Friday, June 29, 2007

"Give Me Christ or Else I Die"

I read this article this morning... think about it and let me know if it stirs you up like it did with me. It was a great perspective setter... enjoy!

I'm off to spend a little more time in the book of Philippians this morning - very good stuff. If you are struggling with contentment, pride, love for others, daily living, joy, assurance of salvation, or a proper view of Christ - these 4 chapters pack a powerful punch. Especially after reading the short article above. My choice to meditate upon for the day?

"[Christ] made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." Philippians 2:7-8

Question: "So then, Mrs Manz... how should that truth change the way you live, today?" :)

Happy June 29th, everyone!

The Police and Me

This will probably be the earliest-ever post on Manzvillecanada... not by choice, as much as opportunity. You see, I was most abruptly awakened this morning at 0450 (4:50 am) by a incredibly loud acceleration/smashing/screeching noise. True I sleep with my windows open (thanks for the dog, honey) on a busy street - but this was exceptionally loud... and didn't sound innocent. People speed down both the street and the back-alley all the time... and I really thought maybe someone hit either a parked car in the front, or a garbage can (or two!) in the back alley.
My sweetheart being out of town until later today, the task fell to me to investigate. (Shucks!)

As I checked out the front windows, nothing appeared to be amiss... so I moved to the back alley (with my dog - in case anyone is worried... plus it was already pretty broad daylight as it has been since about 3:30 this morning). The first sight that greeted me was this:

"Hmm..." I thought. "Those big, splintered pieces of wood aren't usually there." (Unfortunately, the graffiti is). Looking around the parking area I saw more:

Usually this is an intact fence. And those large, dark, acceleration-looking tracks weaving toward the fence and just past the garage and Cody's car (within 6 inches!) aren't usually there, either. "Great zooks!" I thought. Well, maybe that would be an ambitious and articulate thought for so early, but I was a little flustered at the damage and apparent near-misses... plus I was still shook up from the initial awakening. :)

Enough seen, I went inside and called the police to come check it out. The lady on the phone assured me that officers would be there shortly... so I got more dressed and waited. While sitting in the living room, I thought, "Hmmm... if I was Kurt, wouldn't I want to know what is going on?" :) So I placed a call to his cell just after 5 am... and when my groggy sweetie answered (and wasn't even grumpy!) I told him "Hi honey - good morning... just thought I'd call you while I'm waiting for the police to get here." That woke him up.


Needless to say, he made me assure him that everything was okay and that I wasn't hurt, etc... but was also kinda shocked at my story. Not shocked enough forget to tell me to make sure I was dressed, not shocked enough to stay on the line until the police got here (a 911 operator he is not), and also not shocked enough to stop him from telling me he was going to get another hour of sleep... but I digress. (I love you, babe!) So I went out to take another look before the police got there, and took a closer view of the destroyed fence corner... the closer I stood, the worse it looked!

The officers who pulled up were awesome (Kudos to the local police service!). They were courteous, interested and really kind... and they were also stumped at what direction this guy was coming/going from as he hit not only our fence, but punched in another neighbor's fence and grazed another one further down. The squealing brakes I heard were probably the guy narrowly missing another neighbor's garage. They told me they strongly suspected that it was a stolen car... but had no way of telling for sure.

After they talked to the neighbor with the most damage (his fence seen here) - who said he heard the noise but had no idea where it came from - they drove off to find the bad guy (we all wished), the neighbor went to work (golf pro) and I (after taking a few pictures for posterity's sake) came in to blog before going back to bed. To each their own equally important task. ;-D

Other than the fence damage, Cody's car escaped with a small scratch (instead of being creamed like it very nearly was) and the flying wood appears to have missed it completely... no broken windows. The fence is repairable, the adventure is over... but it will live on in my memories... and my blog. Praise the Lord - who else claims to be the God of "near-misses"?

That said: Have I mentioned that I can't wait to move to the country? :)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The life of a nurse...

Just got home from work and thought I'd put out a quick post before taking doggy-dearest for a walk. I was only there 4 hours - supposedly a light shift. But June 28th must have felt like a good day to have a baby... and in the short period I was there, I helped with 4 admissions, 2 baths, 2 IV changes, gave 2 IV push meds, checked a fundus and talked to a lot of parents - oh, and loads of paperwork.
The down side? No coffee break.
The up side? The shift went super-quick. :)
I enjoy working postpartum so much... I think it is going to be the strangest thing to be there with my own child. Today, after helping one family - I had a vision of my husband sitting exhausted in a chair at the hospital bedside, smiling at his newborn child. And it was like, "Wow! Lord-willing that is going to be us!" :)
Anyway, since I was on a blog-roll (so to speak) I thought I'd put up a quizz:

Does anyone out there know what the strange instrument I am holding to my head is for? I don't have prizes to give away... but you will be publicly esteemed and lauded on my blog if you figure it out. :)
Here is a hint: it has something to do with labour and delivery (see all the pictures behind me?).
Happy guessing!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


For those that know me (and my love of rearranging) the changes in the blog shouldn't surprise you.

I've pretty much done everything I can with the living room at the moment... but my blog is full of endless possibilities.

Yeah- this picture shows my glee with discombobulating my mother and her expectation of "normal"... Bah-ha-ha! (I love you, mom!)

Any feedback? Keep it gentle - the hormones make me prone to cry... chuckle...

Sunday at Blackstrap

We were invited to spend a day at the lake with some friends of ours on Sunday... we'd never been to Blackstrap lake before, so it was going to be an adventure. We packed Oscar, his bone and some water, some food (for us), and some warm-ish clothes so we would be prepared for "anything". Anything was: the boat broke (sorry Patrick!), it rained, and the dog had to be guarded from little children who wanted to feed him sticks (not kidding), I undercooked the hot dogs (not sure how that is possible (Kurt you picky eater!))... but all joking aside - it truly was a very enjoyable time with good friends and each other. :) I'd put up pictures of the others there, but I'm not sure how people feel about pictures on the Internet... so I'll refrain. But you know who you are! :) Thanks for a great day!

Not the greatest angle on a pregnant lady... but my husband assures me that he thinks I'm cute... and it is a great shot of the dog... so 'Ce la vie'. :)
BTW: Cheryl M: Great bathing suit! I didn't think it was possible to feel attractive at "5.75 months" in swimwear... but did they ever know how to make 'em 26 years ago! :) You made my day with your hand-me-down - thanks so much for thinking of me!

'Tis the season...

You know summer is really here when the intensive yard work starts!

Kurt decided that Saturday was finally the day to begin work on front yard.
For those who have been by our house (or TO it, as the friends who came over last Friday laughed about) the front yard leaves a lot to be desired. Perhaps even calling it a yard is a mild understatement. :)
I'm sure the original owners took great pride in ownership... the trees and cedars are truly beautiful. But 5+ years of renters has done little for the property. The front yard became characterized by overgrown trees, and a couple of scrappy/weedy "beds" under the windows where flowers used to grow. The so-called "lawn" had more dandelions than grass.

We've planned on doing this since last summer (our first "official" year of ownership) - but winter and lack of cash made it impossible until this year. We're enjoying the back yard (which I'll put some pictures up of later) and figured that June 23rd felt like an appropriate day to get
going on the front.

Last week, Kurt rounded-up the front (thus the awful yellow-hue of the lawn compared to the other houses), and Saturday, he borrowed a sod-cutter from our neighbor and cut it all up... as I was taking the pictures, the was putting all the old sod into piles to be hauled away as soon as we can arrange it (ourselves or our friend with the Bobcat... hint, hint, Larry...) (chuckle)
Our plan is to edge around the trees (along the curvy lines) and fill in that area with gravel... and put in underground sprinklers and new green sod for the rest of the yard. What a capable man I married! He did such a fantastic job of the backyard last year that I have no doubt the front will have terrific "curb appeal"!
Besides the fact that it was 24 degrees with 60%+ humidity ("Blech!" says the prairie girl), the day was great for yard-work. After these pictures were taken, I had taken out Kurt a lighter-weight shirt, plus lemonade and brownies... but he was still a tad dehydrated for the rest of the day.

The dog didn't really seem to appreciate his air-conditioned luxury... thus his mournful staring out the window as his master put true "sweat-equity" into the property. As it was, I had taken Oscar for a walk that morning and he was nearly falling-over by the time we got home because it was so muggy.
Stay tuned for more updates as "we" continue to work... ;-D

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Wanna buy a cheap dog?

He's done it... officially turned into a "bad dog". It started before convocation - but after - it skyrocketed. It was little things. "Tiny rebellions". We'd call him to come, and he'd look at us, raise his eyebrows as if to say, "Make me, sucker." and run away. Kurt would give chase and punish... I being pregnant am not about to chase a silly dog around the yard (including behind the bushes where he thinks he's untouchable... for purposes of moi, he is untouchable there). We'd say, "No, Oscar." and he'd look at us and do it anyway... or, worse, look away - pretending he didn't hear us - and do it anyway. But the breaking straw - alluded to by my mother's reply in the last post - was post-convocation on Tuesday.

We came home after a few hours away and the living room floor was covered in the remains of a board game (which I like!). Not only that, but the box was chewed up, the parts were chewed up, and a few of the marbles ("points") were mysteriously missing. Ugh. Furthermore, the garbage bag from the office was on the floor with it's contents strewn about. Fortunately, it was just paper... shredded, but only paper. We walked into the bathroom to find the contents of that garbage emptied all over the floor... and all that remained of a formerly full roll of toilet paper was a lonely, brown cardboard tube. He ate the toilet paper.

By then, I was feeling a little irritated (plus our AC wasn't working, and it was 26 degrees in there)... but then some mysterious yelping came from the office, and we found our dog - stopped by the Lord on his path of destruction by the door closing on him - in the middle of a pile of papers, and books... yes books... belonging to neither Kurt nor I - but to a good friend... that were shredded and totally ruined by his doggy slobber. I have no idea how he got them - and now we're out at least $40 because I have to replace them. Ugh.

Kurt looked at me, said, "Kendall, you just go change and I'll clean this up, okay?" (See how wonderful he is!) and the dog pranced up to both of us as if to say, "Yay! Join the party of mayhem!!" He was kenneled, the mess was cleaned, and I withheld my love for 2 days. 40 bucks!!! Oy vey...

As if to discipline me for my withdrawal of affections, he dog decided to throw up (stop laughing, dad) right outside our bedroom door the other morning, devoured his new chew bone (nothing remains) in 2 hours, get diarrhea in the yard (so long, lawn), and has seemed to develop an insatiable taste for toilet paper. He has also remained rebellious, and crazy... and we're hoping that the terrible 6-month phase lasts until tomorrow. Plus, he gets hair all over every single piece of clothing that it is important that he not get hair on - like work uniforms right as I'm about to walk out the door. It's like doggy ESP: "She doesn't want me to touch her... so instead of walking past her, I'll brush up against her legs as I go by - Bah-ha-ha-ha!!!"

My goodness: all this and we're having a baby, too?

Who says the Lord doesn't use "little" circumstances to grow His children... even big, dumb, stubborn, rebellious dogs.

Amen? :)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Thoughts on Convocation

As amazing and unreal as it seems, we did it! We got through 4 "challenging" years of clinical/theory/assignments, wrote our finals, and convocated. Wow... I drove past the university yesterday (on my way to work), and thought, "I'm really done with this place!"

... until I go back for my Masters and PhD... ha, ha! Got you, Kurt! ;-D

There are so many people I would love to thank for getting me through this task: my brothers and sister's-in-law, my Baba and Gydo, my grandpa W, Kurt's parents, my church family... I know I'm forgetting people. Sorry! Your support over the years has been unwavering, and you've all been such a blessing... other people were able to be there on Tuesday - and some of them are pictured below:

1) My "girls"... some of whom are missing because we couldn't find them for a picture in the crowd, others who convocated in October, and another who is in India planning her wedding (hi Ruthie!) Honestly, school wouldn't have been nearly as big of a blessing without you guys - and I praise God for the friendships He has allowed us to develop with each other. Each of you are a unique blessing to me in your own way - and I pray that we'll continue to have bunches of "4 years" together. :) You are all amazing nurses!

2) My Gramma W: Now we're both nurses! :) It has always been something special that I've been able to share with you: and we speak the same "lingo" (although Cody is starting to be able to pick up the "talk"). Your excitement and encouragement have always been on of the things that have kept me "enthused" about this process... it was an honor to have you there on Tuesday. I love you and Grandpa VERY much!

3) Mom and Dad: Wow! You guys have been such a blessing over the years. Asking questions, and giving support. Loving and praying... hearing my Daddy yell, "That's my girl!" as I walked across the stage was such a blessing and I'll remember it always (especially since my brilliant mother decided to video the process). I love you both more than words can say! I know it took time out of your very busy schedules to be there... but it meant so much to have you sharing in the day with me. I love this picture, too: Daddy! Your eyes are open - good job! :-D

4) My "Chief among 10,000": Kurt, my love... aside from my salvation, you are the single greatest gift the Lord has given me. He has used you to get me through the last 4 years, and hearing you yell, "Congratulations baby! Whooooo!" made me giggle as I shook the Chancellor's hand - this accomplishment belongs to both of us! But that entire crowd (all 1000 of them) knew that my husband loved me... and I was again made aware of what an incredibly special man I have married. Submitting to you in the Lord is often a challenge - not because of you - my own selfishness grieves me often. But by God' s grace, I'll spend the rest of my life here on earth trusting and loving you more as we grow together. I see how you daily love me and our "little one" and I am both humbled and amazed. Nursing was/is a path... but this marriage is the road that I love traveling with you daily. Thank you for choosing me - you are my best friend in the entire world, and I love you!

That's all for now: thanks for reading everyone!