Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

This is a collection of 12 short stories. Initially I thought it was just going to be a novel like The Hound of the Baskervilles but I was mistaken.

1. A scandal in Bohemia
In this short story you are introduced to Holmes and learn some previous vices of his. It is a captivating mission full of disguises and tricks. I enjoyed it very much.

2. The Red-Headed League
This short story involved a much larger crime but I didn't like it as much as the first one. I think maybe because it just seemed so odd... although I guess that can be the criminal mind; very creative.

3. A Case Of Identity
"...he had drifted into the habit of winding up every meal by taking out his false teeth and hurling them at his wife, which, you will allow, is not an action likely to occur to the imagination of the average story-teller. "

I love that I can chuckle while reading! This was an interesting adventure. More disguises but I predicted the outcome right away.

4. The Boscombe Valley Mystery
This story was very fun to read. A real murder and mystery. I still knew exactly who was to blame for it but I was not able to figure out how it would be proved. Obviously I am not a Sherlock Holmes. These stories are so much fun to read!

5. The Five Orange Pips

This story leaves you wishing it had an end. It begins by mentionning that some stories are too odd and do not have the outcome which you might desire. And so, this one is rivetting but I HATE not knowing the ending. My guess would be they faked their death. Who are they? You would have to read and find out.

6. The man with the Twisted Lip
This story is clever but not much in it is too different from some of the other stories. I still enjoyed it though.

7. The adventures of the Blue Carbuncle

A story that demonstrates the kind of man Sherlock Holmes is. Very clever and yet in solving the mystery and yet very forgiving when faced with genuine repentance.

8. The Adventure of the Specled Band

This story is the first one that hints at a supernatural cause and yet, because it is Sherlock Holmes, you know it has to be something real and tangible since that is what he is all about. A bit creepy since it is trying to make you think it is a spiritual thing.

9. The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb

A severed thumb and human crushing... A very action packed tale.

10. The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor
I am beinnging to see very common themes and outcomes in these stories.

11. The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet

A real mystery trying to discover who stole the very precious jewels. SO many of these stories deal with people mysteries. It was neat to come back to one that had to do with thievery and figuring out how they did it and who it was.

12. The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

The series ends on a very good note for me. This last story, although I knew the just of it, kept me feeling uneasy the whole time because it dealt with imprisonment but was so vague that one couldnt guess the nature of what was going on (the imagination can be so much worse than the reality). I liked this story because it had more to it, in a sense than some of them.

So, another book down. And this one I really did enjoy. you can pick it up when you have a few minutes and put it down just as easily since you know you will be back to finish it not too long. Absolute opposite of Middlemarch!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Living in Ottawa, I so rarely experience terrifying weather or disasters. I am fortunate to be pretty sheltered from most of those things (many would not feel so safe in our winters but I personally love them- though they could be a bit shorter).

Yesterday, I had a glance into what terror is like when it comes to disasters. And glance is all it was really.

I was putting Matty down for his nap and Levi was in the livingroom playing when suddenly the whole house began to shake. Not just a little shake either. It even managed to make a picture fall of the wall and a book fall off my bookcase.

My head started to swim and my body began to tremour. I grabbed Matty out of bed and ran to Levis side and all three of us waited. In my mind I kept thinking: should we jump under the table? Go to the basement? Run outside? It lasted maybe 30 seconds though I have to say it felt much longer and then it was still. Like nothing out of the ordinary ever happened. The only proof: a book and framed picture on the floor. The picture fell so hard that it landed on my computer cord and actually broke off the third prong on my plug. Thankfully it doesnt seem to have affected the use of the plug.

Shortly after I called Dave to see if he felt it and he had. Then my land lady called me to make sure I was ok (That was such a caring thing to do) and then my mom making sure we were fine as well. So it appears it wasnt just me thinking it was a big deal. For Ottawa I guess it kind of is. No one I spoke to every remembered an earthquake that was so long or so big... and yet no harm was done (at least to any one I know).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Moved On

Ness, Cory, Henry and Samuel are gone.
This is their last photo on the day Henry left. Kisses! and on their favourite step!

They left Saturday but Henry left on Thursday.

They are not far of course but they are no longer upstairs.

I havent had much of a chance to think about it really. We have been out and about so often.

One place we went to was their new house.
Isn't it just the cutest house?

It was such a nice visit. I drove there and stopped on the way to get myself a coffee and then we arrived at their place. Matty understood right away that Henry was going to be in that house. So off he went ot the door (without me) calling for Henry.

It was such a neat visit because not once did Matty seem nervous about the house. He even napped his normal nap without crying much at all. I was so shocked by this since he doesnt settle well in most places. I wonder if he was just so happy to see Henry again.

Something that Matty absolutely loved was Henry's sand and water table. He played by it all day except when we went for a walk and when he napped.

It was such a nice visit and reassured me and it was going to be alright having them out in Carleton place without us. It just makes for a fun place to go for the day.

So now I have several day trip houses. And sometimes I get them over to my place too (although it is not nearly as nice since it is so much smaller).

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day Off

Dave had a day off of work a little while ago and so he decided we should go to the museum.

Off we went to the museum of nature. The last time I went there, I was ready to pop with Matty. It was nice to go without carrying a baby in the womb... I still had one to carry though.

I thought Matty would love the dinosaurs because he loves watching them on tv but he really didnt seem interested. He thought the mammals were pretty exciting though.

You know what part he loved most though? Coming home and playing with a puddle on the top of the garbage can with his buddy Henry.
Oh, my funny boy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

What the Heck?

Last night I slept for a total of 1 hour and 20 minutes. I went to bed at 10:30 and lay there echausted until I fell asleep at around 1:00. The suddenly I hear crying. Its 2:20 and Matty is in a real state. Is it a nightmare? Is it a sore tummy? No idea. All I know is he isnt settling back down. I go to get him and snuggle him. He isnt calming down easily. Fianlly he is calm but he is muttering and I have no idea what he is trying to say. Mostly I am hearing him say:"See. See".

I bring him to my bed. He lies there tossing and turning and whining and talking, so I decide to try him back in his own bed. For a moment I think he may be ready to go back to sleep. I lie down in bed and the crying begins. I figure Ill just let him cry it out but it begins to sound more like panic. I go and get him and rock him in his room. He calms right away but wont sleep. I take him back to bed with me and try lying with him. He will lie in the bed but not without his eyes open and lots of moving around. Maybe its the dark? So I bring him into the living room and turn on the light and use the dimmer to make a little light. He lies on me for a few hours but never sleeps. Ibringhim back go bed with me thinking surely now he is tired. Nope.

Levi wakes up and needs to feed. Its 4:30 at this point. I nurse him while Matty stays in the bed. He starts yelling for me even though now he can see me and hear me. Then he starts giggling. Hes fully awake and ready to get out of bed. Im done hoping for sleep. I put Levi back to bed, get Matty a snack and go to the livingroom for him to eat.

Its 5:21 at this very moment and he has been playing actively for 30 minutes.

What on earth is going on? He wouldnt nap yesterday and he went to bed late and then didnt sleep much at all. Im without any ideas as to what is up.

At least in the wee hours of the morning, when I was holding him on me, instead of being frustrated I was actually feeling happy. I was being a mom. I was holding my baby and trying to be a comfort for him. I was thinking about how these moments will pass too soon and he will be off on his own in his wife's arms and he wont need me for much any more... lets see if I can keep that thankful and happy attitude for the next two days... without sleep I am not so sure my rose coloured glasses will remain. And boy do I feel sick! No sleep is so horrible!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Visiting and Style

Living in the city, I have become so used to everything being so close that I forget that when people move away, it really isnt that hard to hop in the car and go for a drive to visit. Honestly, since my sister and Aidan moved out to the country (35 min. drive, no biggy) I have gone to visit so rarely on my own with the kids. Do I dread the drive? No! I Simply forget that its an option. Odd, eh?

Well, I now have 3 people who are out of town that I need to work harder at visiting. Karin is in Kanata, the closest of the three, Vanessa will be in Carleton in a day or two and Jo out in Kinburn.

I decided I better start trying. It will mean that me and the boys will be uprooted from our schedules a lot more but I think it is worth it for them to see their cousins than to be a bit cranky in the evenings for missing naps.

We visited Jo and the kids two weeks ago which was so nice and last week it was tim to visit Karin.

We went to the park with the kids and they had a great time playin on the slides and the swings and the in the sand. matty loved the wagon ride on the way to and from the park.
Isnt that just a cute picture? Matty was being lulled into dream land I think.

When we retuned to the house, they did a bit more playing and this is what I noticed Matty doing:

Wooden shoes and Lyssa's sun hat. I think maybe my boy is beginning to enjoy dressup.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rolling Over

Just a few days ago I was comlaining about the difficulties of Levi and his rolling. You see, he keeps rolling from his stomach to his back and this is a big deal because he sleeps on his tummy. So, He would be getting sleepy, would fuss, roll over and then scream. I would go and roll him over again and it would continue in this way for sometimes an hour and a half. Needless to say, I've been tired and whiney.

Yesterday marked his next stap in mobility. He is now a complete roller. I put him on his playmat on his back and hie is on his tummy in seconds. Then in a few more seconds he is back on his back. That would explain why, when I came to see why he was fussing, Levi was this far away from his mat which he was happily playing on minutes before.
What a cutie. He is 4 1/2 months. Such a big boy. I have trouble believe that it was really not that long ago that he was born. Another addition to this family that feels like it was never absent. I love my little family.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


There isnt much left to say about this book except that I am finally done!

The only good part of the book was the last chapter which summarized the futures of various families. It was a terribly depressing book about failing marriages, broken hearts, lies and secrets and few happy moments. I suppose that was the point of the book though. To comment on those sorts of things and how they play out in small towns.

Im glad its done and really dont recommend it. Sorry to the author and all those who really enjoy classics. This is one I would recommend you not even dare to pick up.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Vision one: Matty is in his bed, asleep. I check on him but I see blood. It is everywhere. He is no longer sleeping but he is dead. I didnt notice and now it is too late. I call 911 but there is nothing left. No hope of saving his precious life. It is all my fault. He shouldn't have gone to bed with the ballon on a stick in his room.

Vision two: Levi is playin in his excersaucer. He is happy then it goes silent. Matty is playing happily. I walk in to the livingroom from the adjoining room and Levi is passed out, chocked on a marble. He is dead. 911. No hope. Why didnt I clean up the marbles better?

Vision three: Same as above but Matty is the one who chokes in his bed.

Vision four: Someone has broken into my house without me noticing and stollen my babies out from under my nose. How didnt I notice.

This is my mind these days. I am still awake when all of these visions present themselves. I am unable to feel any peace. I constantly feel like I must chek on my little ones to make sure they are still with me.

I am not an anxious person and yet these are my thoughts. Where do they come from? I honestly dont know.

"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you." 2 Thess. 3:16

" You will keep in perfect peace him whosemind is steadfast, becasue he trusts in you." Isaiah 26:3

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts" Colossians 3:15

I have been far from God. I have let my life of outtings, cleaning, cooking and child rearing be an excuse to not have time for God. Is there any wonder why I dont have peace? I have not been relying on the source of peace.

Forgive me Lord. Fill me with your peace and remove these horrible visions.

I just want to cry. The thought of losing one of my babies... terrifying. I know they are gifts to me that I am to care for but they dont belong to me. I remind myself that fearing for them wont help. Teach them, guide them in the way they should go, make the best choices you can in the moment. But I can't live a life of fear and worry.

My own lack of obedience to God is what is causing my lack of peace. Not being in his word and dwelling on His commands and talking to him through out the day keeps me from being with Him and He is my peace.

It is so easy to run away with our lives and forget who it is who has given it to us. Again Lord, forgive me. Teach me to be every more obedient and fill me with your peace.
It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

This Is The Way

I woke up this morning and as I was making my bed this is the song that popped into my head and the exact words as well:

"This is the way we wash a cat, wash a cat, wash a cat"

At which point I was very confused as to how I came up with those words. Seriously, this is insight into my normal brain. Things like this are, unfortunately, very common. I wonder if Idreamed about washing a cat or something and just dont remember it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

David Len and Our Story

It is so easy to listen to others talk about the wonderful things their husbands do and think negatively about your own because he didn't do those things for you when in reality, you would never wish it to be any other way.

I thought it would be nice to write something about my beloved. I love him more than words can say and he is my bestest friend. He deserves his own post.

I knew Dave as a little girl. I was in his brothers Sunday school class and was three years older then him so, needless to say, Dave was invisible to me at that time. A few years after their family came to my church, a new church was started out in Russell (his home town) so they moved to that church. That was the end of the van der Meers in my life until years later.

In university, my best friend, Vanessa, began dating Cory (the boy in my Sunday school class) and here the connection began again. I was a bit disgruntled with Cory because he kept stealing my friend from me but I knew she was happy and so I made it through :) Vanessa had a scheme. She wanted to introduce Cory's brother (Dave) to me and hope we hit it off. Then we would be sisters. So, one summer came and we were all headed to a cottage and Surprise! Dave came up to the cottage with Vanessa and Cory.

I was wearing my bathing suit, no makeup, playing volleyball with a soccer ball and didnt care at all that a handsome man had just showed up. This is odd for me since a few years before this I would have felt timid and pretended to be a different person. I was in a good place. I had God on my mind and just wanted to be happy with where I was. So, Dave and I chatted openly. I have to say, God was so good to me because I was not hiding any of my quirks. I talked to Dave about the colloquial meaning of the word "beaver" which was incredibly awkward for Dave I later found out, I acted like my hyper, crazy, happy self and just enjoyed being me in front of whoever cared to talk to me.

Me being me in my bathingsuit with a huge lump on my arm from playing volleyball with a soccer ball.
Dave practicing his juggling after we finished the game.

One night everyone was in the cottage talking and playing games when Dave went out into a boat near the dock and just stared at the stars. I turned to Cory and Ness and said, "Maybe I should go out and join him. He's all alone." Cory, however, told me not to bother "because sometimes Dave just likes to be alone." So I didn't go out but I felt sorry for Dave all alone. I found out a few months later that Dave was hopeful that I would come out and sit with him. (1. He is romantic!)

We returned home and a short time later it was Labour Day weekend. That means that our churches have a camp weekend and those who don't go, all meet at the Ottawa Church (mine) for worship. I rarely go to this weekend because I never really enjoyed it as a kid. I tagged around with my mother who I'm sure wished I would find something else to do. Seeing as how I had no fond memories of it, I decided not to go and who else didn't go? Dave. Of course, being me I didnt notice that he was there until I was leaving. I felt horrible. I felt like a bad friend. I didnt say hi or anything and I worried that he would think I was avoiding him... the things we think and feel in the beginning eh? Dave had other plans, however. My siblings and I all headed out to the park later in the day and somehow, Dave was driving by and saw us. So, he pulled his truck over and found us at the park. I didn't see him until he popped out from behind a tree and started to talk to my sister. He came to ask me if I wanted to go rollerblading with him. So, we all headed back home so I could get my blades. While walking home my niece peed on my neck (she was on my shoulders) and so I had to rush inside and change my shirt. In my haste to be urine free I forgot to bring Dave inside and introduce him to my parents (who already knew him but it's the polite thing to do) and went right up to my room to change. That meant Dave kind of had to just walk into my house all alone and introduce himself (2. He is very brave), (3. He is fantastic in social situations).

After our first rollerblading "date" everything took off from there. We roller bladed together so often, went to bible study together and often went out for dinner. He would never let me open my own car door or any door for that matter(4. chivalrous), he always had me order first and he treated me with the greatest respect. He wouldn't come into my apartment (not even the doorway) without others being present (5. honorable and 6. respectful). Both he and I were on the same page. We weren't dating for fun but to find our husband/wife.

At the beginning of our relationship I remember going to visit Vanessa at teachers college and Dave had gone to Nova Scotia to visit his friend. I got super paranoid believing that he had left and was going to stay there and break up with me. I kept sending him these paranoid texts without really telling him I was paranoid and hoping he would give me some sign of his desire to still come back to me. He did come back (obviously) and he even brought me a present (aww)(7. He is patient). I found out later that he had asked my father for permission to date me that weekend when he had come back and I was still away (8. He is traditional in a very good way). Thus the official dating began.

I continued to be my real self which I think scared Dave a little. I remember spending a meal with Vanessa's family and after eating so much, undoing my pants and telling everyone about it. I mean, wouldn't you? Boy am I socially stunted! But Dave just took that to be me. Unfortunately it is! And he still loves me for me.
Can you see the white spots on Daves chest? He spelled my name with sunscreen so it says "Kate" on his chest. Awww! hahaha!

Dave is always ready to listen to me, he desires to please me and make me smile. He loves that we have two boys and loves on them like the greatest dad in the world. He is patient with me when I spend too much money and even encourages me that it will get easier. He is always ready to give me more money if I need it with a cute little look that says "but try and be careful next time!" (Budgeting is a very new thing to me and it has been less than three years. The concept has really been good for me and often I do a great job with the finances but sometimes I get a little too... spendy). He respects and loves my job as a home maker and is so oblivious when the house is a mess. He truly only want to come home to a happy wife. If the house is clean, its just a bonus. He desires the best for me and our family and works hard as the breadwinner to "bring home the bacon". He never likes to sit still for long. He loves working with his hands (he makes beautiful furniture) and he adores playing with Matty. (Please note, I love mothering but I do not love playing).

At times I can get annoyed, wondering why I have to take out the garbage, bring in all the heavy bags, build my own IKEA furniture, do all the dishes, constantly pick up things from the floor... but then I remember, I have always been proud of doing things on my own. I am capable of bringing out the garbage so I do it, I am strong enough to bring in the grocery bags so I do it, I am home all day so I can pick up things off the floor, I want things done now so I do them.

I have the greatest husband on the planet. Every day we learn how to better communicate and serve one another. We learn what we enjoy and what we find hard and dreary. We throw ideas at each other and talk out their coming about. He talks me down from unrealistic desires (new appliances in our one bedroom apartment- there is no where to put the old ones until we move so it really wouldn't work) and I talk him into necessary ones (a laundry hanging device or a room for Matty to sleep in).

I am so thankful that God blessed me with a man who fits me well. It has taken us time to learn how to communicate the way we will understand each other (and we will continue to learn this forever I am sure) but we haven't had any real fights yet which means we are doing ok so far. I know those will come and there will be times when we will not see eye to on on things but they will bne used to grow us even more and I look forward to what God has in store for us.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bridget Jones's Diary

I find it very interesting that this book was on the list of the books I am reading. However, I wont complain because it was a very easy book to pick up and put down. Moms need that kind of book since you rarely find time to read in a day.

It really is a funny kind of book if you like that kind of thing ( I really do). And using a journal format is always nice because it is so easy to read. If you feel like a fluffy read and something so easy then this might be one of those books.

I must admit, I was so set on finishing a book (since Middlemarch doesnt seem to even end) that I might not have enjoyed it as much as I could have. Also, I was usually somewhat distracted while reading.