God speaks to me, yes he does. Not in an obvious way and no I don’t hear voices, but he speaks to me through people. It seems like all of my life things happen, strangers tell me stories, people come into my life and every time something like this happens, I’m left with the strongest feeling that God just spoke to me. It happened again this past New Year’s weekend. As typical with our family life right now, we are busy running around and this past New Year’s weekend was no exception. Both boys were in a tournament starting Thursday and ending Monday. We had no plans for New Year’s eve because we had to be up by 6:30 am New Year’s Day to get to the rink for 7:00 am. At the last minute a good friend invited us for dinner and the whole time we were there I kept checking my watch. At 9:00 pm I kept telling everyone we had to go, nice to visit people but not a relaxing time. My youngest son played for his atom team and was asked to play for his older brother’s pee wee team as well because the team was short benched. He was very excited to play up because it confirms that the coach thinks he’s good enough to play at a higher level. Consequently, between both children’s games and our volunteer hours, my husband and I would be at the rink all weekend. By Monday morning I was feeling very tired and my son’s pee wee team made it into the medal rounds. Both boys would be playing this game and if they won this game then they were playing for the gold, silver or bronze that day – three games total that day if they won. If they lost then they were out and we would have the rest of the day to ourselves! Here we are on the way to the rink for a 10:00 am game and all I could think about was the disaster area we call a house! I had a mountain of laundry, bathrooms to clean, beds to make, vacuuming to do and I secretly wished that my sons’ team would lose their game! Just before we left the house I told my husband that maybe I should stay home as I have to go back to work the next day and not a bloody thing was done in the house. He said you can’t miss this game, the boys love it when you’re there. There have been a couple of games during this season where I’ve had to meet my husband at the rink and I’ve missed part of the game and my husband tells me that both boys keep asking him if I’m there and keep scanning the crowd until I get there. Important for me to be there – yes, feel like I’m drowning in housework – yes. Everyone does pitch in to help, but if you’re never home the work doesn’t get done. We get to the rink 45 minutes early and I’m equipped with my kobo reader, coffee and I’m on my way to the lounge to read for a precious 45 minutes. As I enter the lounge I see a grandfather of one of the kids on my son’s team sitting on his own. I always say hello to him, however, I’ve never really talked to him. He’s at every single one of his grandsons’ games. He has two grandsons playing hockey and he never misses a game. He also takes great pictures of all of the boys during some of the games and e-mails copies to the team. So here I am on my way to kobo and coffee heaven, I look into this man’s eyes and something makes me stop and sit down beside him. We were just yapping about hockey and kids when all of a sudden he grabs his ribs just under his heart and his face is grimaced in pain. I thought, sweet Jesus this man is having a heart attack. I touched his arm and said are you ok? He put his arm down and said yeah, I’m ok. You scared the shite out of me, I thought you were having a heart attack I say. Been there done that he said – I’ve had heart surgery and now I have a heart pacer. The pain is more like muscle pain and it’s a part of my every day life. But let me tell you something, it’s a hell of a lot better than being dead. He then went on to tell me that when he was a younger man and working, he worked shift work and many hours to pay all of the bills. He said for seven years he didn’t really see his children, he told me he missed so much time of his children’s lives. He mentioned that he and his wife divorced and I assumed it was because he was never home. He then said to me that many of his friends have said to him – what are you doing spending so much time here at home – travel and see the world – come with us on this trip or that trip. He tells the would be travelers that his children, his grandchildren, his family are his life now and then he said to me – realistically I’m just counting my days! I’ve missed so much time already and really what else is there but family. At that point the stress that I was feeling earlier that morning about my house and the work just fell away. My husband and I spend all of our spare time with our boys, we go to all of their hockey games, my husband helps coach their teams and yes it is very busy but we are so blessed! We are able to do this and this time really is short, it feels like it’s forever but it’s not. The game was a great game, my son’s team was not tagged to win anything during this tournament and they upset this team by winning 3 – 2. By the end of that day they came in 4th, they didn’t win a medal but it was one hell of a hockey day. At the end of it all I realized that realistically I’m just counting my days and I’m going to make sure that every day counts!
I love to cook and I would like to be able to say that this part of my blog is dedicated to fabulous recipes that belong on a cooking show. The truth is – I don’t have time to be in the kitchen cooking for hours on end so I’ve learned how to cook on the run. I try to use fresh ingredients where I can and I always try to make a quick salad with whatever I’m throwing together. It’s also helpful to have key ingredients in the pantry and the freezer ready to grab. I always have frozen fries, perogies, frozen veggie burgers, different types of fresh pasta(frozen), soft taco shells. With the amount of hours that my husband and I spend working and running our boys to hockey rinks, gourmet dinners are not on the menu. I’ll start off with what I made for dinner tonight –
Cheesy Black Bean Tacos
Morning Star Chipotle Blackbean Burgers (I buy these from Costco- Meatless burgers- delicious)
Shredded cheddar or whatever kind of cheese you like
1/2 fat sour cream or greek yogurt
1/2 red onion sliced
mexican seasoning – whatever you have – burgers are quite spicy so you could leave the seasoning out
soft flour tortillas
pour some olive oil or melt butter in frying pan – add burgers and chop up into small pieces – heat until hot right through.
put all extra ingredients on a plate or in separate bowls for serving (cheese,sour cream, salsa, onion, tomatoes, lettuce)
have everyone grab a tortilla and fill it themselves and add a salad to complete the meal.
Voila you’re done and it’s a pretty easy clean-up!
You could just take the burgers – cook them on the frying pan and serve them up on a bun and add a fresh salad – real simple!
Last weekend, like all of our weekends, it was a loaded one. Hockey practices, hockey games, painted a room, carved pumpkins, finished Halloween decorations, made chilli for guest coming over Halloween night – just to name a few. Sunday morning I went to my son’s hockey game for 9:15 am. I’m sitting in the stands waiting for the kids to go on the ice and I see this bafoon in a monkey suit walking in the lower part of the arena. He goes into the other team’s bench and I realize he’s the head coach. I sat there for a moment and thought, why the hell is this guy wearing a Gorilla suit, then it dawns on me – its Halloween. The only person in the whole arena wearing a Halloween costume. At first I thought he looks like an idiot and an idiot he did look like! He then scanned the crowd, I’m not sure what or who he was looking for, when he scanned my area I gave him a thumbs up, for which he rewarded me with his hands up and beat his chest. I guess he was looking for some kind of approval or attention. I mean wouldn’t you, you’re the only guy in the crowd in a gorilla suit and no one is paying attention. After watching the first period of the game, I realized this guy in the gorilla suit is not such an idiot. Our team kept skating by and staring at him and before we knew the gorilla suit guy’s team was up by 3 points and we scored a big fat 0. The gorilla suit guy kept giving hand signals and jumping up and down, excuse the pun, like a monkey and his team just kept coming fast and pounded us. By the end of the game the score was 6 – 1 for the gorilla team! I guess you can say the last laugh was on me. When the game was finished everyone piled onto the ice, gorilla and all, to shake hands and do the respectable thing. I didn’t have my camera and it was one of those Kodak moments. Everyone shaking hands in the lineup and here is gorilla suit guy giving everyone a high-five. You’ve got to give that man an a for effort – effort that paid off!