Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Wedding Video Slideshow

After repeated attempts and time-outs, I was finally able to upload this today:

It's just a slideshow of some of the best wedding pics, but it was much easier to do it this way than post actual pics.

The ceremony was held in a giant tent at the university arboretum, and the girls waited in the cars while the guests arrived. Rain was in the forecast and sure enough it began to pour down just about an hour before the ceremony. It started and stopped again throughout the ceremony and afterward, so at least it wasn't a constant downpour. The officiant made a rather fitting comment about the rain that brings new life in nature, would be falling at that moment, as the bride and groom sealed their devotion to one another in marriage and began their new life as husband and wife.

It was truly a beautiful ceremony.

Graphic design by Carla Rolfe

Struggling with Sovereignty

How is it even possible that the one attribute of God that so many find such immeasurable comfort in, His sovereignty over all things, is the very same attribute that so many likewise struggle with?

I stopped to consider this yesterday as I thought about how much I used to love fall. For the longest time it was my favorite season of the year. I loved everything about it, from the cool, crisp smell in the air, to the anticipation it brings with it that Christmas is just around the corner, to the fantastic color changes all around you in nature. All of those things are still just as wonderful as they've always been, but now there is a dark cloud that comes along with fall and that dark cloud says "fall means winter is coming and winter means you will suffer and be in much misery for many months". I can become easily frustrated with those around me that do not understand the physical pain I go through when I become too cold. It's just the way God made me, but when I get too cold my body begins to scream out in a bone-chilling ache, very similar to the body-aches you might experience when you have the flu. I have to bundle up and stay bundled up for the winter months, and quite often will have to stop what I'm doing right in the middle of the day and turn the bathwater on at it's hottest setting, to thaw myself out and get that pain out of my bones. Clearly I was not designed to live in a cold climate.

I used to love so many thing about winter as well. Watching the snow fall, playing Christmas music, making my family's favorite winter-comfort-foods, etc. However, the older I get the more miserable I become when I get cold, and here in Ontario the cold winters last far too long for me. And the very same God who brings beautiful sunny summer days, gorgeous fall color change and the hushing of the world under a fresh blanket of sparkling snow is the very same God who plummets the temperatures well into the minus category for months on end.

I can't help but see the irony in how God's sovereignty is good and right and awesome when it serves me well, and yet somehow one of those things I don't care for, when it serves to make me miserable. His sovereignty is the same source of divine orchestration that brings many other situations to come pass that fall into the same double-sided sort of category. The same God that brings people into your life that build you up, encourage you, support you and will be there through good times and bad, is the same God who sends people into your life who will criticize, tear down, and betray you. The same God who brings years of happiness and good health is the same God who also permits heartache, pain and illness to become part of your every day existance. The same God who brings financial stability is the same God who takes these things away and shows you what genuine poverty looks and feels like.

I know I certainly have not yet arrived at the "count it all joy" stage, when I am suffering through difficult times and I often wonder if the only way to get there is to suffer more? Sometimes I wonder what it really means to "suffer well". I'm fairly certain it means no whining, no complaining, and being able to find the silver lining in every black cloud that comes along. No, I have definitely not arrived in that place yet.

Just a few random thoughts on a cold, rainy, blustery fall morning.

Graphic design by Carla Rolfe

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Wedding Day

A handful of pics from today's wonderful event:

Kevin, Caryn, Eric and me. Thankfully, the rain let up long enough for us to have some outdoor shots taken.

Minus a few (hundred, lol) that were not able to make the wedding today, here's our small tribe. Rachel, Kev, Jessica, Caryn, Eric, me, Jordan, Samuel and Ruth.

Kevin, me, Caryn, Eric, Pat & Greg (Eric's parents). As you can see, some were ready for the picture to be taken, and some weren't. It must be a mom thing? :-)

Eric and some of his new sisters and newest little brother.
Jessica and me. This was right after I cried the second time (after watching the newlyweds dance their first dance as man and wife) and half my makeup went rolling down my face. I'm such a crybaby.

My daughter Caryn, the beautiful bride.

Mr. and Mrs. Humphries. Awwwwww! (I held my tears during the ceremony, but right after this pic was taken I kind of lost it! Caryn saw me and she did too! I really did try hard not to cry, but it was too beautiful. Poor Rachel, she lost it at this point as well, lol.

Kevin caught off guard. Doesn't he look simply dashing in his suit? I told him he should wear that every day, but he's way too fond of his t-shirts and shorts.

Pat (Eric's mom) and I discussing the rain. You can tell how happy we are about it. :-)

Graphic design by Carla Rolfe

The Big Day

Much easier to create a vid slideshow than uploading all the pics one at a time - here's yesterday's fun decorating the reception hall, the wedding rehearsal, dinner and Eric's birthday all rolled into one!

Graphic design by Carla Rolfe

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


No, not me. I gave my main site a fresh sprucing up recently. Just click the pretty picture below, to take a peek. There are still a few minor tweaking things to take care of but that'll be coming later, when I'm not so crazy-busy.

Graphic design by Carla Rolfe

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

'Tis the (Cold and Flu) Season: 2009

"Each capsule has been certified by ChemBioPrint (CBP) to contain 200 mg of CVT-E002, a unique extract of oligosaccharides and polysaccharides from Panax quinquefolium..."

Maybe it's just me, but I read something like that and suddenly I feel dumber than a box of rocks. Quinquefolium you say? Oh sure, I use that every time I make autumn ginger cookies! Actually, no I don't. Until today, I didn't even know what it was.

When I woke up today at 4:26 am, absolutely miserable and needing to cough but not wanting to for the fact that my throat was on fire and I knew it would hurt like crazy, my suspicions that my adorable son Samuel (who's been nicknamed "Smiley" by the school principle and staff) had given me his Yuck Virus that he was suffering from on Sunday were confirmed. I am officially Mom Yuck.

So you're probably wondering what in tarnation that has to do with those crazy oligosaccharides and quinquenfoliums, right? Simple, that's a specific extract from North American Ginseng, and what you'll find in every capsule of COLD-fx. I've been told the Canadian Hockey guys swear by it (shame on them for swearing) and I've tried it once before when I had a bad cold and it seemed to work quiet well, so I decided to try it again. Last time I tried it at the tail end of the cold, this time I'm starting the turbo-dose at the beginning of the cold, so I just hope it works like advertised, since I sorta have a HUGE event coming this Saturday.

I certainly don't want to be remembered as "the mother of the bride coughing her head off at the wedding". That would not be good at all.

Besides, it simply has to work because tomorrow is "finish all my shopping for last minute things including potato salad fixin's for the rehearsal dinner, Samuel and Ruth new shoes, Eric's birthday present which is the day before the wedding, and everything else I forgot before now" shopping day. I can't do all that if I'm feeling icky!

So come on you perky little quinquefolium extracts, do your ginsengy thang!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fall Boutineers

Caryn and I spent the evening creating the boutineers for the wedding. My fingers are sore from all the pinching, twisting and taping, but they're finally done and they turned out great!

One more week to go, before the big day!

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Monday, September 14, 2009

The Ramblings of Me

Not that anyone asked, but no I have not given up blogging. I've just been so outrageously busy that I don't have nearly the time to sit and write lately, that I did before. Lots of changes in RolfeLand since the kids started back to school - and I've become a dual PS/HS mom again. One of the biggest changes is that I actually go to bed at a normal time again, and get up long before the sun does. That's taking a bit of getting used to, for this nightowl.

In any event, here are some random things rattling around my brain lately:

• I've come to realize that if someone is SO up to speed on blogs, news, entertainment, fads, trends, etc. that they might be considered the go-to guy (or gal) on all these things, that in all liklihood they have a dirty toilet, kids that want their attention and laundry hasn't been done in way too long. You just can't be so informed about things without spending massive time on it - and if you do that - someone or something else in your life is suffering for it. I know this from firsthand experience and I'm not proud to admit that. Just another one of life's lessons I suppose.

• Creating boutineers without using an actual flower for the center, is not as easy as it sounds. When you're only using fall leaves, fern, ivy and berries... it's sorta tricksy! Attempt no. 2 will commence this evening, with new fern leaves. Pics to come, assuming I'm as crafty and creative as I seem to think I am.

Jordan and Samuel
• Jordan and Samuel's birthdays being 2 weeks apart, they have always liked to have one BIG birthday party on the same day. This past Saturday we celebrated their birthdays (Jordan 12, Samuel 9) and it was lots of fun, except I woke up Saturday with some kind of brutal intestinal funk-o-rama, and spent the day chugging Pepto-Bismol like it was going out of style. All tummy issues aside, I don't know how much longer these two will be wanting the one BIG party since they're growing up way too fast, as all kids tend to do.

• Speaking of kids growing up too fast, I'm thoroughly enjoying the two newest and shortest members of my family these days, Hailey and Turbo. Turbo is Rachel's new kitty, and he's lots of fun as most new kitties are. Hailey wasn't too sure what to make of this stuffed animal moving around in her seat, however.

Hailey and Turbo

• Speaking of Hails, I can't believe she's going to be five months old this week. You know, I always knew I'd very much enjoy being a grandma, and this adorable little ball of grins makes it so easy to do. All you have to do is talk to her and her face just blooms into a gigantic smile. She's one of the happiest, sweetest babies I've ever been around - and I don't say that just because she's my WaileyBailey Muffin Monkey. I've been around plenty of snarky, tempermental babies in my day, even some of them my very own.

Grandma and Hailey

• Speaking of kids who were snarky, tempermental babies, I also can't believe it's only 10 more days until my oldest gets married. I'm going to cry, I know it. Just a few weeks ago I was thinking about the actual ceremony and I started to cry. Why do mothers cry about that? It's not as if she's not already all grown up, after all she IS nearly 27 years old. Yep, I'm going to cry. Good time to invest in a quality waterproof mascara so no one thinks Caryn invited Alice Cooper to her wedding. (Although they would wonder why Alice was wearing what my other future son-in-law has called a goth vampire dress, but that's another blog post, completely. He's Dutch, so I guess to him Celtic looks more like goth-vampire? I'm not sure, we'll sort all that out later).

• Speaking of vampires, we've begun renting season 3 of Heroes (which has nothing to do with vampires, oddly enough) and Hiro just cracks me up. I'm going to start calling bad people "nemesis" just for fun. We've only seen the first 5 episodes so no spoilers in the comments, please! (not that anyone EVER comments on this boring old blog anymore anyway, I'm just sayin'...) By the way, is it creepy that I had a dream last night that Syler got his eyebrows professionally thinned? Yeah, I thought so too.

• Last Friday was the anniversary of 9/11. I actually went out of my way to not think too much about it, because it still makes me cry. Driving to the store I had the radio on and they played Don Henley's In a New York Minute as a backtrack to audio clips of the major news channels reporting the breaking news of that horrific morning. While driving and listening to that I nearly had to pull over when the crying started all over again. My heart goes out to those still trying to adjust to life after 9/11.

• Speaking of adjusting, a few folks have asked how we're all adapting to public school after so many years of homeschooling. It's rather early to really give a report, but the kids are enjoying it very much. Rachel especially loves French, music and art, Samuel is loving the idea of field trips and playing with all the other boys his age at recess, and Jordan is already signing up to help monitor the little kids at recess. Academically, none of them are having any problems, but this is the week where they really get into the work, so we'll have a better idea at the end of the week how they're doing there.

• Nearly any time I post about my store or new designs or sites I'm working on, the crickets get REALLY loud, but I'm going to share a few things about that, all the same.

Prayer JournalFirst, I've lowered the price of my Prayer Journals. Not that I don't think they're worth every penny of the current price, but I want folks to order them, so I'm lowering the price. I have a new one myself (the one shown here is the new one I have) and I want to tell you, they're GREAT! I buy them in the lined version, but you can get blanks, grid or task journals. They're double spiral bound so they can lay open nice and flat. The front and back covers are a nice sturdy plastic, and the print quality of the front cover is simply amazing. The colors are rich and vivid, and just pop off the front cover. These are not just throw-away-notebooks, they're meant to last and made to last for those who enjoy journalling and want their journals to hold up over time. (The price of ALL journals has been lowered - not just on the Prayer Journals).

Next, I'm working on a brand new site to showcase all my designs. It's a lot of fun but it's also a lot of work, considering I have over 3,000 designs that fall into various categories and subcategories - and that's AFTER discontinuing many of them just in the last couple of months. The new site makes shopping so much easier and it's a very easy to remember url as well. I'm not going to share the link just yet as I have loads more work to do on the layout and adding products, but I hope to have the site done in the next couple of weeks.

Autumn Me

I think that's all going on in my head right now. There's probably more but I have other things to do so whatever I left off this time, I'll mention next time. Unless I forget it and/or decide it wasn't worth mentioning, which is entirely possible. Like mentioning dying my hair a deep ebony probably isn't worth mentioning, but that's what I did, to cover over the old blonde streaks I put it in last summer. Fall is always a good time to de-summer my hair and go back to my plain old brown. Probably not worth mentioning, but there you have it all the same.

Have a great week!

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Monday, September 7, 2009

From the Teacher's Desk

I once had a dream in which I had cleaned my living room real nice, and set a bowl of candy on the center of the coffee table. I had left the front door open as it was a lovely spring day. I went into another room and while my back was turned, the little boy from next door snuck inside and headed straight for the candy dish. He ate all the candy and trashed the room, before I had a chance to do anything about it. When I woke up the one thought going through my head was "when you leave the door open, there's no telling who/what will come in". Of course this applies in real life (which is why we lock our doors in the city, and shut those screen doors in the country) but it certainly applies to spiritual things as well.

I had this dream many years ago, but the impact of the spiritual truth of it really stuck with me. Sometimes we open doors that we really didn't mean to open, and sometimes those doors are rather hard to shut.

Recently my pastor preached a sermon that was sort of on this theme. Moreso, it had to do with what we feed ourselves on. Books, movies, music, websites, hobbies, habits and that sort of thing. One of the things he mentioned was how easily it happens that maybe just a "little" of this or a little of that at the beginning, might soon become A LOT of this or that, and how our spiritual life begins to really suffer as a result. While this is certainly not a new sermon (your pastor has probably preached the same one), it's defnitely one that we all need to hear on a regular basis. It's almost frightening how easy it really is to begin to become a lazy slob, spiritually. When things such as attending church regularly, praying every day, reading our Bibles and having family devotions start to take a backseat in favor of one thing or another, it becomes very very easy to let them take a backseat more and more often. We begin to feed more on things of the world than on things that nurture our spirit, and we will begin to starve ourselves spiritually. I know this for a fact, because I've unwittingly done it more than once. Maybe you have too?

As much as I love summer, I look forward to school starting every fall for many reasons. One of those reasons, is that it gives me a structured, daily lesson in Scripture and Scriptural applications five days out of the week. Someone once told me that a great way to learn your Bible is to teach the Bible, and I have found this to be quite true. As much as I do read my Bible, summertime always seems to somehow interfere in the regular feeding on the word.

Today I went through Ruth's fall lessons and I was really glad to note she'll be studying the Old Testament in her Bible course. I've taught through this particular book twice before, and I absolutely loved it both times and learned new things myself both times as well. I'm very much looking forward to teaching through it again, and being back on track with a regular daily/weekly study. Since this is my last year homeschooling, I've already made a mental note of some of the books I have here that I would like to study through for myself, when all the kids are at public school next year. That mental list may change between now and then, but at least I have these books (and study guides, and workbooks) and I have loads to choose from.

If homeschooling for 10 years has taught me anything, it's that even the teacher can be richly blessed by the teaching. Pretty cool, huh?

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Help Solve A Retro Woodstock Mystery!

I found something rather interesting in my garage today.
Tacked to the wall inside a tool cupboard was this piece of paper:

It's not very easy to read, so here is exactly what it says:

Collegiate Institute
School Yell


Kininney, kininney, kininney, knight,
A hullabo, hullabo, hullabo, height,
Rickety, rickety, rickety, right,
High up, sky up, red and white
Boom alacka, boom alacka, bow wow wow
Chick alacka, chick alacka, chow, chow, chow
Razzoo, bazzoo, Johnny get your kazzoo
I skiddy I-I-I
Zig-a-boom, zig-a-boom, zig-a-boom-ba

Based on this awesome school yell (and assuming this paper used to be white, and the printing is red - and based on this uber-red website for WCI), I'm going to guess that the school colors were red and white, and this was the Woodstock, Ontario high school yell somewhere in the mid 1950's?

If anyone reading would like to put their google-riffic skills to use and help me solve this mystery, that would be great! Added bonus if I could get a Woodstock Collegiate Alumni to shed a little zig-a-boom light on this.

Boom alacka, boom alacka bow wow wow!

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Week's End Miscellanies

Lately, I have no idea where the time goes. Every day I have good intentions of sitting down here and writing out something, and every night I think to myself "wow, where did today go?" Mostly, it's going to gearing up for the new school year and all the details that go with that, and whatever time is left is divided up between designing, wedding details, trips to the dentist for me and all the kids and then whatever else I can cram into a day. Blog writing has not only taken a backseat, so has blog reading. I think I've read less than 5 blog posts this week. It's just that thing called life interfering in my blogginess. So anyway, heres a few random hits on various things:

• Is it just me, or is it seriously freakish that suddenly the fashion for teenage boys is being ultra-skinny (think: skeleton thin) with ultra skinny, skin tight, feminine colored (purples, oranges) pants? Its as if the lead singer from the J Geils band made a fashion-splash comeback. I've seen more and more teenage boys dressed this way over the summer, and it's rather disturbing.

• I've spent a good chunk of design time over the last couple of years doing custom designs for other people, and I absolutely love doing that. However, that time and effort is donated for free and everyone tells me I'm insane to work for free. "I've seen your designs on various blogs & websites and you're doing that for FREE!?" one person said. Yep, I do it for free. I suspect that's one reason folks come to me for design work. I wouldn't know what to charge anyway even if I did start charging, so I'm going to go with a "donate what you think this work is worth" option for future requests, via paypal. (Custom and personalization work for the store is exempt from this - those will remain as is - no extra charge). I'll be adding a "donate" button at carlarolfe.com for non-store related design work. Maybe someone will think my talent is worth more than free! :-)

• Yesterday while driving home from WalMart I saw a man walking down the stree with a real parrot on his shoulder. What!? Yep, a parrot. I so wanted to shout out the window "argggh, matey!" but I did not. I should have.

• According to the news, Rifqa Bary will be staying with her foster parents in Florida for at least another few weeks, until another trial where the court system will decide custody. Please do continue to pray for her, and for other Muslims that convert to Christianity that face the same very real threat of an honor killing.

• I've volunteered to make the boutineers for the men in the wedding party for my daughter's wedding. I've never made one before, but I have a picture of what they're supposed to look like, and I have the crafty-touch to make them turn out right. Ivy, maple leaves, a small twig and some green silk ribbon and they'll be awesome. I have a hot glue gun, and I am not afraid to use it. I'll post some pics when they're done.

• Did I mention my sugar baby pumpkins in my garden are coming along quite wonderfully? Well, they are! I think I have 6 or 7, but they're small and they like to hide under the giant leaves, so I may have more. There is nothing quite so yummy as a fresh Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, made with garden fresh pumpkins. I'm so glad I decided to put in a garden this year.

• Minus the gym shoes they'll need (that we'll be stopping at WalMart after church on Sunday and picking up) the kids are all ready for back to school. We went up a few days ago for them to get their classes and take another tour of the school, and they're so excited they can barely stand it. I remember that back to school feeling of the last week of summer. It's exciting to meet new kids and for them (since they've been homeschooled their whole lives) it's going to be extra exciting to be in a classroom setting. I have a feeling that excitement will wear off quickly and before long they'll hate sitting at a desk for so long each day, just like most kids do. Ruth is all ready with new textbooks, workbooks and a fresh box of crayons. I think out of all the grades I've loved teaching the most, first and second grades are the best. She'll be doing both levels in various subjects, so it's an awesome last homeschool year for me to be teaching.

• Speaking of crayons, here's my off-the-top-of-my-head attempt at coloring your feelings:

"Completely out of the blue he exclaimed "what are you, yellow?" The man recoiled, feeling somewhat green. Suddenly, he saw red. He had to find a way into the black, and stop feeling so blue."

Feel free to try that yourself (leave yours in the comments), it's not as easy as you might think to write with colors. I could have done a better job but that was my first attempt and I just left it as is.

• Parents all across the US are considering opting out their kids from the first day of school September 8th, because school districts are going to require kids to watch an address by President Obama. When I first heard this, I wasn't sure what the big whoop-dee-doo was all about. Jules from everydaymommy has a few things to say about this, and you can read it here. You decide what's best for YOUR kids.

• Last but certainly not least, the wife of Japan's new Prime Minister claims she's travelled to Venus, in a ufo. But wait - there's more:

"The wife of Japan's incoming prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, claimed in a book called "Most Bizarre Things I've Encountered" that she flew in a UFO to Venus in the 1970s, where she made fast friends with the natives, the Times of London reported. “While my body was sleeping, I think my spirit flew on a triangular-shaped UFO to Venus,” wrote Miyuki Hatoyama. “It was an extremely beautiful place and was very green.” The space-bound spouse has also been a musical actress, cookbook writer, designer and TV personality — and says that she was friends long ago with Tom Cruise, whom she knew in a previous life when he was Japanese." - (source)

Well, there ya go. Ahem.

Oh, I have to include this as well, because your life depends on it!

• "People who have agonized over their fat thighs might be able to relax a bit — Danish doctors said on Thursday they found patients with the thinnest thighs died sooner than the more endowed." (source)

Well that's about all the wisdom I have today. It's Labor Day Weekend, and we have no plans to do anything except hang out around the house, maybe go in the pool one last time (it's going green, and time to take it down real soon) and barbeque dinners on the deck. On the one hand I'm sad to see summer go (as always) but looking forward to the new school year, and caramel apple flavored candy corn going on sale at the bulk food store. Fall is still my second favorite season, even if it's too short, and means Old Man Winter is just around the corner.

Oh, and one last item:

Ryan Seacrest wants to know what you're doing this weekend. Yes, that Ryan Seacrest. Go tell him what your plans are. He wants details. I triple dog dare you to respond to his tweet.

Have a super-duper Labor Day weekend! I'm off to download yesterday's Dividing Line, then listen to that while I create boutineers. No one should be allowed to have this much fun.

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