Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lennox's Birthday

Lennox’s birthday was fun. Because I had nothing better to do (and because I felt like celebrating something (anything!)) I decided to make Lennox feel like the special puppy that he is. No, I didn’t take him to the doggy spa. And no, I didn’t take him for an exorbitantly long walk so he could run. I baked him some birthday treats! And because it was his birthday, I let him help! Well, he didn’t really help, but hey, sometimes it’s more fun when you have company while baking rather than just doing it alone, right? So I made them on the floor so he could “help” (stools at the counter are out of the question for him). He was SO interested in what was going on! I told him to “leave it” and he sat SO nicely the entire time! Well, there was some sniffing at the bowl a couple times, but he didn’t eat any! He stayed right there with me until they were ready to be rolled out and cut. (I debated rolling them out on the floor but thought better of squishing doggy treat dough into the laminate flooring.) But at the end I let him lick out the bowl. And for all you germ-o-phobes out there… don’t worry. We wash our dishes in HOT, SOAPY water! Haha That reminds me of a joke my dad used to tell...

A young couple was over visiting a family who lived on a farm. The family had a couple of dogs and when they were done eating, each member of the family took their plate off the table and put it at their feet for the dogs to lick. The guests were from the city and were completely disgusted when they saw this. “Oh, don’t worry,” the farmer said. “We always make sure the dishes are cleaned with soap and water. Come, Soap! Here, Water!”

Many a laugh over that one when I was younger!

So I made half a batch and he’s still working on them. It’s nice because it actually takes him more than a couple bites to finish these! They’re so dense that he has to chew a while to get them all down! So yeah, that was Lennox’s birthday. And whenever I would exclaim in an excited voice that it was his birthday, he would wag his tail so hard and get super excited. Funny guy. I realize that it was just my voice that got him excited and not the fact that it was his birthday. But maybe if we make a tradition of baking dog treats on the floor with him every year, he’ll come to learn that “birthday” means something special. Hmm…

Monday, March 30, 2009

You got me...I'm posting...

Ok, I just couldn’t help but post. Even though I don’t have 10 comments yet…I woke up to the most beautiful morning today, and I just had to share! The time was 7:17am. The house was quiet. Our bedroom was flooded with sunlight. When I wake up feeling completely rested and sunlight is making the world look alive, I can’t help but smile. And sing. My heart just SINGS when I see the sun in the morning! And sometimes I can’t help but belt out a couple verses as I prepare for my day (when only Lennox is around to hear those rough early morning attempts). This morning it was hymns that came to mind. Great is Thy Faithfulness is the only one I can remember now. But my mind usually jumps from song to song as the praises for the beautiful day flow through my heart.

Now, why is it that praises aren’t the first thing that come out on days when it’s cloudy and wintery??? Usually then there’s not much more than sluggish exhaustion (even after 10 uninterrupted hours of sleep)…

Friday, March 27, 2009

Things you can run out of…

- money
- time
- road
- hair (if you’re doing an up-do and there’s not enough hair)
- space
- town (you can literally run out of town)
- energy
- things to write about

Can anyone help me with the last one? I’m asking for thoughts on what to write. What do you want to know? Got any story ideas for me to turn into a tale? Would it be helpful to anyone if I recapped the last 6 months (and our thoughts for the next 6 months) in one post? What would make my blog more interesting? Or is it interesting already? FEEDBACK!!! I need your thoughts!

Hmm…maybe I’ll make a threat that I won’t post again until I have 10 ideas…

.....................Happy Birthday, Lennox!.....................

Our little puppy is 3 today!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Statuses of My Day (Facebook Style)

Niki (B McC)…is not sure that she got out of bed as early as she should have this morning.

Niki…wishes her morning hadn’t started with a phone call from the dentist.

Niki…is glad that she walked to work this morning in the blowing snow…she had been lacking some excitement for California winters lately…

Niki…is looking forward to lunch…and going home early after lunch.

Niki…thinks emails are wonderful things and would love to get some…she promises to write back…

Niki…hopes to finish the fuzzy pants that she’s sewing for her brother tonight.

Niki…loves Orville Redenbacher’s Buttery Popcorn and hopes that she made at least a few mouths water when she wrote that.

Niki…doesn’t want to be “American” and have a “Canadian” dog…

Niki…has a headache and is wondering why it is her third one this week…oh wait, she remembers… :)

Niki…is moving.

Niki…is on Facebook.
(ok, who writes that? Obviously! Tell me something I don’t know!)

Niki…likes Pepsi over Coke, Peanuts over Cracker Jacks, and not so much long walks on the beach…but it’s a nice thought and she’ll gladly sit on the beach with you.

Niki…wishes Marsha could pick out all her clothes for her…or that she was close enough for a closet raid…

Niki…thought spring flooding in MB was normal…weren’t basements here created to be swimming pools?

Niki…wants to make sure everyone knows that her basement is as dry as a desert and is perfectly safe from flooding…buy me…

Niki…is wondering if something got lost in translation…

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Word of the Day:

Presumptuous - unwarrantedly or impertinently bold; forward

I was presumptuous in putting away our winter clothing so soon.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I am Middle Child, Hear Me Roar! (or maybe just meow, if that’s what you want)

Yesterday I caught a snippet (what a wonderful word – “snippet”) of something on TV. On this program, they were talking about birth order and how the timing of your birth (in relation to your siblings) affects you and your relationships. I’ve always been fascinated by learning how people are shaped and why they are the way they are. It’s SO interesting to recognize different types of environments that mould you into who you are.

I am a middle child. I am 13.5 months behind my sister and 23 months before my brother. As a child, I enjoyed and fully took advantage of this position. My sister and I would gang up on my brother. Then a couple years later, my brother and I would gang up on my sister. I was never really the one being picked on because I always knew how to be on a side…there’s that telltale middle-child trait – being able to make everyone think that I’m just like them.

As I got a bit older, into junior high, my sister’s grades were better than mine. Mine were still in the 90% range, but it was low – mid 90’s instead of mid-high. As a middle child, I never really tried in school because I didn’t want to try my hardest only to feel like I was being compared to my sister and be found that I fell short (no pun intended). I shrugged off school-work and did what I could without trying too hard. (I’m sure this wasn’t the only reason I didn’t really try…I did have better things to do, too!) And just so you all know, I still did quite well in school…just none of that “above-and-beyond” stuff. J

I remember one joke that was made sometimes at home when I was about 13. I found it (and still find it) pretty funny. At that time, both my sister and brother had braces and glasses. I had neither. I remember my dad saying, “Poor middle child, so deprived… doesn’t get braces or glasses.” I just laughed and was so glad that I didn’t have to have either. I didn’t feel left out at all, instead I felt privileged. I felt like there was something that set me, as the middle child, apart from the rest.

I have sometimes wondered if parents are ever found to relate to the child in their family who matches their own birth-order? For instance, a first-born parent relating more to their first-born child. A last-born parent relating more to their baby. I was lucky enough to grow up with two middle-child parents. I’m not sure if that made any difference, but whenever there was any joke of me being the “forgotten” middle child, my parent always made sure that I didn’t feel like anyone else was favoured over me. They were always very careful about making sure that we three kids never felt like any of us was more important to them than another. Growing up, I never felt like being in the middle was a disadvantage at all. I always loved my place in the family.

Getting up into senior high, I found myself in quite the amazing group of friends. Teachers had always said that I was a leader among my peers, but I didn’t see it and found myself following a lot of the time so as not to be shunned. Again, I was trying to make everyone think that I was just like them in a desperate attempt to make everyone like me. If someone didn’t like me, I felt terrible…it was like I had personally let them down.

As I moved on to Bible college, I found myself in a position I had never been in before. I was the only one from my town to ever have gone to this particular school. I was no longer a middle…I was a first! I felt special and like I had something to prove. It was an interesting feeling. I liked it!

Soon after entering Bible college, I started dating a first-born and then got engaged. A first-born and a middle. Not a bad combination at all. The first-born likes to win. The first-born likes to convince. The first-born likes to do well and to make decisions. The middle likes to go along with the flow. The middle likes to blend in. The middle likes to agree and make sure everyone is happy and doing well… (though in marriage a lot of agreeing meekness goes out the window and we discuss certain issues with energy – like does God know everything that is going to happen to me in my life? Nathan hears my thoughts!) In a first-and-middle relationship, there is a danger of the first-born dominating the middle, but I am married to a pretty easy-going first-born who will be successful and do well, but isn’t controlling at all. And I am a middle who, while I like to make others happy and go along with what they want, I won’t let someone walk all over me.

So as a middle-child who’s now an adult, I find myself agreeing with what others say alot. I find myself not reaching for the stars in case I come in second. I go out of my way to not upset people and to avoid confrontation…though I am getting better at standing up for myself if someone hurts me or takes advantage of me. Usually, I find that I genuinely have no preference when someone asks which restaurant I want to eat at, or which movie I want to watch, because I’d just as soon eat or watch what they’d choose. But I love my comfy place in my family. I don’t ever get cold or lonely ‘cause I’m cozy right in the middle. I am both a little sister and a big sister. I get taken care of and I care. I wouldn’t choose any other place! (and not just because I might offend someone if I did)

Friday, March 20, 2009

In honour of my 5th post…

Five Random Thoughts…(still from Second Street)

(Ok, so the picture is a little lame...I still thought it was funny. Get it? High FIVE...my FIFTH post???)

In case you can't read it, it says, "I've been waiting 3 hours for a high five...!

  • I have been coughing on and off all morning and occasionally feeling like I’m drowning…like in the shower last night. Weird…
  • I am going to be scrap-booking this weekend. (If you want to come for tonight, it’s not too late to just show up (sorry, you can’t come for Saturday though…there won’t be enough food! Call me for details!) I found the pictures that I printed last summer (I KNEW I wasn’t completely caught up!) so I’ll add those to my album. I’m also going to work on scrap-booking Nate’s Bethany stuff. That’ll be a fun one. Nothing like scrap-booking half-dressed college guys. JUST KIDDING!!! There’s only one picture like that…
  • Next Wednesday, I’ll be sharing a bit of my testimony at a ladies encouragement evening at our church. I’m a bit nervous, but I really don’t mind speaking in front of people, so it should be fine. I’ve got what I’m going to say all ready, so at least that’s not stressing me out. If anyone wants to come, please do! It’s going to be a great evening of women sharing their stories! Again, call/email me for details if you’re interested…
  • I LOVE my job. I work great hours. I work with great people. The location is great (2 minute drive…10 minute walk…5 minute bike ride). The work is good…getting better and better as I understand what I’m doing (still learning after two years here!). It’s not too formal…or formal at all (a nice switch from my previous workplace). When we have meals at work (like when someone quits or when we’ve had a good month or meetings or during inventory) it’s usually pizza and fried chicken. Yum! I’d take pizza and fried chicken any day over salads and soups. Though I must write a disclaimer: if you offer to go out for lunch with me and we go out for soup, I’ll gladly go…company trumps food preferences.
  • I like odd numbers better than even numbers. Always have. Always will. Which do you like better? (don’t tell me you’ve never thought about it!)


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Such is life...

Sometimes, actually quite often these days, people ask me if I’m excited to move….

What am I supposed to say to that?! If I say, “Yes, I am,” I run the risk of giving them the impression that I just can’t wait to get away from this town! And that is SO not true! I have come to love Altona and our life here, and our friends here, and our house here, and our dog here, and my job here, and…you get the picture.

But if I say, “No, I’m going to miss Altona too much,” that wouldn’t be quite honest either. I am very excited for the next thing, and I think it will be an extremely exciting step to take. I am very much looking forward to having nothing to tie us down (mortgage) and being able to have very few responsibilities (compared to being a pastor’s wife). I sometimes think of it as being able to act my age again…

So, for the sake of time and not trapping the people who ask in a 10 minute explanation of how I’m actually feeling about moving, I usually say something like, “Yes, I am excited to move, but I will miss Altona…it has become home.” Done. Easy. Simple. Honest.


Spring. I love spring. Though it is not yet, technically, the season I dream of all winter long (March 20 can’t come soon enough!), it sure is looking and feeling like it! A week ago today, it was -20(ish) with a -36 wind-chill. We had just gotten fresh snow (with lots of wind – blizzard conditions) and I was thinking winter would never end. And by the end of the week, it was +3! This time of year is so weird! (I’ll take the unpredictability of spring gladly if it means that one day it’s winter and the next day it’s melting!!!) So there’s flooding everywhere…except our basement (sales pitch…). Puddles are taking over the streets and the snow is disappearing at an astonishing rate. Have I mentioned that I LOVE this time of year?! It’s like the whole world (my whole world) goes back to being the way it is supposed to be in the first place. Fresh and green and alive!


Nathan and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and took our pup for a walk through town on Saturday. (Actually, the walk through town was due to Lennox rolling in a very skunk-y patch of grass the day before when he was off leash out of town – as natural as that smell is, we’d rather not have it in our house) Nathan asked if I was going to bring the camera…and I’m so glad he did! I got some pretty decent pictures…they’ll be fun to look at when we’re in Cali and missing our pooch.

Yup, that’s me jumping a puddle…what’s the fun of going around? And yes, I did make it across…

Friday, March 13, 2009

Another project...and PICTURES!!!

Here is my latest project, almost complete. When I got married, my husband had many shirts that were very…um, how shall I put this...very teenage bachelor, perhaps? At first, he just wanted to impress me, so he would buy new shirts that he knew that I would like. But as we were married longer (say, 3 months) he gradually left the nice shirts in the closet, and reverted back to his “comfy” old t-shirts. So, after seeing the 3th shirt with a hole in a week, I suggested that maybe these beloved shirts had seen their day. Hubby just couldn’t part with the memories attached to all these wonderful shirts, though. What to do, what to do? In a moment of genius, I suggested that maybe I could cut the memories out of these special shirts and make a t-shirt blanket with the pieces. It would be a rec room blanket full of memories for him. He thought that would be better than some other options, so after 3 ½ years of gradually adding shirts to the “t-shirt blanket” box, I finally made the time to start the project. (Now that I’m starting to think about packing and moving, I figured a blanket would be A LOT easier to move than a big box of old t-shirts.) So here is the almost finished project.

Look closely…do you recognize any of the shirts???

This is Nathan’s favourite square…it was his Dad’s youth sweatshirt from a few years ago…quite a few years ago. (Hope you don’t mind I cut up your shirt, Dad/Rick…)

And now for some other random pictures…

How can you say, “See you in 2 years,” to a face like that???

And this is Nathan’s latest purchase…U2’s latest release. He’s pretty excited about living near LA, where he’s sure they’ll be touring. He’s already let me know that he’ll need about $400 so that he can go see them in Cali. (I just shake my head and smile…we shall see if he is lucky enough to persuade me…)

Thursday, March 12, 2009


When I was in kindergarten, a very popular question was, “What is your favourite color?” (I guess we were learning our colors so we would naturally choose a favourite one) As I recall, teachers would ask this, parents might ask…but usually it was a very important question when finding a new friend. “What is your name and what is your favourite color? Blue? Ok, we can be friends.”

A very popular favourite color was the color red. Therefore, I hated red. It was too popular for me…kinda snobby. I’d sooner choose less popular colors to be my favourite, like orange. I couldn’t give red the satisfaction of being everyone’s favourite.

Red has grown on me.

It is a purposeful color…stop signs…ambulance lights…brake lights…

It is a yummy color…strawberries…apples…cherries…lollipops…Kool-Aid…you see juicy and red and your mouth starts to water!

It is a memory-filled color…who doesn’t remember coloring with a red crayon…wearing a red shirt or red pair of pants…or red shoes…using the red teeter-totter in the playground…

It is a random color. Describe anything with the color red, and it becomes a random, simple object of beauty. The red kite. The red wagon. The red _______. (you get the picture)

As I thought about what the name should be for my new blog, I had many thoughts and went through countless options...Experiment of Experience was the first serious one I considered. Then I thought of doing a blog focused around the blessing in my life...which was a good idea, but not really what I’m going for. And then I was reading my Bible one day and I read about the Red Kite. (it’s a bird that the Israelites were either supposed to or not supposed to eat, I can’t remember which) Anyway, it hit me that that would be a great name for my new blog! The Red Kite! So I went to create it and low and behold, someone else had snatched that one up! Arg! I finally find a name that I like and it’s gone! So I tried different things, like The Red Wagon. Little Red Wagon. The Little Red Wagon. Nope. Nothing. Finally, I shouted in frustration, “What else is red?!?” (well, I didn’t really shout, but I was getting pretty annoyed that all the good names were taken) And my new blog name was born.

What Else is Red?

What does it mean, you ask? Well, I was going with the red theme, because of what I said before. “It is a random color. Describe anything with the color red, and it becomes a random, simple object of beauty.” My blog is pretty random. Sometimes it is completely shallow and fun. Other times it is deep. It’s about my life. It’s about my thoughts. It’s about me. Simple, beautiful, random.

So I invite you, each and every one of you, to join me as I move from Second Street and explore all things simple and beautiful and random. Continue to get to know me as I grow (not literally) and explore and experience new things.

What Else is Red?

Sidenote: I’ve gotten over my prejudice against red and quite enjoy the color now, though if the choice is between a red sucker and an orange one, I still choose orange every time.