Funny, funny, SOOOO funny

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I know it's kinda small....can you see it?!?!

Tell me you're not laughing right now...

I don't even know where it came from. I just found it when I discovered that my computer is currently overloaded with trillions of temporary internet files. Holy cow!! Where do they all come from? I don't invite them in! Hazards of being online, I suppose.

Now why didn't I think of this sooner.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

"In times of old, parents had to take responsibility for raising their own children and educating them, but they also got to enjoy whatever dividend that created, in the form of young children who could help out on the farm and grown children that could support them in old age....[Now that this is often no longer the case,] it makes parenthood into a kind of suckers' game. The shrewd and rational thing is not to have children. Let other people have children and then let them pay for your pension and health care and old age."
[Source: Phillip Longman, senior fellow at the New American Foundation. Ottawa Citizen 05/08/2006]

(Diabolical cackle)

Rail against the System

Monday, May 22, 2006

DVD's are not all they're cracked up to be. In fact, I'm ready to go back to videos any day now.

I'll bet I could launch a petition and every mother of young children would sign it.

To DVD manufacturers:

We the undersigned would like to bring to your attention our dissatisfaction with your product. A number of years ago, DVD's were introduced to consumer society and hailed as the highest level of technology in movie viewing. What was not immediately obvious, and wouldn't become so until thousands of young mothers replaced all their Winnie the Pooh videos with DVD's, is that they are also the most unstable form of home entertainment to date. Your product has now become the source of 99.9% of all household upheavals, including crying fits, temper tantrums and food thrown at the TV. Uncertainty and fear have now replaced the sighs of relief across the nation, when a mum could hit the play button and count on 35 minutes of blissful peace and quiet while little ones were occupied with the antics of Boots, Bob and Woody.

We'll take grainy any day over the epileptic-like seizures of a skipping Clifford the big Red Dog.

(Canadian Mothers Fed Up With Scratched DVD's)

Anyone hopping on my bandwagon?

The cause of yet more grief

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A quote from an article about the March for Life on parliament hill last weekend:

One issue highlighted at a news conference before the rally was the linkage between abortion and breast cancer. Guest speaker New Jersey surgeon Dr. Angela Lanfranchi blamed the ready access to abortion in part for the fact that the incidence of breast cancer has risen 40 per cent in the last 30 years.
"It's the women of the Roe v. Wade generation that account for most of this increase," she said. "Dramatic lifestyle changes brought about by the sexual revolution and the women's liberation movement are largely responsible for the rampant breast cancer we see today."

Can I just say, it's about time.

I've been reading for at least ten years about this link, and at the same time about how the media won't touch it because of the political garbage surrounding such a position. As usual, large corporate movements, feminist agenda and the bottom line ($) take priority over our health. Not just our health, as in quality of life, but our actual lives.

Just in case you're not familiar with the link between abortion and breast cancer, allow me to pass along what I've learned:

When a woman becomes pregnant, changes begin almost immediately in her breasts, getting ready to feed the baby. When it's the first pregnancy, those changes are the most dramatic, as the breast goes from ornamental to productive. If the pregnancy is ended before that process is complete (as in, birth of the baby) the breast cells are violently interrupted in their transformation and left in a state of flux. This unfinished state leaves the breasts more susceptable to cancer, often in a timeline of ten to fifteen years later.

If you're interested, I would be happy to locate the scientific studies I got this info from. Just leave a comment.

Exciting times--a retro-post

Friday, May 19, 2006

So I had this post that I wrote a couple weeks ago and then left it as a draft, forgot to publish it. (I'm sure none of you ever do that).
But when I went to publish it, for some reason it messed up my template. So I'm redoing it here and therefore some info is dated, but I'm sure you can deal with that.

Exciting Times
You ever notice how every once in a while, a few good and exciting things happen all around the same time?

Had a great weekend. My boys choir (ok, boys ensemble, as it's our first year and we only have 9 guys) sang at a Boys Festival sponsored by the Oakville Children's Choir. There were 5 boys choirs in total and that made about 130 boys singing----maybe you have to be a choral person to get this, but it was the most glorious sound. Boy voices are so lovely. They tend to be a little stronger and more focused than girls of the same age and can hit the high notes with ease. It was just so cool. And my guys did awesome. They sang "One" from A Chorus Line and the classic "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". Small in number, but large in spirit, they were. I was so pleased.


And then there's still the moving that's exciting. I haven't started packing yet, but I've been doing alot of decorating in my head and checking out prices for kitchen cupboards (downloaded the 3D Ikea kitchen planner--very cool). We're looking to lay some hardwood floor, replace the central air unit and get some new furniture for the living room, as what we have now will go into the family room. We've been on such a scrimpy budget for so long that the thought of being able to do these things is so exciting! Take our living room furniture: we bought the couch second hand before we got married. It was pretty much brand new and we got a real deal because the poor couple who had just finished paying for it now could not get it up the stairs to their third story apartment. We have two other rocking chairs, both gifts from my parents over the last 10 years and the coffee table is my hope chest from childhood. I love them all.....but it'll be SO nice to go to a store and pick out brand new furniture and coordinate wall colours...can't wait. I've been poring through Debbie Travis books looking for ideas for wall treatments and curtains and such. Again, I love my colours here, but it'll be so fun to find some new styles and try some new faux finishes.


Home Hardware is having a sale on Reverse Osmosis water systems. We spotted them a few weeks ago when we were prepping the house to sell. Ever since an herbalist who analyzed Jairus' blood last summer told us we should drink better water, I've been buying jugs of R/O water from our local health food store. I'm not terribly consistent though because a) even though it's only a few bucks, sometimes we don't have it, and b) can you imagine how difficult it is to get two toddlers, a baby in an infant seat and two 25 pound jugs of water out to my van. Sometimes the guy in the store holds the door, sometimes even offers to carry the water out, but I can't count on it. So, when we saw this system on for 100$ off regular price, we were very interested.I went back on Monday to check and they were still there, but only for the rest of this week. I was real excited and convinced James that we should go for it...until I looked at our budget.Drat.I told my mom, who's also been interested in a R/O system....and her and dad offered to buy it for us and we could pay them back. How great is that!Another reason to look forward to the move--so we can install our new system in our new kitchen!


James has been getting more recording business. This is very good!! It means I won't see him for most of the month, but I can put up with that for now!


My kids are all healthy, thankfully the cold season seems to be past. It's so brutal when they're all so young and close together. I've lost count how many times they were ALL on antibiotics at the same time for pretty much the same thing.

Good things. Everyone needs the encouragement a bit of excitement brings.

We're in the Money...

I think our opportunity for fame and fortune has arrived.

I just received in the mail a notice that we could be part of a class action law suit against the province of Ontario for failing to provide services to special needs children. It all sounds vaguely familiar...something about families having to surrender custody of their special needs children to the Province because they didn't have the money to see to all their needs, and the government would only give the money if these kids were in a state-run home. Very sad, I remember.

So now, we get this letter that we could be part of it, and if it's successful, possibly get a share of $500 million dollars.

Ho, that's a heck of alot of money. Course, who knows how many people it would be split between. It goes back to 1997. (Do you realize that's almost 10 years ago? How many of you out there still think of the 90's as just a short time ago? I know I do.)

So we're given the choice to do nothing and be included, or send in a form and opt-out.


Tough decision.

Generally, I'm against law suits.

But this is the government we're talking about here. I think what it comes down to, is that I feel like we have no right to be a part of it. We have no right to complain. I've long maintained that except for the breast pump that we had to rent for 18 months, everything Jairus has ever needed has been provided. 2 months in hospital. Four surgeries, counting this past Tuesday for his teeth. Numerous specialists. Equipment they sent home with us--suction pump, monitors, endless supplies of feeding bottles and tubes. Nursing care, home therapists and now speech and occupational therapy at the local children's centre.

We didn't have to pay one red cent.

Well, ok, there was a couple dentist appointments that I think we had to cover. But in 5 years, that's pretty negligable. He's now covered for that too, through a government program. His prescriptions are covered too. Our health system has frankly, been quite amazing to us since Jairus arrived. I've often considered what a blessing OHIP has been and so that's why I can get on telethons and radiothons and speak truthfully about this exact thing. Canada has a great thing going here. And after living in the States, I know many Americans who envy it.

But man, if I read in a few months that 500 people won this class-action law suit...


Monday, May 15, 2006

I'm feeling a little scatterbrained---headed into a season of busyness here that I sort of like and sort of dread all at the same time...does that sound normal?

Babies are napping, well, 2 out of 3, hoping three will settle soon. So now I can blog...I'm so looking forward to having my own room again. Baby girl is in with us right now, but in the new house, she'll share with big sister. Surprisingly, she slept through the night last night...not quite sure why. She'll be one on the weekend so it's about time...but it was a surprising thing none the less.

Had the funeral for David on Wednesday last week. It was really long--over two hours and the order of service was like, 19 pages. I was good until the Male Orpheus choir sang---goosebumpy. The HCC Concert choir with alumni, myself included sang right after, so I was already on the road to blubberland. Made it through the verses, but lost it when the song splits into 8 parts. Good thing the other four girls on my part were solid, cause my voice was doing strange things...
It frustrated me a little because I can usually hold it together for these kinds of things, and in my mind I was singing for Mr. Davis, so I wanted to do well, make him proud...but I guess I won't dwell on it. It was a georgous song anyway. I'll have to see if I can get hubby to host it on his site and then y'all can hear it too.

So, busyness. Meetings, rehearsal tonight. Jairus has a little teeth surgery tomorrow and then I'm supposed to go sing for an event in the evening. Really wish I hadn't scheduled that, but I'm sure James will be fine with the kids. It's just teeth. Not like last time when he ended up back in hospital with infection. Still a little nervous.
James has got recording events the next few weekends---good for him, bad for me, single momming it.
HCC Spring concert coming up. Always a little stressful leading up to these things. Trying to pack for the move some. Got one bookshelf put away...that would be about it. Need to buy diapers. Need to buy dogfood. Hate having to do that with the three kids cause it's so much hassle for such a quick errand. I love drive-through ATM's. Can't every store have drive throughs? Shoppers, Price Choppers, Zehrs. That would be very cool.

Now to focus on exciting things. We bought a new couch and love seat from....get ready for this...Stoney Creek Furniture. (va-va-voom). I told myself that I would never buy another cruddy piece of furniture from the likes of Leons or the Brick after our bedroom set fiasco. (Ok, fiasco might be a little harsh...we bought this set only seeing it from the flyer, none in stock, when we got it, what appeared to be a cast iron decorative piece in the headboard turned out to be some resiny-plastic crapola stuff that broke and just how do you think it looks when people see your broken headboard...mhmmm, wink, wink, elbow, elbow)
So my goal/dream was to buy from the best place I knew around, and that would be SCF. We got a great deal! Got a floor model on sale. So excited. Never bought brand new before.

ANDDDDD...we also bought an outdoor playground thingy for my wee ones. So excited about that too. See, here's my theory: Moving will be stressful for my babes who have only lived here in B-ford. Well, Jairus lived in Stoney Creek, but he won't remember that. My girls were actually born in this house...sniff sniff, sorta didn't think about that before...anyway, off topic. My idea is that if we have this wonderful climber/swingset set up in the backyard when they arrive, they will think this place is just amazing and will be thrilled to bits when they realize we will be LIVING in it permanently. We'll have the week between closing on new house and closing on old house to paint and do improvements, so they'll have a week of spending days at the new house playing on said playground and sleeping in familar old house...than on the 30th...we stay. And they'll be thrilled. Dontcha think?

I'm also excited about this set because when I first started looking for a set, I was checking out ebay and stuff, and Toys R Us and Little Tikes, trying to decide which one would be best. The one my heart set on was the Little Tikes Variety climber which I found on ebay a few times, but never a close enough location to seriously bid. Retail was 700$. I knew we really shouldn't be spending that kind of money, but I really liked it and thought it would be most suitable for my three---little slide for little one, swings and larger slide for bigger two...really cute.
Then last week I happened to check on Toy's R Us and lo and behold, the Variety climber was on sale, 200$ off regular. We hustled right over to Hamilton and snatched one up. Course, the thing is montrous and can't fit in our mini-van so we have to figure out how to get it now...

So anyway, sorry if my mundane events are somewhat boring to the average passerby. I usually try to blog some specific halfway exciting thing, but I'm in a writey mood. Guess I should go do something more laundry.

Hi Sheryl!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Wow, it worked!! If you comment again and leave an email address, I'll make sure it doesn't actually get posted for the world to see. How cool is this!

Goodbye, Mr. Davis. Love Leslie

Saturday, May 6, 2006


Friday, May 5, 2006

I wasn't going to post again until after the telethon, so that that post would be first until it was over.

But I have to.

When I was 10 years old, my parents saw an ad in the Hamilton Spectator for auditions for the Hamilton Children's Choir. I had been singing for years already, solos in church and weddings and such, so they thought this would be great for me.

They secured me an audition, and I remember going into Christ Church Cathedral on James Street in Hamilton on a Saturday morning. A girl named Becky and an older girl named Louise waited in the foyer with me for their auditions.

I went into the sanctuary of the cathedral with fear and trepidation. David Davis sat at the piano. He wasn't too scary. Plump and round with dark hair and beard. He played the music I brought to sing on the first try. I was certainly impressed with that. I had been taking piano lessons for 3 years and I was no where near that! He ran me through a couple exercises to test my range and ability to sing on pitch. I think he had me sing O Canada.

Sometime later, could have been days, could have been weeks, we received a letter that I had been accepted into the Hamilton Children's Choir. I was very excited.

For the next eight years of my life, every Wednesday night I sat under the choral direction of David Davis. He was strict. He expected alot. He didn't put up with no guff. He commanded such a respect that those unable to give it soon weeded themselves out. Some thought he was too harsh, not in keeping with the more popular 'sensitive' ways to work with children. You might say he was a teacher of the old school.

I was privileged to be considered by Mr. Davis a kid with some potential. At first, he seemed extra strict. There were some practices that I felt like the only one he was picking on. But gradually, I learned. I learned how to blend in and stop with the 'soloing' in the middle of the choir. I learned what it took to sing in a choir of high quality.

I've got great memories of my time in the HCC. Two tours to the east coast, fell in love with Nova Scotia. Concerts....too many to list. The time we were singing with candles at Christmas and this girl caught her hair on fire. Fortunately the girl next to her slapped it out. Being chosen for an Opera Hamilton production. The antics between our accompanist John Leek and Mr. Davis---always more ridiculous at Christmas for some reason. Interrupting a concert to publicly thank Mr. Davis before my final solo, at my final concert, watching him tear up. Just a little.

And I remember messing up. Forgetting my words during a solo. I was so upset, I think I might have hid in a closet in whatever church we were in and cried my widdow eyes out. Later, I apologized to him.

"For what?", he said.
"For, for...the mistake", I stuttered.

"What mistake?", he said with a gleam.

Even before then, he was inspiring me. When I was 13, I took over the junior choir at church. My only real example for conducting was Mr. Davis. I found that I loved leading choirs and the next five years in the HCC only cemented that and I pretty much patterned much of what I did after David.
After highschool, I worked for a year and then off to school I went. I studied voice at the Moody Bible Institute and as part of my B. of Music degree, I had to take conducting. It was at that point that I realized that I loved conducting perhaps a tiny bit more than singing. I was taken with a new inspiration for my life's work. Choirs. Children. Conducting.

Returning home after five years, I remember going over to Mr. Davis' house and him mentioning that he thought the choir board was thinking about starting a training chorus. Would I be interested?

Would I ever.

The thoughts of working with the HCC as a conductor had flitted about my brain a few times, but I had always dismissed them. Mr. Davis was the conductor. Mr. Davis wasn't going anywhere for a LONG time. I would just have to wait. Look elsewhere for a bit, perhaps. But now....a possibility. Not only could I get involved with the HCC, I could actually work WITH Mr. Davis...

That year passed and I had my son. While he was still in hospital, the creation of the training choir became a reality. I remember leaving Jairus' hospital room one evening to meet with members of the board at the cathedral for an interview. Shortly after that I led a small group of choristers in a mock rehearsal.

I got the job.

For the next two years, I worked under, but more aptly, with this man who had shaped my earliest musical experiences. It had it's strange moments, as sometimes I still felt like that nervous ten year old, but Mr. Davis again put me at ease, just like he did at that years-ago audition. He had faith in me. He saw my potential.

And so, my mentor became my contemporary, my peer. My friend. My advisor in most things musical, and a few things not.

The time came for Mr. Davis to move on though. He had been with the HCC 17 years and was feeling the pull towards a new and different musical avenue. It was with some shock that the choristers and I received word that he would be finishing with the HCC by Christmas of that year, 2002. David was excited to report that he had been hired as the Artistic Director of the Canadian Male Orpheus Choir.

I was honoured to be part of a small team of alumni and board members that organized a special goodbye to David that final Christmas concert. I'll never forget watching all the alumni appear from the vast crowd, and make their way to the front of the cathedral to sing a song that I still believe God set in my path as the perfect tribute to a great man:

The candle flickers towards its last,
Our time together's ended;
The evening spent so swiftly passed,
No richer way to spend it.
Before we head our separate ways,
I'd like in truthfulness to say:
You've made this day a special day,
With songs and kindness splendid.

Here's to song, here's to time;
Here's to both with friends of mine;
Here's to friends who raise their voices high.
Kings have riches widely lain,
Lords have land, but then again,
We have friends and song no wealth can buy.

We each a different road must go,
To mountains, sea and city;
The hour has come to say adieus,
And all the more's the pity.
But first unite in hand and heart,
And sing a chorus ere we part;
For every end leads to a start,
We need not break so sadly.

Here's to song, here's to time;
Here's to both with friends of mine;
Here's to friends who raise their voices high.
Kings have riches widely lain,
Lords have land, but then again,
We have friends and song no wealth can buy.

And till our paths in future cross,
May blessings kindly greet you;
Until that time, I must, alas,
Only in memory meet you.
Often I will sit and stare,
And think upon this moment rare;
The company beyond compare,
For now, farewell and thank you.

Here's to song, here's to time,
Here's to both with friends of mine,
Here's to friends who raise their voices high;
Kings have riches widely lain,
Lords have land, but then again,
We have friends and song no wealth can buy.
~Allister MacGillivray.

Few dry eyes that night.

So what's up with the trip down memory lane, you might be wondering?

I sit here at my computer, tapping my fingers, but not typing. Waiting for the little bing-bong that tells me I've got email.

An email that might say

He's gone.

It's been quick. Just before Christmas they found the cancer. Things were looking real good for a while's a vicious enemy that strikes back just when you're looking on the upside.

Word is this weekend will be the last one he'll see. I won't see him again, on this earth, as the family has requested that his last moments be spent with them.

Understandable. If not for that request, Henderson would be swamped. Literally. When I went to see him a couple months ago, during his first hospital stay, the receptionist at Mac didn't even have to look up his room number. She knew him by name, because of all the friends visiting.

He is well loved.

My Little Star

Monday, May 1, 2006

Hello Everyone:

Exciting news; Jairus, James and I have been asked to be on the Mother's Day Telethon this weekend for the McMaster Children's Hospital. I've been told we'll be seen on Sunday at 6:00pm, but I'll confirm that when I receive the letter.

This is the second time our little boy will grace the TV screens of Ontario. Having been born in March, he was still in hospital when the telethon rolled around in 2001. He was an adorable, cooing little bundle of tubes at 6 weeks old when we did an interview by his bedside.

So tune in and donate to our amazing Children's Hospital! Many doctors, nurses and therapists were used by God to save our son's life and bring him to where he is today. The McMaster Children's Hospital is a blessing that few are fully aware of!

Hey, uh, somebody tape it, ok? My vcr's busted.