Monthly Archives: December 2011

Happy New Year!

In this coming year, remember how your words and actions impact those around you.  Whenever you can, spare a gentle thought or kindness.  Smile to strangers.  Hold the door for a friend.  Give of yourself in small ways.  Those little gestures can ripple out in ways you’d never expect.

Wishing you all a year full of love, joy, and happiness!

Happy New Year!!!

Harness that energy – kid powered homes!

Can anyone explain to me exactly what it is in the wiring of children that gets them more wound up the more exhausted they are?  Or at least explain why it is that a particular lithe red head of about, oh…. 42 pounds, gets totally fired up when she’s about to fall on her face?  ACK!

Okay.  Seriously?  What the heck!!!  How is it that these half pints have the energy they do NORMALLY?  And then how on earth do they triple that, doubled with a lack of ability to focus or listen to anything or anyone, when they are so exhausted that they should have the mobility of a sea cucumber?

image copyright of the Hatfield Marine Science Center

Can anyone explain this phenomenon to me?  Has anyone studied this ability?  Is there any way to harness this energy to, say… power an off-grid house?  If not?  Can I get in on it?  Donate an exhausted child to science?  It would be kinda like “bring your daughter to work day”, right?  Except it would be “bring some random kid to the science lab day”.  People would go for that, wouldn’t they?  It’s just one day….  and it would give us parents a break.  😉  I’m sure most of us would be willing to sign a waver or something saying that it’s all good.

Yep.  You have NO idea how relieved I am that she’s asleep (like 30 seconds after her head hit the pillow).

Good grief.

Nothin’ but Love!

Yesterday I found my thoughts turning to the new year.  2012 hits in a matter of days – and yes, like many folk, I can’t say or think “twenty twelve” without thinking of all the doomsday prophecies.  It’s become so ingrained into our thought processes that it’s there, in the darker parts of our brains…  dwelling in a perverse little cave crammed away with the conspiracy theories and abduction stories from the history channel.  So, for the time being, I’m going to stuff that whole thing back into it’s dank little dwelling place and completely ignore it.

Twenty eleven was all about personal joy for me.  It was a roller coaster of a year – with three quarters of it being nothing but up, up, up followed by a real quick down.  Throw your hands in the air and scream!!!!  Then it started making it’s way up again.

I actually found it really hard to settle on a word or theme for this past year.  Right down to the last minute I was in a state of utter confuddlement (yep, another of those made up words of mine).  But I won’t bore you with that story.  It’s on my blog already, back from when it was fresh and new.  No point in rehashing.


After last years struggles for a word, the fact that a word came to me instantly was to my complete and utter amazement and shock.  It was very literally instantaneous.  The moment I thought to myself “guess it’s time to come up with a new word” I had my new word:  Love.  It came so easily that I actually began second guessing myself.  But honestly?  It’s a perfect fit.

2011 was about joy.  2012 will be about love.

Loving one self.  Loving others.  Allowing one self to love.  Loving without reservation.  Loving without second guessing.  Loving without embarrassment.  Yep.  I’m giving myself permission to feel things completely and fully, without holding back.  …so watch out!  😉  This one could get a little messy.

I can’t imagine giving up my focus on joy.  It’s changed my life in such a hugely positive way.  Focusing on love will merely be an extension of that.  I think it’s gonna be great!

So?  What’s your word for 2012?  Don’t do a word?  What’s your theme?  Or if you’re a little old fashioned, what’s your resolution? I don’t like resolutions, they’re just ideas that lack action…  but if they work for you, more power to ya!

the felt heart from my soon-to-be-released scrapbook kit "Sew Storm"

Goodbye Christmas!

Well…  looks like the holiday season has come and gone.

First we bid a goodbye to Yule.  Then it was so long Christmas Eve.  Followed by a fare thee well to Christmas.  A “don’t care where ya go, but you can’t stay here” to Boxing Day.  Then today it was our family feast of leftovers…  See ya next year!

It was a gooder, full of fond memories (and some crummy breaks too – gotta love a holiday car accident).  The holiday season of 2011 will be generally looked back upon with joy.  And here’s a little scrapbooking layout sharing a wee bit of our Christmas morning:

digital scrapbook layout featuring most of the Yandt clan on Christmas morning.


Pictures, beginning at the top left, are of:  Riki, Jewles and the kid,  Ron, Wilson and kid kid, my Dad and Lily-Ann, Lily and Marie, my Mom and her grandgal, and finally Steven and Lil’.  Not pictured but also present (get it? present?) were myself and Damon.  Not present, but loved none the less, my brothers Aaron and Earl.


Penguin 1st Christmas kit by Peekaboo Designs, available at Polka Dot Plum here:

Our Family Portrait

As a photographer I’m usually behind the lens, so when it came time for me to decide on a Yule gift for my husband I thought that I have a family portrait done…  but a portrait of the non-photographic kind.  And right about this time, a fellow artist had shared that he was having some financial woes and could really use a few commissions.  His style was a perfect fit…  very heavy on line, graphic in nature with a grungy flare.  Ideal for an unusual and memorable family portrait.  So I sent a message off his way.

I have to admit, I’ve been dying to share the results of all our back and forth.  I think it’s pretty fabulous, but I had to wait until after Yule – as I couldn’t very well blab about my husband’s gift before he’d received it.  But now that the Solstice has come and gone?  I have to share!

Our Family Portrait - drawn by "gravitiational tim"

So, my thanks to Liam (aka gravitational tim) for all his work, and for his patience with my nit-picky perfectionist nature.  I’d say it was well worth it.  How many families have a portrait as cool as this one?  I’d venture to guess there aren’t many.  😉

I know some pretty amazing people!

There’s a ripple going through society, criticising youth for being lazy kids who want something for nothing…  but you know what?  That same ripple has been going through society since the dawn of time.

Let me set the scene:

Two cave men, long scraggly beards, haggard and worn, old men by thirty, sit by a fire about ten feet in from the entrance to a cave.  One of the men, hunched over with hands closer to an apes than a modern mans, grabs a stick from the dusty rock floor and pokes at the embers of an almost extinct log.  He grunts, a sound full of disgust, and motions towards the lanky cave youth just outside the dank cave who is carving the first wheel.  If we were able to listen in I’m sure his grunts would translate to something along these lines:  “Darn kids today, don’t know the value of a well skinned hide.  All they want to do is play with them damn rocks when they should be out hunting down mammoths.  Lazy no good kids.  Why in my day…”

Like I said.  People have been complaining about youth since the dawn of time.  And why?  Because our values change with each generation.  People grow and change.  And as we get older, we understand less about the things that the next generation values and appreciates.  But that doesn’t mean they are any less ambitious or driven than we were.  In fact, some of the most amazing people I know are the youth of today.

Young people willing to shave their heads to help raise funds and awareness for Cancer research – youth like Lexi and Sara.  Young people willing to walk away from their cushy lives here in Canada and live and learn in Ghana – youth like Corbin.  Young people willing to volunteer their time creating opportunities for other young people to find a sense of family in what started as a group of strangers – youth like Derrick and Sara.  Young people willing to go into schools and talk about bullying and hate, to help spread a message of hope and acceptance – youth like Sarah.  Young people willing to speak out when they see something happening that is wrong or unjust – youth like Mitch.  Young people creating amazing pieces of art that has the potential to change the way people view our world or themselves – youth like Zacery and Vincent.

…and that’s only a small handful of the truly amazing young people I know.

The youth of today deserve our respect.  Sure, they may do things differently than we did, but that doesn’t devalue their actions or their potential.  They are capable of some pretty incredible things.  I know I am hugely blessed to be involved in so many incredible young lives – even just as a cheerleader.

The next time you are sitting in your yard, or in your house, and you happen to catch a glimpse of a young person doing something that you may not value yourself…  think for a second.  They may just be about to create their generations “wheel”.

Joyous Yule!

It’s been a long day…  and in spite of my spending half my day on the phone sorting out things in regards to our car accident yesterday, it ended up being a wonderful Yule.

  • I received a heartening phone call from a dear friend, Derrick.
  • I helped the kid prepare a delicious chicken dinner.
  • We opened presents (and were delightfully surprised, time and time again).
  • And then, before bed, we took a drive through the Enchanted Forest – one of Canada’s largest holiday light displays.

Now?  Now it’s time for bed.  🙂  I’m still super sore after the accident…  and well…  even though the day ended up being wonderful, it was long, and I’m tired.

So, let’s end today’s blog post with my wish for all of you:

As the sun is reborn, and we turn towards the growing light of a new year, let us remember and celebrate all the gifts of friendship and love we have received during this holiday season and throughout the year.  While things may seem dark, there is always light to be found in the hearts of those we love…  and it is THIS that we must remember.

I wish you joy, peace, health, and a wealth of happiness now, and always.

Joyous Yule!

The Hobbit!

After all that happened today, I can honestly say that I’m such a huge dork that THIS lifted my spirits:

The Hobbit is such a huge part of my life (from my dad reading the book to me as a child, to writing and staring in a play based on it in high school, and eventually to sharing it with my daughter too).  I can’t wait to see it brought to life like this.  It’ll be epic!

The Multi-Vehicle Collision

I think the title pretty much sums up todays post.   It doesn’t always.  Some of my titles can be a little cryptic.  But today?  Today the kid and I were involved in a four vehicle collision.

We had dropped off Damon at work after his lunch break, and proceeded to Lawson Heights Mall where we picked up part of his Yule gift and grabbed a couple eggnog booster juices.  We hopped into the car with a couple more destinations we needed to hit so we’d be ready for our Yule celebrations tomorrow.

Driving down Warman/Wanuskewin road towards the turn off for Circle Drive East we noticed an accident blocking our turn.  So I drove straight on, with the intention of turning onto Hazen where we’d be able to get turned around and still get our exit.  Well, traffic was a little backed up – gotta love holiday traffic – so we ended up stopped part way between the turn we’d originally planned to use, and the turn onto Hazen Road.  We were at the back end of the line of traffic, and sat stopped for a few seconds when IT hit the fan.  Or rather, when the vehicle that came up behind us drove full force into the back of our car.

The airbags deployed, our car hit the one in front of us, and jumped the curb.  The car in front of us hit the one in front of him…  After being smacked in the face, hands, and arms with the airbag the cabin began to fill with what I thought was smoke (I learned later from one of the fire fighters that it’s actually a dust or powder that is packed in with the airbags to keep them pliable).  Lily-Ann was screaming and crying, and I was in a panic.  All I could think was that I had to get her out of the car.  Serious adrenaline!

I jump out of the vehicle and run for her door, get there and realize that everything has locked.  I run back to my door and try to take my keys out so I can hit the “unlock door” button on the remote.  Can’t get them out.  They are stuck in the lock.  So I (completely panicked so not thinking clearly) struggle to find the right button on the door panel to unlock everything.  I find it and rush back, pull her out, get us onto the meridian and start checking her over.  She’s crying and scared, but besides a bump on the head, she’s unhurt.

After that, most of the hour or so we were out there is a blur.  Kid was cold so I pulled her car blanket out and wrapped her up.  I got her to stand next to a tree on the meridian so I could talk to the fire fighters and police officers.  After a while one fire fighter said that she would be welcome to go hang out in the fire engine, and pointed us over to it.  So I took her over and another gentleman got her up into it and settled in.  I was able to leave her there, knowing she both FELT safe and WAS safe.  They offered to let me sit in there too… but I was far too stressed, there’s no way I could have sat still.  So I paced, and stopped repeatedly to explain what happened to police officer after police officer, fire fighter after fire fighter…  At one point I pulled Damon’s present out of the vehicle and put it in the engine with Lily-Ann – who had been given a couple “junior fire fighter” stickers (in the shape of badges) and was enjoying the adventure and her visit with a couple of the firemen (they were talking about what she wants to be when she grows up).  I’m glad I did, because it wasn’t long after that that our vehicle was towed away to who knows where, while I was talking with another police officer.

The woman who hit us is new to Canada, and so I spent a lot of time talking her through the process of an SGI claim, and how it all works.  She was really stressed out, and while I was equally as stressed (if not more so, because I also had to worry about kid kid) I did my best to be pleasant.  After all, it wouldn’t help the situation to get angry.  No reason to add more tension to an already bad scene.  She was quite worried about Lily-Ann, and was thankful that she was okay.  I have to admit, I kinda wish she’d have just left me alone – as I was feeling a huge amount of stress and anxiety…  but I can’t blame her for feeling a need to connect.  We all deal with situations like that differently.  I wish she’d had been paying more attention (to hit a car that is stopped in front of you, full force???  Come on.  All I can think is that she was distracted by the accident that had occurred a 1/2 block from where we were) but we all make mistakes.  Thankfully no one was seriously hurt, and honestly?  There are worse things in the world.

Eventually we got things cleared up.  I was given a card with a reference number on it, and my Grampa came to pick the kid and I up from the scene.  He took us to my parent’s place where I was able to borrow my mom’s vehicle and go pick up Damon from work.  From there we headed to a mediclinic to get checked out.  I’m in quite a bit of pain (my right hand is partly unusable, and my left forearm is the same).  Lots of aches and pains all up and down my neck, shoulders, and back… but the arm and hand are the two things impacting me most right now.

So, the kid is in bed beside me.  She still wanted to sleep in her up high bed… but with everything that happened today, Damon and I insisted she stay in the family bed.  We said she could go back up to her bed tomorrow if she wants too.

Crazy day.

And it leaves us unprepared for Yule tomorrow… and with a whole lot of UNfestive things that need our attention right away.  Things could have been a whole lot worse, a WHOLE lot worse.  So I am very grateful we generally made it through unscathed.  We’re whole, unbroken, and the kid has a cool experience with a bunch of great fire fighters under her belt.

And hey!  If you’re watching the local news you just might see us.  At one point there was a news camera there filming the kid and I.

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It really was the scariest experience of my life….  those seconds right after it happened?  When the car was full of “smoke” and my daughter was screaming…  Until I got her out and checked her over you don’t even want to know all the things that went through my head.  I was so beyond terrified.  The relief I felt that she was safe and without major injuries?  Yep.  Adrenaline…  it kept me going.

Our Queen Size Family Bed Seems Big

Tonight, out of the blue, kid kid announced that she was going to sleep in her “up high bed” (it’s what we call her loft bed that we built above our bed).  For the longest time it has been a place where she goes to play, or to craft, or to read when she wants some time to herself.  We built it when she turned three so that it would be there for her whenever she was ready.  Well…  at four and a half I guess she’s ready.  I have to admit, our queen size family bed seems awfully big and a little lonely just now, with only me in it.

The girlie is up in her bed.  The husband is upstairs on his computer.  And I’m laying, alone, in our family bed.  Yep.  A queen sized bed feels unnecessarily big and lonely just now.  If this becomes a habit, I may have to invite a dog or two back into my bed.  The last one to sleep with us was Nico, and he crossed the Rainbow Bridge back when Lily-Ann was still a wee babe.

I knew she was starting to grow up when we left the terrible three’s behind (seriously, who the hell coined the term “terrible twos”??? The two’s are EASY compared to the threes…  that’s when the REAL terrible stuff shows up) and we had a generous, kind-hearted, helpful kid (okay, a GENERALLY generous, kind-hearted, helpful kid) show up.  But I don’t know that I’m really ready for her to be quite this grown up.  I kinda miss my baby.


Might have to start auditioning the dogs for the role of bed-sleeper.



Here are a few posts I’ve made previously about our sleeping arrangements and the loft bed:

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