemarch - George Eliot
56. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (saw and own the movies)
57. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
58. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
59. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
60. Emma - Jane Austen
61. Persuasion - Jane Austen
62. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
63. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
64. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
65. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
66. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
67. Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery (and saw and own the movies)
68. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
69. Atonement - Ian McEwan
70. Dune - Frank Herbert (this one sounds familiar but I can't remember if I read it or not)
71. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
72. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
73. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
74. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (I think we read this in high school, but again I can't remember)
75. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
76. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
77. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
78. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
79. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
80. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding
81. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
82. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
83. Dracula - Bram Stoker
84. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
85. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
86. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
87. Germinal - Emile Zola
88. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
89. Possession - A.S. Byatt
90. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
91. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
92. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
93. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
94. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
95. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
96. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
97. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
98. Watership Down – Richard Adams
99. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
100. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Must Read

I recently finished reading this book, The Shack, and know that I am DEFENITLY going to be reading it again (and probably again & again & again...). There were so many things that were revealed and truths and lessons explained that I often had to ask forgiveness for my own lack of faith. It defenitly changed the way I see God and things that we assume we understand. Have you ever asked, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" or "How could God let this happen?" ? The answers in this book will transform the way you see God. I don't think I've ever understood the trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) better than I do now. And rather than God being a far off being that I want to be more intimate with, I saw Jesus for the first time as a down to earth friend that is always there with us where we feel him or not. I don't want to say too much that will give away the plot but with every page, the complicated do's and don'ts that distort a relationship into a religion were washed away and a I was able to see God in a new light. If you haven't yet, I encourage you to pick up a copy of this book and read about what Mack learned when he went to the shack after receiving a suspicious note, apparently from God. I hope you enjoy it and have your own "Shack experience"!

Monday, September 22, 2008


These songs are the cry of my heart:

She's smiling on the outside
But she's hurting on the inside
It's getting hard just living anymore
And the shadows she has clung to
Painful things that she has been through
Have left her feeling worthless, Lord...but

You change worthless into precious
Guilty to forgiven
Hungry into satisfied
Empty into full
All the lies are shattered
And we believe we matter
When You change broken into beautiful

We live with accusations
Sometimes heavy expectations
That tell us we can never measure up
And yet You repeat with mercy
That in Your eyes we are worthy
At last we see how much we're loved cause


Though we can't see how we can stand before you Lord
And feel valued, priceless and adored


~ Gwen Smith

I'm just a well dressed wreck
I'm just a made up mess
Working hard trying to keep everybody impressed
All the while I'm falling apart on the inside

I look around to see
Is anyone like me?
First glance tells me I'm all alone in the sea
Then I look again a little deeper

And we're all in the same boat
We all just need to know

We're all broken
We're all broken
And we all need a Savior
We're all broken
And we all need a Savior

'Cause we're all broken

This is a fool's parade
The way we masquerade
Trying to make everybody think it's all okay
When the truth is we're all living a story

What if we all got brave?
Enough to take away
All we're hiding behind even just for a day
And let the scars show even a little

But I know the honesty
Will show us all to be

We're all broken
And we all need a Savior
We're all broken
And we all need a Savior

We don't have to pretend about it
We don't have to keep acting like we're all okay
If we lift our eyes to the cross
We'll see the reality

That we're all... broken
And we all have a Savior
We're all broken
And we all need a Savior
We're all broken
And we all need a Savior
We all have a Savior
We all need Jesus

~Steven Curtis Chapman
And a song that we sang in church this week says it so well - "I wanna hold the hand that holds the world!"

My Bratz is 5 years old!

The invitation

Autumn climbing the rock wall
Pearl (a friend from school) & Autumn
Liam (above)is climbing & Wynn (below) little monkeys

The crew on top of the bouncer slide
on the slides that are at the top of the 3 level playstructure
The adults looking on while the kids play
partners in crime
group picture
present time
The cake, I took a coloring page to Sobey's and they put an edible image ontop of the cake
birthday girl
girls with their feather boas
and the guys with their ties
Hannah Montana
more presents
new bike and training wheels
modelling one of her many new clothes