Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rock Stars and Worshippers

Last night was my first official night "on the job." You may remember I've started a new part-time job at a local church as their contemporary worship leader. I'll admit I felt a little apprehensive going into that first rehearsal. Even though I knew many on the team from the year Hubba Hubba spent interning at that church, there was still that unknown factor. How would we fit together as a team? How would they handle new leadership? My leadership?

I'm a firm believer that baked goods can pave the way for good relationships. A little old fashioned maybe, it's somewhat along the lines of bringing a pie to the new neighbours. So, I baked my favourite brownie recipe. (Any excuse to bake brownies, really...I love brownie batter. Or cookie batter, for that matter. Cake batter's good, too. You get the point.)

Armed with fresh out of the oven brownies and a plan to spend the beginning of rehearsal chatting about what worship means, off I went.

Being a worship leader is an odd thing, sometimes. You're the one up front, singing the songs, and your mic is the loudest. Naturally, people look at you the most. For some people, that may be part of the appeal, I don't know.

I tend to think there's a difference between being a rock star, and being a worship leader. (Besides the metallic shirts, tight jeans and pyrotechnics, of course.) The difference isn't training, or skill levels. Sound checks are just as important. Good equipment is just as important. I would even argue that talent is important.

Don't get me wrong here, friends. I think God uses, and blesses, the best we give Him. Whatever our 'best' may be. But I think He wants and deserves our best. That's the key difference between a rock star and me--my heart. The reason I do what I do needs to be love for my Lord. That love is what should motivate me to practise, to hone my skills, to choose the best equipment, and do whatever else is necessary to give Him by best. My all. Not a love for music, or performing, or anything else. Love for Jesus.

That's the gist of what I shared with my team last night. I hope they were as blessed by our time together as I was. And if they weren't--at least they got brownies.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Not Me! Monday

Well, friends, TGIM. A day for laundry, a new resolve to eat healthy after the weekend's treats, and of course, Not Me! Monday. For the ultimate in NM!M fun, check out MckMama. She's the original NM!M queen, and her blog is amazing. If you don't already read it, you should!

This week:

*I did not forget to call someone important on her birthday. (Since you're reading this, again, I'm so sorry!)

*I did not give in and buy Nutella. Because, of course, if I buy it, I eat it. I wouldn't do that with my super resolve for healthy eating.

*I did not leave Wiggle Man's laundry folded in his basket all week, instead of putting it away. I have not been taking clean clothes out of said basket. I will not likely leave the clothes there until they're almost all dirty again, anyway.

*I did not put off getting my varicella vaccine. I have not been putting it off since Wiggle Man, who just turned one, was born. Nor have I put off getting my blood work done. Not me.

*I do not obsess about blogging. I do not check my blog ALL THE TIME for new comments. I do not announce the hit count to my husband more than once a day. I do not think about new ideas for my blog while I'm supposed to be doing something else. And I did not write down ideas for NM!M on a crumpled WalMart receipt while I was in bed. No, sir.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I Can Hear You Pee...

Am I the only one who likes to make up songs and/or rewrite lyrics to existing songs? I mean, one of Wiggle Man's favourite songs is "Ja-boom, Ja-boom." I made it up one day when he was little, and he seems to think it's funny. It's nothing profound--the actual words are quite silly.

It all started in college. My roommate was a singer, and she sang. All the time. Still does. When she talks to you, she's often actually singing to you. When she first met me, one of the first things she learned about me is that when I laugh, my butt shakes. It really does. She was sitting beside me, I started laughing, and she jumped up and told everyone that when The Canadian (as I was known) laughs, her butt shakes.

So she made up a song:

(To the tune of "Maniac" by Michael Sembello )

She's Canadian, Canadian--
And her butt shakes.
And she's laughing like she's never laughed before.

Again, nothing profound, but there were people on campus who didn't know me personally who knew that song. That was a little unsettling. I think you should be on a first name basis with someone before they know that your butt shakes.

I got my revenge, however. Years of living with someone provide ample opportunities, and I discovered her weakness. She, like many people, does not like to be heard peeing. Yup, she can't stand it. Naturally, with my perverse sense of humour, I thought this needed a song. I mean, who doesn't want a soundtrack to their bathroom visits? Maybe someone who doesn't want anyone to hear them pee....

So I came up with this:

(To the tune of "Breathe" by Faith Hill)
I can hear you pee,
Peeing next to me,
Suddenly I'm peeing next to you;
It's not a number two,
Baby all I have to do is pee.
Caught up in the gush,
The slow and steady flush,
Baby isn't that the way that pee's supposed to be?
I can hear you pee.

So, what I'm wondering is, am I the only one? Are there more of us who sing all the time, even if it's ridiculous? I'm anxious to hear your songs, friends. Leave me a comment with your favourite made-up song--yours, or someone else's. You probably won't win anything (OK, you definitely won't-I still haven't mailed out prizes from Pay It Forward, but they're coming, I promise) but we all like a chance to show off. Here's yours.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm Not From Around Here...

Every once and a while, something will happen that reminds me I'm not actually from here. It's not always a big thing, and sometimes it's just a reminder that I grew up in a more...urban setting, shall we say. So it's a little odd sometimes that my nearest neighbours are nurseries and cows. Cows that like to escape and hang out on the church steps Sunday morning. But that's another story for another day.

Today's story is The Groundhog. It's always The Groundhog. Like there can't be more than one, or something. Hubba Hubba and his father are always talking about The Groundhog roaming around our properties. I could understand their concern if we actually had crops we were worried about.

Anyway, I guess Groundhog Fever gets us all, eventually, because this afternoon when my sister-in-law pointed, aghast, out the window at "the hugest groundhog" I went running. And then grabbed the camera, thinking Hubba Hubba would want to see The Groundhog to End All Groundhogs. Seriously. We might not have crops for this thing to eat, but we do have chickens, and I think he could take one down.

If you're not familiar with the stats on groundhogs, let me tell you: this guy is huge. The picture doesn't do him justice. (Apparently the camera removes pounds from groundhogs. How do I make this work for me?)

If this pretty little lady doesn't look worried, she should. There's a monster hiding under her bed! (Well...under her house...so I guess that counts.)

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Well, it has been quite a day. Thursday is my day to substitute teach. I spend my day teaching K-8 music, then it's off to teach private lessons before I come home and collapse. Don't get me wrong--I love doing all those things. All those things on one day, however...well, it makes my feet hurt. I even wore 'sensible shoes' today.

For some reason, Wiggle Man feels that Wednesday night/Thursday morning is the time to moan and groan. He must wake up 3 or 4 times during the night. Every week. I have no idea why this is...does he KNOW I have to get up and face hordes of children all day? Perhaps this is my punishment for daring to leave him.


If that's the case, he's about to be even more ticked off. I just took another part-time job. I'm the new (interim) contemporary worship leader at a local church. This isn't too much time away from home--most of the prep and practising will be done at home, with one night a week rehearsing with the rest of the worship team. We'll see how Wiggle Man likes them apples.


Congratulations to Amanda, Johnny and Rhonda--you're the winners in my very first blog giveaway. If I don't have your addresses yet, make sure you get them to me. Jealous? Well...you'll just have to enter yourselves the next time I do one. And it was so much fun checking for entries that I might have to do another one soon.


The Wiggle Man is on his way to Walking Man. This week he took his first steps, and of course, I was in the other room. His Aunt witnessed the very first steps. He still refuses to perform for the camera though, so this is an undocumented milestone. It's amazing to me that a child that is such a ham in real life freezes whenever a camera is on him.


It's cold, and rainy. This is a perfect night to curl up with a cup of tea, some Nutella on toast, and put in a girly movie. I think I shall.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pay It Forward

Dee dee dee dee! (Imagine trumpet fanfare, if you would.)

It's my first giveaway! I'm going to pretend it's because my hit counter just hit 100. Really, it's because Sky had this Pay It Forward giveaway on her fabulous blog, and I wanted to play along. It was a giveaway I could win!

So now I pass the fun along to you. Here's how we'll do it: The first three people to leave a comment on this post will WIN! Just make sure you include your email address somewhere in your comment. I'll send a little surprise your way. The Pay It Forward part is that you then get to host your very own Pay It Forward giveaway. The prizes don't have to be big and fancy--something small enough to fit in a regular or manila envelope.

So, friends, it's in your hands. I know you're out there. I see the hits on my counter. I see the dots on my map. One little comment is all it takes to WIN! (And we all like to win, don't we?)

Why I Don't Buy White Shirts

If you're a regular here at Poutine, you know I love all things Target. I always spend too much money at Target, which is why Hubba Hubba gets a headache just looking at the place. If you read yesterday's Not Me! Monday post, you know about my stained white shirt. But let me elaborate, and fill you in on..."the rest of the story."

During one of my trips to "Jenn Paradise" (read: Target) last week, I bought a great little white button down shirt. Very cute, perfect for layering. Also, from the clearance rack, which makes it even more wonderful. Also makes it hard to replace if it gets, say....stained.

Proudly, I wear my new shirt to church Sunday morning. Hubba Hubba, Wiggle Man and I hit one of our favourite restaurants afterwards for some yummy pasta. I know what you're thinking: Ok, she got spaghetti on her new white shirt. How cliche.

Oh no, friends. I did not spill anything on my new white shirt. Wiggle Man did not get anything on my new white shirt.

Hubba Hubba.

There he was, across the table. I can see it in slo-mo: His piece of celery drops from his hand, traveling down toward his plate of wings slathered in hot sauce. Upon impact, hot sauce splatters up, not towards Hubba Hubba in his green shirt, no. Like a heat-seeking missile, it finds my crisp white shirt and heads right for it. Splat.

Seriously, people?

We come home, and Hubba Hubba gets the stain out. Go Hubba Hubba. Thank you, Shout. The shirt goes on the line to dry to prevent shrinkage. When it's dry, I head out to get it, and the other clothes, off the line. It's so picturesque--Wiggle Man screaming on the grass because he wants to play with the chickens NOW, and me crying. Crying? Because while my beautiful shirt was drying on the line, a bird pooped on it. Not just any bird. A bird that had apparently consumed a purple berry recently.


Again with the Shout. Two rounds, this time. Purple berry poop is hard to get out. The Shout and I prevailed. This time, the shirt is drying on a rack in the basement. It might not have that line-dried fresh scent, but at least it's safe from birds.


Check out my blog in the next few days for my very first giveaway!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Not Me!

Ever have one of those days where you look back and think, "No way did I just do ____!"? Well, here's your chance to erase all that! It's the Not Me! Monday Carnival over at MckMama's! I've decided to join in the fun--you should, too! Check out My Charming Kids to see how.

So here it is, folks--my first Not Me! Monday post extraordinaire:

This past week...

*I did not have a turkey burger and fries for lunch. And then dinner.

*I did not go to Target twice. I also do not secretly hope to go again tonight.

*I did not indulge in Ferrero Rocher at the grocery store because it had been "one of those days." I did not also try and explain that to the cashier, and the kind woman behind me in line.

*I did not post pictures online simply because I liked how I looked in them.

*I did not get cranky because I got up with Wiggle Man Sunday morning. I did not spend the rest of the day cranky for that reason. My crankiness was not compounded when Hubba Hubba managed to spray chicken wing sauce all over my new white shirt from the aforementioned Target spree. I did not take the time to point out to Hubba Hubba that he managed to stay stain free.

*I did not let Wiggle Man stay up later last night, simply so I could finish watching my t.v. show.

*I have certainly not been thinking about how soon I can justifiably have a cookie this morning.

There you have it, friends. Things I have not been doing. Perhaps it's time to log off, and start not being productive for another day. Cookie, anyone?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Apologies!

Bad Blogger. *Slap on my wrist.*

I can't believe it's been over a week since I've written anything. I'd plead that I have such a busy life, but that's silly. Many of you are busier than I, and manage to blog daily...I wallow in my own shame.

Alright, I feel better.

Since my last post, I've had:

*My parents visit.

*Wiggle Man's Birthday Party!!!

*An inteview about a possible part-time position for me (more on that to come!)

*Wiggle Man's 12 month appointment.

*Another day of subbing for me...exhausting, but fun.

*One very relaxing night...except for the part about the Phillies losing. Bad.

Some of you know my love affair with The Sneaky Chef. Well, since Wiggle Man doesn't eat much sugar, he got Sneaky Chef cupcakes for his birthday, complete with Sneaky Chef icing. They turned out pretty well--my beloved has been eating the leftovers all week!

The bears, I can't take credit for. I'd like to, really. But they're simply silicone cupcake cups, with the bear faces, arms and legs attached. Adorable. Super easy. One problem--there's a lingering dish soap taste near the bottom of the cupcakes. I rinse them like crazy, seriously. Is this a silicone thing? A dish soap thing? Help!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Play Dough Update

Oh, how I wish I had my camera at school with me yesterday for the first class using my super homemade Play Dough. So instead, you'll all have to use the power of your imaginations. All 7 of you reading this. (I installed a counter the other day--check out my staggering stats!)

My charming 2nd graders were the first to experience the green dough. I explained what we were doing with it, and gave them each a small ball of dough. It seemed a little less...firm...than when I put it in the fridge (as instructed) the night before. In my early morning grogginess ("groggy head" as my Dad used to call it) I thought, hey--they just need to work with the dough and it will firm up again.

Oh no.

What I quickly had on my hands was a class of 7 year olds who were surprisingly upset to be covered in green mush.

Amid cries of "Don't touch ANYTHING" and "Line up QUIETLY" I got them to the bathrooms, and with my Principal's help (who of course, was walking through the hall at just that moment--thankfully he's a kind, sympathetic, humorous man!) we got them cleaned up in time to go back to class.

Needless to say, the lesson with the Play Dough was altered to subsequent classes.

The moral of the story? Make sure the Play Dough has completely cooled before you put in in a sealed container in the fridge. Condensation can be a real drag.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

While You Were Sleeping

When you were a kid, did you ever wonder what your Mom did while you were napping? To this day, the theme music to The Young and The Restless makes me feel it's nap time. Apparently my afternoon nap coincided with that show.

When I put Wiggle Man down for his nap, I usually tell him not to worry. Mommy won't be doing anything fun while he's sleeping. But in case he wonders, and happens to be a regular Poutine reader, here's what I did during his nap (so far, anyway):

1. Showered, since I didn't get that in before he woke up this morning.

2. Caught on on email, Facebook, and read the blogs I follow.

3. Did this:

4. Snacked on a Sneaky Chef brownie or two (I mean, they have blueberries and spinach in them...not a bad morning snack, right? Ahem.)

5. Finished this:

Not bad for a nap's worth of work--and Wiggle Man isn't even up yet! (A dangerous statement to make, I know.)

In case it's not blatantly obvious what I've been doing with my time, that's homemade Play Dough. I need it for a lesson I'm teaching tomorrow at the school, but it will also come in handy amusing Wiggle Man. At least, that's the plan.

If you're looking for an easy recipe to make your own Play Dough, I got this from TeachNet.com. It's pretty easy, and if your kid likes to eat things like mine, you might feel better knowing it's edible. Ish. And check out The Sneaky Chef--I love her stuff!

Friday, September 5, 2008

I Can See You...

Once upon a time, there was a lovely girl named Jenn. Jenn went on an African adventure one day, to visit some people who loved Jesus. She got really loved on by the people who loved Jesus. They invited her into their homes, shared their food, laughed, cried, sang and prayed with her. They did all the things Jesus said to do to show love.

Just before it was time to come home, Jenn and her friends went on safari to see the animals. After a long morning, they stopped for breakfast by the river. Because they were in the middle of the African grasslands, her friends told her the only potty was a bush off to the side. She really needed to use the potty, so she went. But not by herself. This was the African wilderness, after all.

When Jenn and her friends were done, they noticed some of the boys pointing off in the distance in front of their potty bush. When they looked, this is what they saw:

No wonder Jenn didn't feel alone when she was using the potty bush.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

More Things I Miss...

I just got back from a wonderful trip home to visit with dear friends. Our kids got to play together, I got some great girl time in, and all in all, had a fabulous time. Being home always reminds me of things I miss...some of these are repeats, but here's a list:

1. Friends and Family--girls, there's no one else I'd rather watch chick flicks with! Besides, how often do I get to do trumpet repairs in a liquor store parking lot?

2. The myriad of chocolate bars I can't seem to get here...Coffee Crisp, oh Coffee Crisp. Not to mention "real" Smarties. C'mon, Nestle, what's the deal?

3. Swiss Chalet. My lunch on Sunday filled a void deep within me for rotisserie chicken dipped in Chalet sauce. Oh, my gravy.

4. Corn Pops. Pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but really. What is the deal with different Corn Pops?

5. Ok, so obviously I miss food...I'll combine the rest into Number 5: Tim Horton's (technically now available in the US, but nowhere near me...sad...) Harvey's and Loblaw's. Perhaps it's silly to miss a grocery chain, but I do. I really do.

6. The big sky. I'm not sure why, but I'm convinced the sky is bigger and higher up in Canada.

7. Sports shows that feature hockey even in summer.

8. Other people who know the tune to The Log Driver's Waltz.

9. Signs and packaging in two languages.

10. Not needing to explain "The Briefcase", or any other silly story from high school, but explaining anyway for the benefit of our poor husbands, and the chance to laugh about it all over again.