Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Merry Graduation Party!

Three cheers for my new highly degreed friends- Leah and Jeremy. The Olson's hosted a "formal" wear graduation party for these two fine friends of mine. Good times had by all! It's been a great start to the Christmas holiday season for me- there's been some kind of party or gathering since last Friday, and the next two nights there are also fun social events scheduled. Skating, jazz night, chats with good friends, visiting old students, playing basketball, shopping, and inbetween- crafting and baking- these have been the goings on in the last few days. Tomorrow is badminton, crafts, and out with the gals to the Globe Theatre's "Cinderella" performance. Lovely, lovely! I'm soaking up the whole "not planning", "not marking", "not anything school related" style of day. It's a nifty break indeed. The downer has been the absence of my Northern sister Heather, who is still in YK due to the Mackenzie River issue. That is a true bummer, but I will see her in Calgary, where I'm headed on Friday. It will be a lovely time; I'm very pumped to see my nieces, nephews, and brothers and sisters too!!! Hee hee. Happy Christmas to all.

My fellow teaching professional- Mrs. Leah Reid.

Chemist extraordinairre- Mr. Jeremy Olson. One very clever chap.

The lady in pink and her cohorts.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

New Wheels

The Little Green Neon passed away 6 weeks ago. Introducing the new McMillan family vehicle- a foreigner to our former way of domesticated vehicle ownership...the Nissan Maxima. Doo doo doo.
Favorite feature thus far: automatic start!

Happy Birthday to Travis

Today I went to my nephew Travis' 1st birthday party. Happy Birthday, little guy! Austin had an early Christmas and was pretty excited about the Darth Vader book and Jet Plane Transformer that Santa brought. Fun!

I recommend this!

Need a good movie to watch over the Christmas holidays? I suggest "Les Choristes". It was refreshing for me- one of the best movies I have seen in a long, long time. A great teacher story with great music! It's a French movie- so be prepared for the subtitles unless you've been brushing up on your French. Bon appetit!

Monday, December 05, 2005

High School Banquets

Pic from this evening's Christmas Banquet at WCHS...here is most of my guy's bball team. Sharp looking fellows, hey?

Friday, December 02, 2005


The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.
C.S. Lewis

Monday, November 21, 2005

My weekend in Portage

This past weekend I had the chance to visit my mom's side of the family in Portage. All of my mom's brothers and sisters came home to spend time with my Aunty Laurie, who is suffering from cancer in Portage. I'm not sure what just to say, but it was a really special time to be with that side of the family. It was also special to share that weekend with my mom and my sister. On the Sunday afternoon I had the chance to sit in on what I would describe as a life-giving session of family memories for my Mom and her brothers and sisters. I'm so glad that I was able to go. I will remember the weekend for a long time to come.
Please pray for Aunty Laurie. She is in a lot of pain- please pray for her comfort. She is a special woman, and I was reminded this weekend of all of the ways she has blessed my life. Here are some pictures!

the McCutcheon family


my mom and Aunty Laurie

Aunty Laurie and I

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Stye in Mine Eye

I ate too much chocolate this weekend and my eye gained some weight. This is a pretty ugly picture, so I thought I'd share it with the world. Do I look like a tough boxer?

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Wall Sit Showdown

This week I treated my PE students to another round of fitness testing. You can imagine the hearty response to such an offer. Anyway, there are a couple who excel in an amazing way during our fitness testing sessions. So allow me to share with you...the "wall sit showdown".
September Fitness Testing- The Boy Wall Sit Superhero sits on the wall for ten minutes. Everyone is amazed. We cheer. And the sweat trickles down...
October Fitness Testing- The Soon to Be Girl Wall Sit Superhero decides the Boy Superhero must be overtaken. She sits on the wall for ten minutes herself. We are amazed. We cheer. And the sweat trickles down....
The Boy Wall Sit Superhero will have nothing to do with such finicky records set by girls. Boy Superhero sits on the wall for 20 minutes. We are amazed. We cheer. And the sweat trickles...
November Fitness Testing- Girl Wall Sit Superhero has unfinished business on the wall. She gets comfy and smashes Boy's record, going for 30 minutes...and again...we are amazed...
Boy Wall Sit Superhero is fed up. This must end. Boy Wall Sit Superhero asks how long class is. Class is 50 minutes long. Okay. Boy Wall Sit Superhero sits on the goofy wall for 1 hour.
Talk about a testament to the power of the mind, hey?!! Bring on the next fitness testing session!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Free? Tell me about it!

Hello friends and family. I have a question for you. What does this verse mean to you?
"God has purchased our freedom with his blood and has forgiven all our sins." (Col. 1:14)
We have freedom in Christ. What does that mean to you? Are you really free? Free from what?

Down the ol' #48

Yesterday I took a spin down highway 48 to visit the lovable little white house in Kennedy. It was a very good day. Everytime I leave Grandma's house, it shakes me up. They have an extraordinary way of making a person feel extra-special, extra-loved. Visits with Grandma are the very best. I love that when we chat it's like talking to one of my best friends, like a real heart to heart. It's so neat, and I treasure it so much, that we get to chat about everything good, and everything hard and painful in life. My Grandpa seems to be doing pretty good- he was in the hospital for a week with pneumonia. It's always fun to be entertained by Grandpa's smart remarks. What a character. Anyway, I had a good day. I'm glad that I went.
I caught Grandpa taking a midday snooze....it's that green chair, I tell you.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween from Weather Woman!

I was feeling nostalgic tonight and pulled out the Weather Woman attire from the mothballs. It is my all-time favorite secret identity. Ooops. I just gave away my favorite secret identity!
My nephews came over for a candy raid in their very cute costumes- Austin was sporting the Cowabunga, Dude look (Go Michaelangelo!), and Travis was pretty adorable as a little puppy. Wouldn't you agree? He was slightly freaked out about the blue haired thing beside him I think. Then I went to the Halloween party at Western, which featured some cool costumes too. Oh, I like the idea of dressing up. It is too much fun. I'm convinced big people need to spend more time in funny outfits. It's good for the soul. PS: Stay away from spandex.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Dancing Queen Celebrates Another Year

Wooohooo! It's my big sister's birthday today! Happy Birthday, Heather! I know she was dancing up a storm last night, so I think the year is off to a pretty spectacular start. Lots of you know Heather, so you know how lucky I am call to her big sister and best friend. Love ya, my dancing queen! (This pics for you..CLASSIC....ah, the best of memories).

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Saturday Picture Diary

Here's the crew I took to Southey today for a volleyball tournament...we won...20% of the time! It's better than 0 (and we know what 0 feels like!!!). It was pretty fun; the highlight was one of our new players nearly claiming the heads of our opponents with her destructive serve! (Dodgeball is a poor influence on both the students and staff at Western :).
And it's long overdue that I post some pics of my roomies in the Gospel House of Love...here they are: my Chinese-Canadian sister Rachel and my Canadian-Zambian sister, Tamara, and we're missing our fourth, the Canadian-Estonian sister, Crystal. I love these gals!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Victim of the Kitchen Floor

She's been taken captive...far far from the world of bloggability. Tonight she was found on the kitchen floor, stranded on the pasty linoleum...waiting for Mom's delightfully prepared and delicious home cooked meal...alas, no mother was found, but a motherly type of a housemate, whom so lovingly bestowed upon the lazily strewn floor victim a warm bowl of beef stew....

Okay, I am being silly. But let's go ahead and caption this as "My Life as a Rookie Teacher"!!! Ha! I'm still alive here, but the last month or so has felt hard. This place in life carries with it a relentless rhythm- it doesn't seem to let up. The past week has been better than the last, and I credit much of that to the community of people I am surrounded by- who have loved and encouraged me in a relentless way. For that my heart is so thankful.
That's all for tonight; planning (oooops, we've decided that the "P" word is a curse in our house) is calling. Thanks and hello to anyone who is still faithfully reading this lonesome blog....pictures of the October Dodgeball Bash (featuring purple spandex) coming soon...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Pennies, catheters, giggles galore

Well, tonight looked a little different than the average. I've been intending to try such an 'experiment' for awhile, and tonight finally turned into the right night to give it a go. Actually I've been wanting to hang out more regularly with the more ripe side of society for years now. Anyway, tonight my friend and I drove to a random senior's home and peeked in the window. We saw a table of old ladies sitting at a table, but we weren't sure if we could just walk in or what, so we prayed for a minute...checking in to see if this was somewhere we could be most useful in on this particular night. We died laughing as the minute we opened our eyes, the blinds appeared to be shut! As we laughed our way past the window, we realized the blinds were not in fact shut but there were five women waving at us and laughing at us in a mirror like way. So went for it and buzzed them, and asked if we could "chill" with the for awhile. In we went, and oh the giggles that followed.
We sat with them at "their" table for 2 hours, playing their gambling game of pennies- the one they've been playing every night at 6:45pm for the last nine years. There was Mary, who has had polio and now has Parkinson's, but had an unassuming but deadly and very likeable wit about her. There was Helen number one, who worked for 20 years in the laundry room at the hospital. There was Cecile, a French lady from Gravelbourg who brought home the big penny haul over the evening. And there was Helen number two, and then Rose, bless her heart- a real crackerjack if there ever was one. I felt like I was in a movie or something, with these five very sharp and experienced women, the conversation going from catheters and hot old men to the good ol' days, where they earned eight dollars a month to make ends meet. By the time our round of penny gambling was up, there were hugs around the table and welcomes for a return visit. It was a nice change up in my regular dosage of nightly planning and coaching.
Older folk have a lot of life to give. Point proven.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Pictures worth double posts!!!!!

Syd and new little sister, Mareesa.

Happy Birthday, Sydney Rae!


Saturday, September 17, 2005

A day in small town Saskatchewan

Just got home from a day trip to Kennedy for my Aunty Lois' birthday. It was a lot of fun! My Grandma put together a great party for her little girl! Somehow we snuck 17 people into their cozy house. Small town Saskatchewan is growing on me these days. I've been a city girl all my life, but the idea of living and teaching in small town SK doesn't sound out of the question. Who knows. Maybe someday. For now, it's fun to go visit Grandma and the family in Kennedy.

Cousin Tasha and Uncle John...sweet party hats!

Friday, September 16, 2005

What a happy Friday!!!

Yippeeee!!!! I'm so happy!!!!!!!!! Yippppeeee! Mareesa Janell joined us in a flash this morning!!! Woooohooooooooo!!!! I guess they arrived at the hospital at 5:15am, and Mareesa came in a hurry 12 minutes later. Bec, you are my hero! :) Ahhh, yes, happy happy day. Plus, it's Friday.
Now I'm just trying to figure out how quickly I can get to Calgary!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

what brother lawrence has to say today

"You can learn to overcome the worry of anticipation. After you begin to experience more and more the ready success of divine grace upon all occasions, you will not worry about things before they happen. When the time comes for you to do your duty...He will empower you and make you fit to fulfill your obligations."

Life here

You may have come to the conclusion that I have dropped off the face of the planet. But- I have not. Not quite yet. ;)
It has been a blogless three weeks, but certainly not for lack of activity. The days have been full- full of new experiences, challenges, and emotions. Things are slowly becoming what I might be able to identify as 'normal' life for me here in Regina. I'm looking forward to more of that feeling, because I don't like the scattered sense that I have often felt during the past month.
My Mom, Dad, Autumn and Andrew left for India on August 29, the same day in which I also started my high school teaching position at Western Christian. I had quite a bad time leading up to their leaving. Saying goodbye is a definite struggle for me. A week later we had a rerun when my China connection and life friends, Jay and Shannon, left to return to Shiyan for another year. So now I'm finished with the business of saying goodbye and I'm looking forward to saying hello again in May and June. Goodbyes are not my favorite.
The #1 question I'm asked these days is, "How's teaching?" So far it has been good, in most ways. It is challenging in many ways. It is also tiring. The best parts so far have been teaching my Gr. 11 and 12 PE class, and coaching volleyball. We had our first game on Thursday night and lost a close one. I'm excited about the possibilities this year, both in the win column and the relationship column.
The role of teacher is fun in a lot of ways, although it feels awkward in a way too. The strange and awkward part for me is being the decision-maker and planner for other people. It is new to have people coming to me with problems or decisions that need to be made. I don't know, it's just a challenge and requires a constant demanding of wisdom greater than my own. I guess this is the transition from student to teacher. I think feelings of inadequacy come easily if I lose focus, or perspective.
The planning is the greatest task and threatens as an all consuming sort of thing. If I can do a better job of using weekends to getting ahead, that would be a good idea. The problem this week was that by the time Friday came, I had absolutely no desire to be planning for Monday. And that feeling didn't go away on Saturday....and now Sunday has already arrived and Monday is on the doorstep. Ah well.
Anyway, I thought I had better do some catching up. Have a great week...the call for planning is coming through loud and clear, so I'd better get to work. Blessings.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


This prayer from John Piper's book "Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ" hit home today...

O Father, how we need mercy. We sin every day. We fall short of your command to love you with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. We are lukewarm in our affections. All our motives, even at their best, are mixed. We are anxious about tomorrow. We get angry too quickly. We desire what ought not to be desired. We get irritated at the very attitudes of others that we ourselves displayed five minutes before. If you do not show mercy to us, we are undone.
O God, let us see the mercy of Christ and savor it for what it is. Grant us power to comprehend his love. Incline us to read and ponder the stories and mercy of Jesus in the Gospels. Let us so admire what we he did that we imitate him. But let it be much more than external imitation. Let it come from the heart where we have been broken for our sin and where we have come to cherish mercy and live by mercy and hope in mercy and long for mercy. Make the mercy of Jesus the greatest beauty of the Savior in our eyes. Let us behold, and beholding, become like him. And bend this taste for mercy outward so that we show it. Make it so much a part of us that it is who we are. In Jesus name we pray, amen.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

the last week- hyphenated

-cleaning office- organizing office- picking berries- loving grandparents- feeling the love of grandparents- good chats with new Chinese roommate- shooting hoops- reading curriculum- sighing at curriculum- reconnecting- feeling nostalgic at Canada Games- answered prayer- Andrew in my ear- chocolate- excited for what is to come- admiring young Canadian tennis players - late nights- reading curriculum- my very own office- my friend that is my mom- missing second base and softball- a new challenge- a sleepover- early birthday ear piercings with Autumn- overwhelmed- Walmart- late night laughs with an old friend- Regina is the best- fat photo developing bills- brainstorming- ahh, sports are fun- oreo cheesecake- birdie smashing- the best Sunday nap ever- actually mostly being smashed by birdies- rediscovering best friends- Andrew in my ear again- hopeful- thankful.

#68 has come and gone

Berry picking. Classic!

Horseshoe champion.

I intended to post these last week...but here are my fabulous grandparents, on the day of their 68th wedding anniversary. Beat that!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Home sweet home!

We made it...finally back in Regina and it feels good! I'm sick of suitcases! Just got home a couple hours ago. I managed to make it to Calgary after a somewhat adventurous trip from YK in a 1970 Royal Monaco which suffered from a severely porous oil pan, thus requiring new litres of oil and sludge every two hours or so. Good times. Sweet wheels for sure- everytime we rolled into a gas station we'd get a compliment: "You've definitely got the longest car in town!" A beautiful boat it was! Anyway, I made it to Calgary safely and thankful for the ride...
On Sunday afternoon I went to a beautiful, unique wedding and saw witness to the beginning of Kori and Lisa Jones' marriage.

I spent some time driving the streets of Calgary with farmer Hub and his wife and my cousin Natasha, who lost their wheels in Medicine Hat- it was fun to spend time with them and their new little baby. We spent Monday with the coolest nieces and nephews in Canada- flew (well, okay, we spent more time untangling- thanks Deista!), played pirates and Princess Rapunzel, and went on a double date to BP's with Karlie and Laurel, and then ran through the sprinkler, read stories, played cars and enjoyed supper with Aiden, Sydney and Steve and Bec. It was a really good day- it was so much fun to see everyone again.

On Tuesday we explored the Canmore area via mountain biking. It was fun, though I'm mostly a pansy- Jeremy could attest to this easily. He approaches things a little differently and figures that there isn't really any enjoyment in doing things if there is no risk of getting hurt. The flip over the handlebars going downhill thing just isn't my style! Sheeeesh, what a guy. I also had to periodically ding the bell on my bike because I was really paranoid after the "Warning: Bear in Area" sign. That had me a little on edge. :) Thanks to my very efficient bell ringing skills, we did not get eaten by any bears in Canmore. Phew. Anyway, that was fun and my butt is feeling the effects of the ride today. After bike riding we went to Lake Louise. What a beautiful spot- we took a solid hike up to a lake and teahouse fairly close to the peak of one of the mountains. It was nice to be a tourist in Canada- I really noticed the differences between how China and Canada operate in terms of tourism and environmental protection...it was refreshing! No massive park fees, nobody dragging me away begging me to buy plastic glaciers, grizzly bears or pretty postcards, no sickly animals confined in cement jails, and thousands less people!
Today we stopped by for lunch with Malcolm, Suzanne and sweet Madalyn, and then headed down the number one highway for home. That's the story for tonight...I just created a monster list of things to do in the next month, yikes! First things first, it's time for sleep.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Due South

My time in Yellowknife has come to an end- it's officially time to head for good ol' Saskatchewan, ah my home sweet home...and stay there! Soon! Good times here in the land of the midnight sun, though I can't think of any reasons why...oh...wait a minute...there could be at least one little tiny reason...

Ah yes, little Elijah would definitely be the best reason for a well spent July in Yellowknife. The three days I've been able to soak in with Elijah will be treasured. But there have certainly been other highlights to my time in Yellowknife, which really has become a very secondary home to me- all the streets and establishments, and people, and oh yes, that LONG stretch of road, have all become quite familiar to me over the years. There are some fantastic people here- among the many, it has been encouraging to spend time with Yellowknife gems like Gene and Barb, the Paul and Roseanne Goertzen family and the Ashby clan. Such good friends, brothers and sisters. They are special people. So, if you're bored sometime and you really like driving, you should come to Yellowknife! It really is well worth the drive...especially if you've got something as sweet as Elijah waiting for you at the end of the road. :)

It is an ongoing treat to be with Autumn and Andrew, Mom and Dad, Heather, Tim and Tara- definitely not taken for granted at all after being away for so long.

Next stop...Calgary for the Kori and Lisa Jones wedding...to Canmore with my good friend Jeremy ...and then home to start my rookie year of high school educating!!! Wooohooo!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Yippppeeee!!! I'm a happy Aunty! Yesterday was a most excellent day for the family, particularly for the most northern dwellers! I'm happy to join my brother Tim and sister Tara in welcoming Elijah Ray McMillan to the world! He arrived yesterday at 11:34am, after some seriously hard work by Tara. He's a sweet little boy, well hey, see for yourself! Ahhh, he's awesome!!! 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and 21.5 inches long. What else in the world compares to a new baby?!! This whole new creation thing has got my mind spinning way out of control- what an amazing process...wow. It's so cool to see my brother as a dad- it was pretty neat giving him a first hug after Elijah was born. Awww, he's a great Dad already. And if you want the real updates, you should check in at Wyatt's World...that would be Brother Tim's link on the sidebar. Wyatt knows something is up, but I'm pretty sure he has no clue about how this new kiddo is gonna rock the trailer!
Yeah, good times in YK. Thanks for coming this week, Elijah, I would have been sad to miss your arrival! Thankfulness for beautiful gifts abounds! Happy, happy, happy....
Elijay Ray McMillan

Good lookin' family of three, I mean four (sorry Wyatt..I'll photoshop you in later :)

Hey! You stole my hat!