Sunday 27 February 2011

Marie's Sunday Six

Welcome to my Sunday Six Smilemakers post for today, the last Sunday in February of 2011. What a crazy week it has been! Lots of ups and some downs and everything in between! Life is so hectic these days, I wonder how I ever coped with everything when I was working full time! I am always saying this to Todd. I can barely manage to get all the things done every day that I plan to get done . . . time seems to juse evaporate! Here are six things this week that brought extra special smiles to my face. It is always really hard to pick just six . . . but I'll try!

It's been really hard keeping my mouth shut, but now that the happy parents have announced it to the world I feel that I can tell my friends as well. My youngest daughter, Amanda, gave birth to a bouncing baby girl on Thursday, February 24th. Our first Grand-daughter Maryn Grace made her debut at 4:59 pm weighing in at 6 pounds 11 ounces. Mother and daughter doing well and home from hospital yesterday. I have not seen any pictures but have been told she has lots of dark hair and a dimple in her chin. (That would be the infamous Villeneuve "bum" chin. We all have it and it comes from my dad.) My daughter had lots of dark hair when she was born. She was a beautiful baby and I can well imagine that Maryn is as well. I can't wait to see some pictures, so have my fingers crossed that I will be able to soon. There is nothing like a healthy new Grandchild to put a smile on a Grandmother's face! I can't wait to do girlie stuff!

We've had more than a few sunny days this past week and the daffodils are blooming in my back garden. Last autumn we planted them all along the base of the hedge towards the bottom of the garden and they're little yellow heads are now beginning to bob in the breeze! What a pretty sight! What a wonderful sign of spring!

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
when all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
~William Wordsworth

Daffodils make me smile.

I had a wonderful conversation with my eldest son on the telephone yesterday. Talking to my children always makes me smile. I love them all so very much, even if the feeling is not always mutual. It is nice to have gotten to the point in life where we are friends as well as mother and child. My eldest son and I have a special bond. He is my first born and we are the most alike out of all my children. I do not have favourites. That is not my way. I love all my children equally. I do have an extra special relationship with my oldest son though, and that is a two way thing. We both work at it. We both make the effort to know and love each other. It is not all one sided. He has not taken sides between his dad and myself. He loves us both and judges neither of us, at least not outwardly so. That is a good thing. We often text each other during the week. I can always count on him to give me good advice and to listen when I need someone to listen. I would wish to have the same relationship with my other children as well. Who knows. It may happen yet. In the meantime, the fact that I do have this special relationship with my eldest son makes me smile in a wonderful way.

Todd and Mitzie make me smile every day of my life. I am so blessed to have these two special beings in my life! A husband who loves and respects me in every single way, that is an honour I waited my whole lifetime to be given. It is an extra special blessing and I am very grateful for it. I know what it is like to not have this, and that makes it even more of a treasure to me. The Lord is good. When we lost Jess last year I never thought I would be able to love a dog again as much as I loved her. Mitzie has proved me wrong. I love Mitzie with all of my heart. She is not Jess, no dog ever could be. She is Mitzie and I adore everything she does and all the love that she shares back with me. Together . . . Todd, Mitzie and I . . . we are a family. That makes me smile.

Having a Doll House to play with makes me smile. Every day I move things around in it and Norah can be found to be doing something else. I think Todd is enjoying it as well, as he always checks to see what she is up to. Right now it is up in our bedroom on the dresser. He wants me to bring it down here and set it up on the table so everyone can see it. I am not sure about that yet. It is quite large and I feel a bit selfish about it. I don't want everyone touching and playing with it. I waited a long time for this doll house and I want to keep it just to myself for now . . . I know he thinks it is pretty wonderful, and it is . . . I am grateful that he is proud of my accomplishment with it . . . I guess I just don't want people disturbing what I do with it. Does that make sense?? Playing with it does make me smile a whole lot. That is a good thing, don't you think?

Being creative and having the luxury now of exploring my creativity every day now (if I wish) makes me smile. I just love drawing and colouring and painting and creating. I always have done. The act of creation is one of the most rewarding and wonderful ones to me. It is what brings me the most satisfaction in life. We all can create. It doesn't matter if it is something as simple as baking some cookies or making a cake . . . of tidying a room . . . we are all creative Heavenly Daughters of a wonderfully Creative Heavenly Father. Our birthright . . . and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth . . . is to experience joy and eternal happiness. (President Dieter F Uchtdorf) One of the most fulfilling ways we can experience this joy, this happiness is to create! Being creative makes me smile.

So there you have it, six things, six thoughts, six blessings that brought a special smile and warmth to my heart this week. I hope and pray that you each found occasion to smile and warm your hearts this week as well.

Here's a delicious way to cook chicken that is every bit as good as real fried chicken, but much, much better for you! Eating healthier makes me smile too!

*Oven Fried Chicken*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

Adapted from a recipe found in Cooking Light, Healthy Everyday Food. Low in saturated fats and calories. Tender, juicy and yet crisp at the same time!

3/4 cup of low fat buttermilk
2 bone in chicken breast halves (skinless)
2 chicken drumsticks (skinless)
2 chicken thighs (skinless)
1/2 cup of plain flour
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika

Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl, turning the chicken to coat it well in the buttermilk. Marinate in the refrigerator for about an hour, giving it a turn every once in a while.

Preheat the oven to 220*C/450*F/ gas mark 7. Line a baking tray with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.

Mix together the flour and spices in a large zip lock plastic bag. Add the chicken pieces, discarding any marinade, one at a time and give them a good shake to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray the chicken pieces with some more cooking spray.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, turning after about 20 minutes, Chicken is done when the juices run clear.

Over in The English Kitchen today you will find a delicious Cheesecake in a Cup with Rhubarb Syrup!


  1. I am smiling with you today Marie at your lovely smiles, Congradulations on having a hope you get to see a photo soon...that will bring you an even bigger smile...Todd and Mitzie make me smile as well !!
    and hearing that you have heard from your son also make me smile...
    It is wonderful when you know that your friends happy and rather sad for them when they are's all about caring...And I sure care about you...
    much Love Sybil x

  2. Congratulations on the birth and safe arrival of your granddaughter. What a blessing.

    I loved today's post and truly look forward to try the chicken recipe.

  3. Congratulations On your new granddaughter ♥♥♥

  4. Congrats on the birth of your new Granddaughter! I'm so happy you have a little girl in the family. They are so very special. Your oldest son sounds much like mine. I don't play favorites either but he and I do have a connection that isn't there with the others. Maybe that is the way with first children. I hope your Sunday is a wonderful one. Thank you for sharing those SMILES today!

  5. Congratulations on your new grandbaby!

    I love what you've done with your dollhouse, and I completely understand your not wanting other people to be touching and moving things around. I'd feel the same way. Maybe some day, though, you'll be able to play dollhouse with your little granddaughter. Wouldn't that be special.

  6. Congratulations on becoming a granny! I am hoping that you will be seeing and holding her soon!

  7. congratulations on your new granddaughter! i hope you get some pics soon cuz i'd love to see her! :) and i'm really happy to hear you and your oldest son have a special bond. i feel that my mom and i have a special bond too. i'm the oldest and she is one of my best friends!

  8. Hello Dear Marie,
    Your smiles make me smile too. I am glad that Anthony and you have a special relationship. I pray that one day you will have that kind of relationship with all of your children.
    I know that you are happy that Amanda and Maryn are doing well. I hope that you will soon gets pictures of the wee one... and can share them with us.
    We may all be creative in some ways.... but not like you my friend. You take the cake. You are creative in so many ways. I think God put in triple portions of creativity in His Marie recipe.... but He ran low on that ingredient when He made me. You really are amazing.

    Speaking of recipes, your oven baked chicken sounds great. It is different than mine and I can't wait to try it.

    I got home from church too late to call you today. Jan got sick at church and I took her home. By the time John came to get me at Kris's house and I got home it was too late. I will call you tomorrow.
    I send love, Lura


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