The beginning of a journey?

Wow. That was awesome.

I am now completely certified as a Water Safety Instructor with the Canadian Red Cross! I'm done. I'm employable! I took the course in the town I lived in for 8 years between ages 5 and 12, and stayed with great friends. It was really good. There were a few tough moments, and I have struggled with a nasty head cold the last few days, but here I am, and the end of the road, so-to-speak. Or maybe just...a cross-road, a new twist in the plan.

Courses I've completed:

- Bronze Medallion (at age 13)
- Bronze Cross (at age 14)
- Assistant Water Safety Instructor (at age 15)
- Standard First Aid with CPR-C and AED (in June 08)
- National Lifesaving service Award (Sep/Oct 08)
- Water Safety Instructor (Today!)

Can you believe it? The last four days I've taught four swim classes on my own, from 3-year-olds to 13-year-olds, and it's been fantastic. Classes with six little girls with button noses and classes with crazy 12-year-olds who don't listen. But it's been fun! I've enjoyed every moment, every challenge, every new idea. Each time I stood before those little tiny feet, teaching them to kick the way they should, or had children do dolphin dives through hula hoops, I marveled at the incredible circle of life and creativity. It was in that same pool that I learned do front crawl and dive, and yet, there I was, teaching other kids the same things, passing it forward one more time, giving kids moments they will remember for the rest of their lives. Teaching kids to swim...and touching hearts. How can that be?

And there stood Jeanie and Cat, guarding the pool just like they did when I swam there as a little kid. I never thought I'd be their equal. I have treasured moments from their lessons for years, and I told them, and they lit up. So it is another cross-road, another twist in the plan. In a couple days I'll drop off my resume at the local pool. I'm done. I'm here. And who knows where it will take me! It may just be a summer job for a year. Maybe I'll take it to new heights and become a Master Instructor Trainer for Red Cross one day, for all I know! It is so exciting!

The smallest things can change a life, or many lives. Jeanie gave me two private lessons when I was small, so I could get my front crawl. If she hadn't, I might never have learned front crawl. I might have given up. I might not be writing this post today. Yet here I am, and I had 23 students in the last four days. Who knows what that did for them. Who knows what small words kept them going that day. Maybe that smile was all they needed.

Remember that.

There was one little girl in one of my classes, and she is a dreamer. She has beautiful eyes, and they are always everywhere, watching, learning, and she listens; to everything. But when Maddison smiles, she lights the room up. Her little tiny 4-year-old face kept me going when I felt like yuck later in the day. It's that one tiny thing that someone does--that you do, that warms the heart, that changes a life, that brings reunion to a rift.

So today I come to the end of a road, a destination, a twist; but it is only the beginning of a journey. Let's see where it takes me!

All my hugs in ten-thousand sparkling bubbles!
Sheila Christine

PS. Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck in 2009!

From Low GI Vegetarian Cookbook

Thai Chickpea Pizza

From Eat, Drink and Be Vegan

Spicy Soy Scrambler

From Vegan Planet.

Sweet & Spicy Udon Bowl

From 1000 Classic Recipes from Around the World.
We had such a wonderful Christmas! We all received lovely gifts, though most people would likely consider them much too practical to be presents. I received a Kitchenaid roasting pan that I've been eyeing most of the year. I gave Colin an Amish-made ash yoke:

You can tell by the smile he loves it. As a man who carries 2 five gallon pails of corn across the yard 2-3 times a day, it was the perfect gift.

Ella's special present wasn't a practical one, but hey, she's only little once. She's been asking for a Bitty Baby for a long time:

It was a blessed day spent at Colin's folks. My sister and her husband arrive today for our family Christmas.

Merry Christmas!!!

Dear friends,

Merry Christmas! So, how did we get here again? Another year full of experiences, learning, growing, changing, loving, and learning to love. Another year to serve an amazing God. Here is our Christmas so far in pictures. :)

Christmas Eve dinner, my Mum and Dad

Christmas Eve dinner, my Dad and I

Me holding Bitsy after dinner

Our tree

A candle on our tree when the candles are lit

Bitsy loves Christmas too, but she is tired.

Hugs to you all, and may you have a very Blessed Christmas today.

Garlicky Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Emphasis on the garlicky.
This is one of the husband's creations.
Merry Xmas to you and yours ♥


Hey there!

I was gone for the weekend, staying with friends for the first half of my WSI (Water Safety Instructor course), and I'm going back on Saturday, but I'm home for Christmas!

Just thought I'd let you know I'm safe and sound. I have plenty of lesson planning to do for the swim lessons I'm teaching next week, plus other homework and a bathroom that needs cleaning, so I'm not going to write a fancy post right now.

Many, many, many hugs to you all, and a VERY Merry Christmas!!!

Lots of love,

Sloppy Joes

From Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.

Potato/Apple dish from Vegetarian Family Cookbook.

From Eat, Drink and Be Vegan (yes, I've pretty much made the entire cookbook!)


From Eat, Drink and Be Vegan

Random picture from the ferry

Hey there all of you,

Just thought I'd let you know that I'm going to be away from this afternoon through Tuesday morning. I'll also be gone most of next week, but I'm around for Christmas. :) Finally got a WSI course, but I have to go to another town.

Anyway, in the way of fun, I've been really enjoying my feedwidget thing in my sidebar, seeing where all of you come from!

I've had a number of hits from Alabama, (Anna?) Missouri, (Maya, but there are other MO hits!) Minnesota, (Maria), Nebraska, (Erica?) Montreal, (Idzie!), and toher places that I can't figure out. I mean, who is from Ottawa or Tenesee? And I've seen a few hits from different places on the island that I can't guess. I know Jen and Marianne's hit, but I've seen at LEAST 2 other cities/towns on the island that aren't me! Oh, and the exotic ones; I've seen Israel, and Greece, Romania, (Teo?) England, Australia, (Lisa?) Switzerland, (Nadine? But there are other Swiss hits!) Iceland, (I think I know who you are!) Norway, (can't be Maria!) Germany, (Jess? Is that you?), Mexico, and lots of other crazy places!

I totally understand you wanting to stay anonymous and not give out your exact location, but I think it would be really fun if you could post at least under the anonymous setting and say "Hi, I'm not saying who I am, but I exist, and I am from _________!" That would be really cool. So I am imploring everyone who reads this to do at least that, and if you're brave, I'd love to know who you are! It's very exciting!

And now, just in case I get snowed in and can't talk until after Christmas...

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! And a happy new year. :-D

Hugs to you all,

The pattern and the snow


Jen asked to see the pattern close up. I hope she meant the crochet pattern, because the knit is not fit to be seen up close! (yet) :) Here are a few pitures. Like I said, this is an adaptation of the scarf Mariah made for me a couple Christmases ago. What I would like to know, Maya, is how you made it un-curly. Did you crochet the opposite direction for the last row? I can't get it un-curl-i-fied! :-D

Sorry for the across-the-leg shot. :)

For some reason, this will not rotate. Weird but true.

Also, I know you are tired about hearing (wow, you know you're tired when you try to spell 'hearing' as 'hereing'. Ha!) about our snow, but I'm so enamoured, and it is so bizarre that I just have to continue. The roads still really suck, but I had to go down to the dock this morning to pick up some duets and the RCM History 3 syllabus from Susan, and wow, yeah, crazy. Of course, the vehicles down there are all still covered in snow and rather stuck, so I stayed to help her dig the truck out. And she had no shovel. *grin* And I hadn't planned for digging so I was only wearing my thin gloves, and my fingers about froze right off! In any case, we borrowed someone's tiny shovel, and I went at clearing the way behind the truck while Susan and my Dad tried to clear around the truck and get the ice and snow off the top and windows. Insane! I don't think I've ever tried prying a car door open with a shovel before, either. Haaaa!!! Oh my goodness...I'm laughing now, it just amuses me. :-D

The ocean and the snow were beautiful together, but of course, I never thought of bringing my camera. (though I had plenty of time, the ferry was late) Instead, here are a couple pics taken yesterday around the house. :)

Isn't that overhang of snow on the fence amazingly amazing? :D

The credit for this shot actually goes to my Mum. :) Thank you!

As always, hugs from me. :)

From Jaime's Kitchen

Another video!!!

Hey out there!

Made another video...not that the talking part is exciting, and please, if you get through the already-severely-shortened weather forecast at the beginning, it will be more fun. I just wanted to mess around with the editing, and it turned out not bad! Anyone want to guess what the music in the black and white section is from?

Off to knit some more...


From Fat Free Vegan.

From Dreena Burton's Eat, Drink and Be Vegan

It's the most wonderful time of the year ...

LP Nativity I love the holiday season. I just wish it was celebrated properly. There is such a frantic lead up to Christmas Day and then nothing. I actually know people who take all their decorations down on Boxing Day! Really, the Advent season should be like Lent; a time of fasting and prayer leading up to one of the holiest days in the Christian year. I'm not saying I observe Advent as I "should", but we certainly take time to light our Advent candles and truely reflect on the season. I try to make sure the Christmas season only starts on Christmas day. Our tree stays up until Epiphany (Jan 6), except the year it shed way too many needles to keep that long. People forget that the 12 Days of Christmas starts December 25.

I'm well prepared for Christmas this year. Major presents were purchased months ago, as I could afford them. Stocking stuff purchased these last few weeks. I have nearly all my cookies made and ready to be boxed and delivered. The only thing hanging over my head is the present for my sister and her hubby. It's taking much longer than anticipated. She's very forgiving if she has to wait for actual gift delivery. I have another smaller gift for each so there will be something to open on the big day. Ella will be such fun this year, she really understands what's going on this year, I just have to get her to wait till Christmas day to unwrap the presents already under the tree.
Ella got an extra treat from Daddy. He hooked her sled up to the lawn mower. Don't worry, I made sure she wasn't getting gas fumes. She had so much fun. She kept shouting "faster Daddy!" Even after the melt/rain the other day, we've got about a foot of snow. The piles along the roads look more like February than December. If this keeps up all winter I don't know where the county will put all the snow :)

Farmer ingenuity
It's hard to believe that only 2 questions can help a quiz figure out a person's characteristics, but here it is:

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are an Ingrid!


You are an Ingrid -- "I am unique"

Ingrids have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.

  • * Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.

  • * Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.

  • * Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.

  • * Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!

What I Like About Being an Ingrid

  • * my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level

  • * my ability to establish warm connections with people

  • * admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life

  • * my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor

  • * being unique and being seen as unique by others

  • * having aesthetic sensibilities

  • * being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me

What's Hard About Being an Ingrid

  • * experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair

  • * feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don't deserve to be loved

  • * feeling guilty when I disappoint people

  • * feeling hurt or attacked when someone misundertands me

  • * expecting too much from myself and life

  • * fearing being abandoned

  • * obsessing over resentments

  • * longing for what I don't have

Ingrids as Children Often

  • * have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original games

  • * are very sensitive

  • * feel that they don't fit in

  • * believe they are missing something that other people have

  • * attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.

  • * become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood

  • * feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents' divorce)

Ingrids as Parents

  • * help their children become who they really are

  • * support their children's creativity and originality

  • * are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings

  • * are sometimes overly critical or overly protective

  • * are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy

Made this guy a year ago...cute, hey?

Hi there!

If I'm posting too much, please slap me now. :)

So part of the video that I posted yesterday was chopped out. I talked about my yarn-ish career, but it turned out that I sounded like a complete GEEK! Which is fine, but the video was too long anyway, so I chopped it. I think I'll make another video about it eventually.

Anyway...a few days ago I requested a invite. Today I got it. Today I joined! Today is exciting! Ravelry is AWESOME!!! Very cool. Not only have I come across people locally who knit and crochet, (well, sort of local) I have also discovered about ten billion patterns and yarn ideas and shops and all sorts of cozy things. Very exciting.

So I am imploring you to pull out your knitting and crocheting, request a Ravelry invite, join, find me and friend me, move to Vancouver Island, and start another fibre group with me! Or if you're here...lets get together and knit, shall we? *grin*

Speaking of local, I keep seeing someone from Victoria visiting my blog. Who are you? I'm always excited to see local people. If you want to remain anonymous, that's fine, I'm just generally welcoming and happy. :)

Off to get going on some knitting and crochet. Have to revamp a pattern I tried and don't like. :-D


From Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.

From Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.

Vlog about exams and snow and happiness. :)

Here you go! Please watch and comment...(here or on Youtube)

I feel a little better after taking this quiz, but definitely need to make some changes. I wish we had more food on hand and were less dependant on the grocery store. I need a root cellar or cold room. We heat with a corn/grain stove so the basement is actually the warmest room in the house in the winter. What I may do is make a movable storage space; use the basement in the summer and my sewing room (very limited heat) in the winter. We have an old cistern in the basement that would be perfect (soooo cold) but the cement wall is basically impenetrable (Colin and Dad have tried before). I also wish all our money wasn't at the bank and that we had a better financial advisor -then we could have gotten into GIC's or CSB's and been safer and not affected by the ups and downs of the market.

You Are 72% Likely to Survive Another Great Depression

Even though you may not be expecting the worst, you're the type of person who prepares for the worst.

You live a relatively modest life. You don't overspend, and you aren't very materialistic.

You are also quite self sufficient and independent. You have many useful skills.

You can take care of yourself and those you love... which is crucial to surviving another Great Depression.

From Fat Free Vegan.

From Vegan with a Vengeance.

Christmas Giving

Hi all, sorry for two posts in one evening, but I just found this on TeamBettendorf, and I have to post it. SO good. Makes me feel really guilty that I didn't make more gifts and that I spent the same I did last year. Eek! I think I need to figure out what I'm really giving this year.


Hello again!

The snow is so deliciously pretty. Here are some pictures of it in the sunlight today. It was an amazing day, weather-wise! The roads are all very icy though, and I can actually step onto the street, run, and slide like on a skating rink. It's crazy!

Last night I stepped outside after my parents were in bed, as I do on many nights, and I was completely awestruck. It was frigid, but the untouched snow absolutely glistened in the moonlight. It was like a reflection of the stars above. All those tiny, twinkling sparkles, spread across in millions on the ground, lit up by a reflection of the sun. Amazing, isn't it? I just stumbled around in the snow shaking my head, gazing at the sky, and being mesmerized by the snow. It was incredible. It is moments like that when I just have to sing my worship to my Creator. I didn't care who woke up! (It was midnight)

I felt over-tired today. Mostly from exam preparation and extreme sadness about the choir concert. And partly because I'm a bit stupid sometimes and stay up way too late. :P My eyes must be incredibly fatigued, because they hurt like mad and everything looked like it had water in front of it. Very weird.

Oh! I also got some gorgeous yarn today! I've been crocheting for a couple years now (Thanks Maya!), but I still sucked at knitting, so upon receiving a whole truckload of old knitting needles and patterns from my Granny, I decided I'd better learn properly. So, I have set about the task of properly teaching myself to knit. I can knit and purl now, and at least I'm not dropping too many stitches. :) I'm going to attempt to knit a scarf. I'm also starting to crochet a gorgeous baby blanket for my hope chest. (In other words, I'm making a baby blanket for future babies.) I figure it will be nice to have something like that layed aside. "See baby? I made this when I was 16!" Pretty cool.

And on with the pictures that you are all (hopefully) dying to see...


Small town...

You see the ocean? And my island?

Icy roads...

I can't even beging to tell you how glad I am that I finished my Christmas shopping months ago. The stores are getting so bad that I don't even want to do groceries. We're going tomorrow to do all the grocery shopping for the rest of the month. I'm not going to darken the door of any more stores until the new year. I just can't take the crowds anymore. It's even become dangerous to take Ella. She's nearly 39 inches tall, but NO ONE watches where they are going and are always bumping into her. At the Disney store (window shopping) one lady nearly put Ella's eye out and just kept right on walking!!! I give up.

From Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.

From Fat Free Vegan.

Veggie Tempeh Muffaletta

From Eat, Drink and Be Vegan by Dreena Burton.

From Fat Free Vegan.

So, it's snowing. And it's been snowing non-stop since yesterday afternoon. It isn't snowing really hard at the moment, but steady snow piles up. BIG time! We now have probably at least 2 feet of snow, which is absolutely insane.

We live on Vancouver Island!!! It is definitely not supposed to dump this much white. Nor is it usually such dry snow. Crazy! However, I'm a little mad at it. Don't get me wrong, I love snow muchly, but choir concert was supposed to be today. It's canceled. And the rescheduled day is during my WSI course. I've been sobbing on and off all morning, I just can't believe that I'm not going to be at my last concert with this choir. My last. Theirs, now.


But in any case, my Mum and I went out to shovel, and thoroughly wore ourselves out. Here are a few more pictures...

It is deep. I couldn't believe it was coming up to the top of my boots there!

All working hard in our charming shoveling the snow outfits. :D

So pretty!

Everything is covered...

This is why I don't usually wear turtle-necks. They squish my skin and I look weird!


Hugs, everybody!!!
Little Miss Sheila