that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.



Check out the pumpkin I carved, it’s Dwight from ‘The Office’!


But no ‘Office’ would be complete without Kevin… so here’s Luke’s:


The pair:


All four… Darcy’s wolf and Celine’s Moon/Bat combo:

all 4


Happy Hallowe’en!

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stocking up

Perks of home — spending two weeks back in Penticton made it the perfect time to pick up the “necessities” that I deem crucial to my quality of life:

Cherry Hill COFFEE

Cherry Hill COFFEE

This is not crucial but it is delicious:

Naramata Nut Brown

Naramata Nut Brown

Along with the salsa mom and I made, I also loaded up on her homemade apple chips which I can’t post a picture because I ate them already.

On a sidenote digression, a number of years ago I had a little Christmas baking day where my dear friend Leanne brought me a Christmas cactus (who since has gone by “Curtis the Cactus”). Leanne told me that these plants are supposed to bloom at Christmastime and some times Eastertime so every year I have waited for flowers off of Curtis to no avail. When I moved to Victoria, I consulted my personal plant expert Chrissy on how to essentially force Curtis to grow and bloom. Even though she gave me stellar advice (some of which I still haven’t taken), my dang Cactus remained flowerless that Christmas and Easter and subsequently the Christmas and Easter the next year.

I left Curtis with my ma when I came back to Victoria this fall under strict instructions to baby the little guy. I wondered if maybe the climates of stagnant, frozen, bitter Calgary or wet, humid, mild Victoria were hindering the little guys’ progression. Then, lo and behold, I went home at Thanksgiving and this is what I saw:





Moral of my story? Two things: Curtis is not a feminine-enough name for all that pink. Second, my mom is a rockstar.


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Well, I’ve finished my two weeks…. and I am not looking for a career change. What do you think…success?

If the last two weeks are any indication, I am anticipating a very interesting and funny and dramatic life as a high school teacher. Ohhh the stories, and it’s only been 9 days.

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have coffee with me

Fall has set in and I’ve been waiting for it. In Victoria, fall is unlike the autumns I am used to so it is such a treat to be in Penticton where scarves and mittens are as evident as the cold puffs of air I breathe. October never feels quite right until my windshield is frostbitten, the afternoon disappears with my mind in a good book, and the season changes right before my eyes.

Need someone to think about? How ’bout me? As always, my time home or time in Alberta serves to be anointed where I spend more time with my heart and noisy mind than while I am in the throws of my everyday life. I’m facing a couple of impossible decisions right now and as the everchanging leaves of fall, my mind is everchanging over these matters in my heart.

And in finishing my first week in secondary school as a person of authority, I am all over again¬†overwhelmed by the responsibility I am getting myself into. How do I teach students while being real yet not making oh-so-obvious my inadequacies as someone to learn from. Can I? High school is interesting… being back there reminds me of my own time as a student and the five thousand ways that I was immature and brave and curious and obnoxious and selfish and scared. I hope I am removed enough from my own experience by now — the positivity of my own high school years threatens my compassion towards these students’ experiences. The simple reality is that I may struggle understanding them because my existence has been pretty easy. It’s a huge responsibility. I am excited but I wish I could look at myself in the mirror and say that I would trust me with the task. But I am honestly not sure.

A couple things to think about —

When we know that what we are doing is something we’ve been continuously prepared for, how do we fight the fear that we might not be good enough for it?

If a battle for me is a breeze for you, will you tell me how you approach the world and its acceptance of you with grace and trust that it does love you regardless of who you are and where you’re at? How do you own that?

How do you make your impossible decisions?

How long does it take and how far do you go before you openly admit you are struggling? Do you ever? Can you read between my lines?

Finally, when can our hearts meet over coffee? I am aching for the company of a friend.

I could really use some help.


Like the changing season, I feel like I should be changing too…

’cause in the dark, I can’t find my feet
Built my world on promises, colourless and cold

I’m short of breath, I’m sure
Gone, let it wash away the best I had
Gone, and when I disappear
Don’t expect me back, don’t expect me back

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a little bite

Here’s a foreshadow of an update to come:

You are a terrible teacher, Ms. Stam.

Hmm. I wasn’t even teaching?

Two things to consider in this moment:

A. Saying Well I think that’s a terrible shirt you’re wearing but that’s the thing about filters, they stop us from saying the things we shouldn’t.

B. Walking away and crying in the library discipline room.

Needless to say, I have one overriding realization from my first three days: grade ten is a whole, alternative species to the human race.


come with me

Since you’ve come along this far (or maybe just beginning on my journey now), I wanted to invite you even further into my world for the next couple weeks… my first two weeks as a student teacher. I am getting ready to go into the classroom on Tuesday and I am beyond excited and slgihtly nervous. The first two weeks are designed as an opportunity to familiarize myself with my mentor teacher, the school layout and operations, the staff/admin, and policies. This way, when I come in April, the unknown will only be limited to the profession itself, not the geography. If you find yourself thinking of me from October 13 – 23, then that is probably why — I can use all of the prayers or support I can get. This is where my mind and heart are overwhelmed with the reality of how blessed I am.


I mean, it’s not every day we are aware that we’re living our dream come true … right?


grace is for sinners – serena woods

Go out and buy this book. Do it. And if you can’t buy it, like I couldn’t, order it off of Amazon and check out the blog link on my list to your right for grace is for sinners. I will lend mine after my bursting preggers sister gets her hands on it but she might be wanting to lend it out herself. I am re-reading it so I will give my full account and feelings once I have a chance to fully devour it the second time around but it is important, its message is important, and grace is the most important of all (next to love anyhow). Take my word for it:


One review:

Grace is for Sinners is the story of a woman who found grace where it was most needed and from the purest source-God Himself. But it came through the most painful of voyages across the wilderness of guilt, misguidance, and isolation. Christians who didn’t know how to handle grace on an industrial level burned the bridge that Christ meant to bring Serena back into restoration. Serena freely admits her guilt, but so convictingly reminds us, “Jesus didn’t hang on the cross in case you need him, he hung on the cross because you desperately need him.”

If we are still sitting in judgment of one remorseful believer’s failures over and against our own with no posture of restoration, it can only be because we ourselves have not found the profusion of healing that God aches for us to take from His scarred – over hands. Perhaps we are still cowering from our own guilt, covering it up by pointing at the decoy of others’ guilt. Grace levels the playing field. Redemption is meant for all.

Grace, in short, is for sinners.

[taken from]