Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

There is no P in hamster

Say it with me, people. Okay, we all know that there it isn't "lie-berry" and that February has an R after the B...and several of us get lazy about those and other words. But come on, it's HAMster, no P!!

Above rant brought on by a 4th grade math textbook :P

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A rose by any other name

I was thinking about names the other day and how much they've changed. My mom is one of 14 kids and when they set the table for dinner they set it by saying the names of each kid and laying a place as they did it. So if the table setter forgot your name, you didn't get dinner ;) So it was *deep breath* Karen, Susan, Allan, Betty, Janet...uh oh, that's where I get lost. I don't know the proper order of the rest until the end - Hellen, Helga, Marie. In between there are Margaret, Velma, Rob, Jerry, Brenda and Norma, in some order. Now, when was the last time that you met a baby named Velma? Helga or Norma? But those were normal names then. Now it's Torin and Galleria. And the spellings are enough to drive teachers crazy. Christa had two kids with the same name last year but it was "Kobe with a K" and "Coby with a C" all year. Those boys are not in her class this year, she has "Kassidy with a K" and "Cassady with a C" or something like that.

Disclaimer: I have an unusual name myself, yes. But if you realize that my given name is Cheryl, the spelling of Cherie isn't all that strange ;)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Trying to get in the groove

These first couple weeks of a new school year are tough. Not on the kids, they're doing just fine and Christa thinks having lunch at school is the coolest thing ever ;) I'm talking about me, I have no routine at all. Quit laughing. Yeah, okay, I'll admit that I'm one of the least organized people ever but even *I* have a routine of sorts. I had to move my morning walk and now I'm out the door around 6am. Dang, it's chilly at 6am. Makes me walk faster though! I have this big chunk of time in my day now and I'm not so sure what to do with it. I can fill most of it with housework and all that fun stuff but who wants to do that all the time? And with the price of gas, I try to save up errands and only go when I must. And I must later today, it's rent day. Mental note, don't forget to pay the rent. Well, this was interesting, blogging about absolutely nothing with no point whatsoever. By the way, I still don't have any pics to share of Billy Ray from last week. Dh said his pics are in a format that I can't access and that he has to convert them. I'm waiting waiting waiting...

Friday, July 25, 2008

I think I'm going to change my name

Just call me Cherie Ray. *LOL* We're off in a few minutes to see Billy Ray in concert, along with Collin Raye. He added the E just to be different ;)

It may be silly to some of you but this is my first real concert so I'm excited!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Now that was fast

Summer is over. At least for my youngest two, it is. I think we just need to wrap our minds around the new reality that they go to school year round. Okay, it's still summer but they go to school in the summer. Hmmm. This is going to take some wrapping!

First day was Monday and both girls did great. Christa loves loves loves having lunch at school, thank the Lord. I was worried that she would up and leave at lunchtime and start walking home ;) Oh, that reminds me that Matt did that when he was in K, didn't want to do handprints with paint so he left. He loves to tell that story.

So here's my two cuties. Guess what grades they're in!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Okay, now it's REALLY summer

Never mind that the temps have been in the 90s for a while now, never mind the smell of barbecues firing up daily all around the neighbourhood, never mind that the kids have been sleeping in every day. It's now summer because it's July. July was always the beginning for me, maybe because Canada Day is the first day of the month, I don't know. I just know that July and August are the two best months ever. Lots of sunny days, plenty of ice cream and burgers, fresh fruit and potato salad. Who could ask for more? Now this year I get to really celebrate the 4th, I'm looking forward to it. It's not the same watching fireworks on tv from the GWN, I'm sure. Hey, I even bought tshirts for all of us. Well, not for James as he refuses to wear one, says that the flag is not supposed to be on clothing. He's right but how do you stop it at this point? Let's just go with it :)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day :)

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Birthday cake is the best kind of cake

I don't know why birthday cake tastes better than regular cake, it just does. Our good friend Jeff loves lions so I made him this for his surprise party on Monday night. He knew about the barbecue but didn't realize that we planned to celebrate his birthday...I think he thought most of us forgot ;)

Just the six of us again

Company is good. It's nice to see family and good to catch up. It's even better when the company is the kind who gets their own food when hungry, pitches in to clean up and doesn't need to be entertained. I like that kind of company. 10 days is enough though. There's a saying about fish and relatives stinking after a certain number of days, I think it's three. Ben Franklin, I believe. Anyway, I don't think three days is enough for most visitors but 10 is probably a good limit. I'm washing bedding, towels, etc., trying to get my house back to normal. That's a subjective term ;)

Hope Bob has a good trip home on his motorcycle!

Friday, June 06, 2008

K graduation

It was cute. Thankfully Papa was there with his camera, this is one of the few I got that worked.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Couple funnies

A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband. Suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen. 'Careful,' he said, 'CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh my gosh! You're cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW! We need more butter. Oh my gosh! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER? They're going to STICK! Careful. CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL! You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking! Never! Turn them! Hurry up! Are you CRAZY? Have you LOST your mind? Don't forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt. USE THE SALT! THE SALT!' The wife stared at him. 'What in the world is wrong with you? You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?' The husband calmly replied, 'I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I'm driving.'

***********************************************

Fifty-one years ago, Herman James, a North Carolina mountain man, was drafted by the Army. On his first day in basic training, the Army issued him a comb. That afternoon the Army barber sheared off all his hair. On his second day, the Army issued Herman a toothbrush. That afternoon the Army dentist yanked seven of his teeth. On the third day, the Army issued him a jock strap. The Army has been looking for Herman for 51 years.

Monday, June 02, 2008

June? Are you sure?

Wow, this year has been going by quickly for me. I am so happy to say that school is almost over. I know, I'm supposed to be excited for the beginning of school, not the end but man I'm tired. This getting up at 5am is getting really old. I won't have to get any kids up at 6:10 after Wednesday. Yep, that's right. I won't even have to leave the house before 8:35 or so. Well, except for special days like the day of my road test *gulp* which I am so not thrilled about. I'll let you know more about that when it's closer. I think I'm in denial though. So anyway, it's June and that is making me smile!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Good intentions

I keep meaning to get back to regular blogging and before I can blink, there are a plethora of other things that I have to do "first", both online and off. Btw, do you like how I worked in plethora? That's a fun word too, I must add it to my list of words that are fun to say. I'm going to use boondoggle someday, but I need to figure out what it means before I do that.

Ooops, what was I saying? Oh yeah, other things keep cropping up. Facebook is a big one, I have a great group of friends over there and I just love to hang out and play scrabulous, scramble, word twist, etc., plus trying to keep up a little with what they're all up to, it's a big part of my computer time. And my moms, they are my computer priority numero uno. If you're one of them, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you are totally confused and have no clue who I mean, I must tell you that I sure hope you have a group of friends in your life that love you and support you no. matter. what. And they really do mean that, it's through thick and thin and thicker too ;) I also have to keep in touch with people on messenger and email...my family is far away from me now and I can't pick up the phone and chat with my mom about any and everything for an hour at a time. I miss that. So we send each other silly forwards and funny jokes and do our best to stay connected.

Ack, I am so bad at staying on track! The point I was going to make when I started this post was that I really really am going to try to blog more often, starting now. I won't promise it will be an every day thing because then the first time that I don't make it I will feel so guilty that I will stay away for a month and that's just not helpful when I'm trying to blog more, now is it? So I will just say that I'm going to try to do better. Feel free to email me if I seem to be falling away again, or contact me in whatever other way you have access to. Verizon calls are free minutes, ya know ;)

Mwah!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

A typical day...


First you had trouble getting out of bed


You had a stiff neck


You washed your hair and couldn't do a thing with it


You felt like you had a hangover and you weren't even drinking last night



Your new diet really doesn't seem to be working out


You pulled a muscle when you tried to exercise


Your new hat looked better on you at the store

You keep losing things

The boss chewed you out at work


You got caught in the rain at lunchtime

Then the lunch you had didn't seem to agree with you

You feel trapped

Uninvited guests showed up at dinnertime


On top of that you think you're coming down with the flu

And finally, you're alone in the house at night when you think you hear a noise in the basement

Friday, May 09, 2008

Tagged by Allyson (again)

I almost missed this one, sorry Allyson!

What I was doing ten years ago: Ten years ago, early May of 1998, let's see...I was still a newlywed I guess, Matt and I had been married eight months and he'd been away for four months at this point. We've had rather an odd marriage ;) So I was single momming it with James who was 7 and Maya who was 4.

Five things on my To-Do list today:
The day is almost over but five things I was supposed to do - three loads of laundry (all washed and dried, just have to fold the last load and put it all away), grocery shopping (done), gas up the car (done), put the filter in the pump and the pump in the pond (not done, maybe tomorrow) and do the dishes (not done yet but will be).

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Pay immigration for all the ridiculous fees they keep throwing at us, buy a house, buy a car or two, pay for college for James and the girls, and go see my parents often.

Three of my bad habits/qualities:
I drink too much coke and then get irritated that I'm not losing those last pounds (duh), I get irritated with my kids too easily and I am not a very good housekeeper.

Five places I’ve lived:
Backwards from now - Sparks NV, Courtenay BC, Cumberland BC, Coal Harbour BC and Fanny Bay BC.

Five Jobs that I have had:
Backwards from now - mom, retail sales in a clothing store, cashier in a convenience store, cleaning houses and chambermaid.

Five books I’ve recently read (or partially read):
The first three books in Tim LaHaye's Babylon Rising series, the first two books in Tim LaHaye's The Jesus Chronicles.

Anyone else want to do this meme? Just let me know if you do so I can come and read your answers!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

The big question around these parts

"So, did you feel the earth move?"

Get your minds out of the gutter, people! Yeah, I worded it that way just because I thought it was funny but tremors really are on people's minds right now in the Reno area. Seems we've had over a hundred seismic episodes over the past few weeks. The biggest was 4.7 on Friday night and I think I read right that it was the biggest to strike since 1953.

Now, I did feel it but honestly, it wasn't all that big of a deal to me. True, we're about 15 miles from the epicenter. My sister in law who's about four miles away from it was much more shaken up by it than we were. Haha, I made a funny. Sorry, got to take them where I can get them.

We're due for a bigger one, according to about half of the so called experts. The other half say the small ones are releasing the pressure and that's all we'll get.

We'll see. I'll keep y'all posted!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Whoo hoo!

It's the little things, people :)

Well, the little big things in this case ;)

Maya's math teacher is Canadian too, he got a recent care package from home. He's going to give Maya a Mr. Big to bring home to me. Yay!!

Btw, I've mentioned Mr. Big
before.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Blind or just oblivious

My friends were talking about redbox recently. You know, the DVD rental kiosks that outnumber Blockbuster stores in the US. Anyway, I had never seen one and for some reason wasn't able to check for a location near me (javascript trouble, don't ask me, ask my techie dh who doesn't seem to care that I can't do everything I should be able to with my computer... ooops, 'nother post, sorry) so my buddy Traci looked it up for me and gave me a list of places that have them. Yay Traci! Well, duh me, I walked into Walmart, a place I go at least twice a week and what should be right inside the door but...

This thing is huge and is right inside the door, the door that I always use. Yeah, it's been there all along but lalala I just walk right by and never pay attention. Ugh. I feel so silly!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Yogurt, kisses and mini hot dogs

Christa doesn't like the Trix yogurt she asked me to buy. Well, that is, until she wanted one for breakfast and sucked it back so fast I had to hold onto the furniture to be sure I didn't get inhaled along with it.

Christa doesn't like chocolate kisses anymore. They don't taste good. Yeah right.

Christa doesn't like mini hot dogs. Her comment after eating two of them, "Thank goodness that's the end of those!"

5 year old taste buds. It's always a new adventure.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

So, I have this friend

This friend of mine moved last year. She didn't just move a few blocks or across town, or even an hour or two away from home. She left her city, her country behind. It hasn't been easy for my friend. Many things are different in her new home, many things are the same. As "they" say, people are people anywhere you go. It has been tough for my friend to adjust to her new home and the hardest part is missing those she left behind. Thankfully, there are other friends that she brought along with her when she moved, those who are still a few clicks of the mouse away. My friend has really appreciated emails, instant messengers, message boards, blogs and sites like facebook.

Just thought you might like to know a little about my friend.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I got a chuckle from a couple of these

1. My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn't.
2. I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.
3. Some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them.
4. I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.
5. Don' t take life too seriously; no one gets out alive.
6. You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me.
7. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.
8. Earth is the insane asylum for the universe.
9. I'm not a complete idiot -- some parts are just missing.
10. Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.
11. NyQuil, the stuffy, sneezy, why-the-heck-is-the-room-spinning medicine.
12. God must love stupid people; He made so many.
13. The gene pool could use a little chlorine.
14. Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.
15. Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
16. Being 'over the hill' is much better than being under it!
17. Wrinkled was not one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up.
18. Procrastinate now!
19. I have a degree in Liberal Arts; do you want fries with that?
20. A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
21. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.
22. Stupidity is not a handicap. Park elsewhere!
23. They call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken.
24. He who dies with the most toys is nonetheless DEAD.
25. A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up three thousand times the memory.
26. Ham and eggs...a day's work for a chicken, a lifetime commitment for a pig.
27. The trouble with life is there's no background music.
28. The original point and click interface was a Smith & Wesson.
29. I smile because I don't know what the heck is going on.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Flat Stanley type adventure...

Dear Dexter,

We have had so much fun having Flat Dexter visit us here in Nevada! Sparks is located in the northern part of the state, very close to the California border. The terrain here is called high desert which means that, though it is still very dry, we do get a fair amount of snow in the winter. We even got a little snow while Flat Dexter was here but it melted so quickly that we didn’t have time for pictures. Here is our house on a spring day.

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And here is part of our back yard. We have many trees, more than most around here.

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Here’s Becca and Flat Dexter outside our church, we spent a lot of time there recently with Palm Sunday and Easter weekend.

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In the background of this picture you can see the Sierra Nevada mountain range which includes Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park as well as Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the contiguous United States (that means the 48 states that are joined together, not Hawaii or Alaska).

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Becca is in third grade and Christa is in kindergarten. They are not in school right now as it’s an “off track” time for their year round school.

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The playground at their school looks funny with so few people in it. Flat Dexter is already over on the play structure with Becca, he couldn’t wait for the time it took for me to take a picture!

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Flat Dexter seemed to like this slide.

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Sparks is a twin city to Reno. They are so close together that the line between them doesn’t really matter anymore. We took Flat Dexter into downtown Reno and took some pictures with him on a sunny but windy day recently. Here is one outside the Silver Legacy Resort.

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This one has the famous sign behind Becca, Christa and Flat Dexter. “Reno: The Biggest Little City in the World”

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Flat Dexter wanted to get a little closer to the sign!

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Flat Dexter is waiting to see a show inside Circus Circus with Christa, Becca and Maya.

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It was hard to take pictures during the show, those acrobats move too quickly! The Chinese yoyo that they were using is called a diabolo. It was really cool!!

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Here is the outside of Circus Circus, that sign is really really tall. Can you see Christa, Becca, Maya and Flat Dexter?

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This fountain is one of several inside the Eldorado Resort.

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Here is Flat Dexter riding in the glass elevator to the parking garage at the Eldorado.

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After a day of sightseeing, nothing hits the spot like Dairy Queen ice cream!

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We are very glad that Flat Dexter came to visit us and hope that you learned a little about our area of the country!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Yeah, I'm a proud mom, deal with it ;)

Worth the wait to see my Boo...and I love the song :) Btw, the "whoop" you hear during her baptism is the worship leader, he couldn't help himself!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

That's 7 out of 8!!

Balzac Billy, Sir Walter Wally, Wiarton Willie, General Beauregard Lee, Malverne Mel, Shubenacadie Sam AND Staten Island Chuck all failed to see their shadows. Punxsutawney Phil, I hope you're wrong this year!

And Happy Groundhog Day. Anyone know any good Groundhog Day games?

Friday, February 01, 2008

TGIF

Thank God it's February! Not in a disrespectful way, either, I really am grateful to God :) I am not a winter person (duh) and January is only tolerable because it has my oldest's birthday in it. I would rather have to be in the Comox Valley in November than January anywhere. Whew! Anyone else who has a special day in January, that's a good reason for tolerating it too, no offense meant. February is just that much closer to summer. By the way, you have free reign to yell at me in caps and everything if I complain about the heat this summer, okay?

There were other good things this month, including Becca's baptism. Click to embiggen so you can see how cute she is!




Nothing can follow that :D

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It's my own fault

I never should have mentioned spring. I know it wouldn't have changed the fact that it's January or the fact that it is coooooold here but maybe, just maybe, I wouldn't be so upset by the whole thing. The weather changes faster here than at home, sunny one minute and the next it's snowing. And I am not kidding. In peeking at the forecast, each day is snow. Maybe. Blergh. I know I'll get used to it, I have lived in colder climates but I was spoiled by so many years in the banana belt of BC.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Misconceptions

I am Canadian but that doesn't mean that I say "eh" or "aboot" or that I lived in snow year round.

I am short but that doesn't mean that I am going to laugh when I hear "how's the weather down there" for the thousandth time.

I am Christian but that doesn't mean that I feel I must spank my children to parent them properly.

I am a SAHM but that doesn't mean that I am lazy or don't have "a real job" to do.

I am female but that doesn't mean that I am less skilled as a driver than any male on the road.

I am a wife and a mom but that doesn't mean that I am defined by those people who mean so much to me, they are part of me but not all of me.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Back to normal...sort of

Today the kids went back to school after their two weeks off for Christmas break (not gonna be "PC" and call it winter break :P), but it wasn't a normal day. Because of the snow and the ice that followed it, schools were on a delayed start of two hours. That also means that morning K was cancelled, so I had Christa with me all day. That's fun, really, but it makes it hard to get her enthused about going back tomorrow when she would rather be home with me anyway ;) But, we made it through, nobody was too tired this morning thanks to the late start. And tomorrow middle schools and high schools are on a 3 hour delay, for teacher training stuff. Thrills my teens!

So, it's January. There's James's birthday this month, his trip to LA to see Hairspray on stage, Becca's bingo night, Matt's on worship team one weekend and I need to figure out how to motivate Maya to stay up on her homework for a change. Funny, she gets exceeding expectations marks in four out of five classes and can't seem to get passing marks in English :P A post for another day I guess. The positive aspect of January is that it's already the 7th so we're almost a quarter of the way through it. Spring will be coming some day, I know it :D

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The adventure and the verdict

Lemon meringue tarts were on the menu, as I told you. All of the mixes that I saw here contain soy bean oil so I decided to embark on a grand adventure and make them from scratch. I did use ready-made pastry, some day I will feel brave enough for THAT adventure. Anyway, I've never made the lemon filling myself so I found a good-sounding recipe (grandma's recipe, not sure whose grandma *LOL*) and took a deep breath. That was followed by a coughing fit and subsequent re-washing of my hands, then I started. It wasn't so bad...I zested the lemons, squeezed them by hand, separated the eggs by straining them through my fingers (I find that's the best way, works better than the little "separators"), was sure to add a little of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks so they wouldn't cook when I added them to the pot...I even sealed the edges of the meringue to the tart shells. Those tarts are soooo yummy!! I was really happy, and the peanut butter tarts turned out extremely yummy as well. Matt's butter tarts, same. It was gooooooood.

By request! Edited to add the recipe for Grandma's Lemon Meringue Pie :) I used an extra lemon because the zest stuck a lot in my grater and I wasn't sure I could squeeze enough juice out of two lemons. Plus I added a pinch of cream of tartar to my meringue. Another important thing the recipe doesn't say is to put the meringue on while the filling is still hot, it helps to cook the meringue and keeps it fluffy.

INGREDIENTS
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 lemons, juiced and zested
2 tablespoons butter
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
4 egg whites
6 tablespoons white sugar

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
To Make Lemon Filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked pastry shell.
To Make Meringue: In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add sugar gradually, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Good thing I didn't make any New Year's resolutions!

Especially that most common of resolutions, you know the one ;)

We have a turkey cooking right now, it will be accompanied by mashed potatoes, carrots, peas, broccoli, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy. Yummm!

We still have butter tarts and I've also made peanut butter tarts and lemon meringue tarts. We're going with a tart theme ;) For those not of the pastry persuasion, there is of course ice cream.

This is all for just the six of us, everyone else that we invited has someone sick in their family or had other plans already. Could be a while before we get through all the food!

I might need to make an Epiphany resolution ;)