August 2007

img_6844.jpgWe start every Sabbath remembering and thanking God for his blessings on us.

Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu melech ha’olam
asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotov v’tzivanu
l’hadlik ner shel Shabbat

Blessed are you LORD our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the light of the Sabbath.

Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu melech ha’olam
boray pree hagawfen

Blessed are you LORD our God, King of the Universe, creator of the fruit of the vine.

Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu melech ha’olam
ha-motzi lechem min ha’aretz

Blessed are you LORD our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.

I’m afraid we’re not nearly as meditative about it as this blogger is, though her entry is inspiring!  But the weekly tradition of lighting the candles, baking a special loaf of bread, drinking wine (and grape juice for the kids), and keeping the Sabbath evening free of the normal clutter of daily life is something we all look forward to.  It helps us remember throughout the week that God is right here with us.


img_8186.jpgShana took part in her first day camp experience last week, called Avalanche Ranch at our church.  It was high energy  learning about God, and tons of fun.  It ran all day, from 8:30 am til 4.  Shana absolutely loved every minute of it.  It was for kids entering 1st through 6th grade, so she was the littlest, but she and all her friends did really well.  They also slept really well! 

We went to go see what they had been doing on the Thursday evening. 

In order to encourage kind behavior with so many kids in a small space, (the weather was pretty cool all week, so they spent time inside) they gave out “Cool Cows” for those who did something nice or kind.  Shana got a cool cow for always being willing to help out, and here she and Kenan are saying “Cooooool”


One of their projects was for each grade to make a fort out of cardboard boxes.  Monday they set it up and each successive day they added something to it:  coloring, streamers, signs, a fire inside (cardboard) etc.  Theirs had an escape tunnel, here Shana is exiting and Kenan is taking his turn. 


Shana made a new friend there, her name is Emma:  Here they are roasting pretend marshmallows by the fire. 


The whole camp sang the songs they had been learning both on Thursday evening and at church on Sunday.  As if we hadn’t been hearing those songs all week when Shana was home! 


She is already looking forward to next year!! 

I do want to say a BIG THANK YOU to all the people who put this on, it was amazing.  The leaders were all great, the craft people, the snack people, the sign in at the door people, I was very impressed and loved the fun times I could enjoy with just Kenan all week. 

img_8212.jpgIt’s a rainy day today.  In most of the world this would be a steady drizzle, but for Calgary it’s pouring buckets!

The kids are in the basement watching an Esther movie.  Helen is taking a nap.  Soirée is all in a hissy because it’s her turn to be locked in the basement.  Vanilla is exploring the upstairs.  She’s one lucky girl, because last Thursday when they were preparing to spay her, they discovered she was already spayed!  So she got a tattoo, claws trimmed, and some followup shots, and got to come right home.

Interesting aside:  Vanilla’s colouring is called “seal point“, the most common Siamese colouring.  “Seal” refers to the shade of brown, and “point” refers to how the shades are distributed, with darker face, ears, paws and tail.  The reason for the colour distribution is actually fascinating, it’s because of a chromosonal (or some similar word) “defect” that makes siamese cats “almost” albino.  Their hair colouring gene stops working at warmer temperatures, so the core of their body is white and the extremeties–which are slightly cooler–have colour.  Siamese kittens are nearly uniformly white because of the uniform warmth in their mother’s body, but start developing the “point” colouring a few weeks after birth.  And Siamese cats kept in northern climes are generally darker than those that live in warmer areas.

After hearing Brian Doerksen on CD singing “Come, just as you are to worship…”, Shana has been belting out all day:


Just a new home to woooorship!

Soirée, as some of you know, is anything but excited about a new pet in the house.  So before bringing Vanilla home we went straight to the world expert on pet relationships, my Aunt Debby.  Call her a Stray Magnet or blame her loving heart, Debby always seems to have at least a couple of cats and dogs in her home (and currently two gerbils at the office).

In case anyone else is wondering how to introduce a new cat to a home, here’s her advice. 

Debby suggested keeping the cats in separate parts of the house for the first few days at least, but making them switch places every 12 hours.  That way they get used to each other’s scent and presence without feeling threatened, and they don’t get territorial–neither feels like they own some part of the house.

The folks at the humane society said that sounded like a great idea, with the only caveat that we should wait 3-4 days before doing the switching thing because a cat fresh from a shelter could be carrying diseases that we don’t want Soirée to catch.  (They’re especially worried about an upper respiratory virus.)  If Vanilla is symptom-free in a few days it should be safe for them to share litter boxes or food dishes.  They also said that depending on the cats it could take anywhere from a few days to a month or more before we feel comfortable leaving them alone in the house together.

Amazingly, the first couple of days I don’t think Soirée really knew that Vanilla was in the house!  We blocked off the basement and kept Nilly downstairs (just trying out name variations for the fun of it).  But yesterday she snuck out while one of the kids was opening the door, darted into the living room face-to-face with a shocked Soirée, before I grabbed her and got her back downstairs, leaving Soirée with a huge bushy tail.  Soirée isn’t sure what to make of it now.  I guess it’s best she know now that there’s someone else in our lives…

(No it’s not actually raining, that just seemed like a catchy title.)

I finally got around to making Kenan a swing to match Shana’s, plus lifted Shana’s a bit higher off the ground.  They’re both pretty excited.  And I had fun too.  Amazing how many power tools and Home Depot trips you can involve for something as simple as a swing!  🙂

M&D, I’m sorry I never got around to sending you the picture you asked for months ago, showing the entire swing.  Here it is finally!



This afternoon we welcomed Vanilla to our family, a purebred Siamese weighing in at 9 lbs 4 oz.  Her colouring reminds us both of vanilla ice-cream and of pure vanilla.

Actually Vanilla adopted us first by following us home from the park last week.  We brought her to the humane society but her owner never called to claim her so we took her back today.

She’s playful, letting us pet her, even purring.  She hasn’t met Soirée yet, and I’m not sure Soirée even knows she’s around.  We’re keeping Vanilla in the basement for a few days until they can get used to each other’s scents.

The kids are very excited (goes without saying), especially since she followed them home from the park!  They don’t realise of course that this has lowered the chance of getting a puppy any time soon…  🙂



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