Saturday, September 3, 2011

Random Photos

I was looking through some old picture files and found a few to post...

..just cuz they're fun to look at :)

Some of my guy cousins at a Picklyk cousin reunion. There are a lot of us -

7 of the guys are missing from this picture. By the way,

they were playing Bocci and broke one of the balls in half.

Ya. I know.

Left to right:

Nathan, Orlund, Virden, Warren, Johnathan, Jarius, Jordan and Jarred.

I love how they are all standing around with their hands in their pockets.
Jordan, Jarius, Johnathan, Nathan, Jarred, Virden, Warren

Someone sent me this and said it's because it
reminded them of me and my driving :)

Sunday cousin lunch at Milestones.
JaeNelle, Jarius, Jordan

Oh my goodness ! I totally forgot I had this pic still, haha !

Having dinner at Earls with some friends and

Tim from the UK.. they all got a little

carried away with their phones.

This is Virden, my younger brother :) He came in for a

haircut, so I took pictures in stages. At the very end, he thought I

finished the cut and was taking the "After" photo..

til I burst out laughing and he clued in that I left a little tail

of hair behind. I did cut it off before he left,

just for the record !

Seeing Orlund, my older brother, sit this way at his computer

was normal for me and my family. Seeing Orlund fold up into the chair

from sitting this way at his computer was normal for me and my family.

I can't tell if Orlund felt bad for me or if he was annoyed with me..

Me being a nice sister again.. buttering my brother's

toast because he couldn't reach. For those

of you who read my blog entry titled

"Cupcake", this is where it all began..

I remember this happening. I never did figure out why

they didn't want me to sit down,

and said to stick my butt out more..

"But" now I see why !

My lil bro.. haha !! So cute :)

Me and da boyz !!

Orlund still makes that face sometimes..

My cousin Andrea and I at my Uncle Andrew's house

one night. Andrea, I think this is the time

we made stupid jokes all night long and we were the only ones

that ended up laughing at them.

The night my first niece Joy was born !!!! Awe..

I love all 4 of my nieces tons and tons and tons !!

Another is on the way.. or will it be a nephew this time ??

My cousin Andrea, cousin-in-law Melody, Me, and my friend Sherri

having some fun girl time at my aunt and uncle's house.

Wow, this picture is from so long ago !!

My good friend Taraleigh and I at a Christmas

banquet a few years ago. Am I looking kinda orange here ?

Nothing like a good ol' fake-n-bake in the middle of winter :)

Yay for auntie Twyla.. teaching my nieces Joy and Ava "music" early on.

Good students too - they even figured out on their

own how to play "forte" which is the Italian

term meaning "loud".

I won't even mention how much whipping cream

Joy and Ava ate that night. Let's just say after dessert time,

I became their favorite person in the whole entire world.

A beautiful sunset on a lake during a

Norstrom family reunion a few years ago.

This picture of Kamloops was taken by

Orlund during a wintery evening..

I love this picture !

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


The result of being bored on sunday night:

Super sweet white chocolate cupcakes

with raspberry icing and coconut sprinkled on top !!

These turned out much better than some other things I've attempted to make. Like the time when my brothers and I were home from school during the summer and I tried to explore some options with Kraft Dinner, or when I tried to surprise my mom and dad with an apple pie when they came back from holidays. First off though, I would like to point out that this was years ago and I didn't yet have much cooking experience. So don't judge me :)

The Pie Crust Story: My parents had been away for 2-3 weeks on holidays and so on the day they were due back home, I thought I would surprise them with homemade apple pie made by my own hands with love. I had seen my mom do it tons of times without a recipe because she was just that good and did it a lot, so I figured I remembered enough to be able to copy what she did from memory. Seemed pretty easy to do.

So I dug out the flour and the Crisco. I knew the consistency it should feel and look like.. so I scooped out a couple of cups of flour, took a huge chunk of Crisco and started mushing it together. Seemed a little on the greasy side, so I added more flour but soon found it was too dry. So I added more Crisco and it once again became greasy. So added a couple more cups of flour and it seemed to be closer to what it should be but for some reason it wasn't holding together like it normally did when my mom made it, plus it wasn't soft and doughy.. it was kinda just flour-y and Crisco-y. I kept working with it by adding a bit more flour, then a bit more Crisco, etc.. and soon it had become this huge bowl of flour and Crisco. I got it to a certain point where I thought I would try to roll it out anyway and see what happens.

Yes. Well. You can't really roll out a ball of Crisco and flour too well. I pinched a corner of it to see if it even tasted like raw pie dough like my mom's and it definitely did not. So I gave up on the idea and threw it all in garbage. A freshly cleaned house with flowers on the table, and dinner waiting, and a hug from me would have to be good enough :)

After they came home and had dinner and everything, I went down to my room and within a couple of minutes I heard my mom say, "Twyla Michelle !! What is in the garbage?" So I ran upstairs and started laughing. I told her I wanted to surprise them by making a homemade apple pie but it wasn't working. She asked how I tried to make the dough. I told her and once she was able to stop laughing, she told me all the extra stuff you need to add.

I have since, made successful pies :)

The Kraft Dinner Story: Since my older brother (Orlund) only cooked eggs, and I only made hot dogs and Kraft Dinner, my younger brother (Virden's) decision on what he wanted for lunch that day also made the decision who cooked, and he wanted Kraft Dinner for lunch, so I decided to be a nice sister and make it extra special by adding extra cheese. LOOOOTS of it !! And not just one kind either, because one just wouldn't be special enough. After the macaroni was ready, I added a bit of butter and milk then stirred in the cheese powder that came with the box. Then it was time to add the "extra special" stuff... which was cheddar cheese, mozzarella AND parmesan.

After it all melted, I grabbed the scoop to put it on the plates for my brothers. There was way more stretchy cheese in that pot of macaroni than any pizza in history has ever seen !! I wasn't even sure that I wanted to eat it.. so I just took two plates to both my brothers, handed them forks and told them, "God bless your stomachs."

You know how sometimes you pour too much milk and there is a puddle under the macaroni ? Well Orlund scooped his fork into the KD thinking I had poured too much milk.. until he lifted the fork from the plate and realized the milky puddle was actually melted cheese. I think my brothers only made it a quarter of the way through their lunch before cheesy nausea set in. For the next week or two or three, Virden chose eggs for lunch.

The Brownie Story: Then there was the time my brothers and I were having a bunch of friends over and I decided to make some delicious brownies. I put most of the ingredients together in the bowl and started the mixer to beat everything together. I grabbed a measuring cup and the oil that was in a fancy tall glass oil dispenser by the stove, measured and poured it into the batter.

While it was mixing, I went to start washing the dishes. After a couple minutes, I walked past where the mixutre was beating to put something away and smelled an odd smell. I couldn't figure out what it was, so I walked back to the sink. A couple minutes later I started smelling the same smell. I thought maybe I needed to take out the garbage.. so I did. But when I came back up to the kitchen and walked past the mixer, I could still smell the same gross smell. Then I clued in that it was strongest near the mixer, so I went up to the bowl and breathed in deeply.

Yep. It was the brownie batter that smelled horrible and I had no clue why. I thought of everything I put in it and then looked at the oil sitting on the counter that I had used. I sniffed it and smelled the familiar smell that was starting to overwhelm the kitchen. The label said "Extra Virgin Olive Oil" but it definitely did not smell like it, so I phoned my mom and asked her what kind of oil it was, and she told me she had refilled the container but with garlic flavored olive oil instead. Yum.

I should've baked and frosted and served them anyways... :P

I guess I just need to pay more attention to what I put into things sometimes.. like the time I was trying to make Borscht for my friend Andrey, who is from Russia.

The Borscht Story: The base for the soup was made and everything was ready to go. All I had left to do was add in the beets that had been frozen. My mom had called me to tell me she pulled the beets from the freezer and put them in the fridge. So I opened the fridge, saw two containers and glanced quickly into one of them. It looked all icy and frozen and dark purpley - so I assumed it was the beets.

I squeezed the sides of the container and the whole chunk of what I thought were beets, fell into the soup. I closed the lid and went to go do some chores around the house. About ten minutes later, I thought I should go check on the soup. So I grabbed a wooden spoon, took off the lid and stirred it once or twice. As soon as I did, I saw a small little dark blue bubble-looking thing bob up to the top. I stirred the soup again.. and saw a couple more of the small little dark blue bubble-looking things appear. I scooped one of them out to look at it and started laughing.

I had accidentally put a container of frozen blueberries in it instead of the beets :) So I had to start again from scratch, but at least the second time was a success !!

Oh the things you do.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Today.... I showered with a moth and didn't know it. Well, at least not until it flew in front of my face when I scared it from its hiding place on my favorite shower-gloves. I am surprised the shower door is still attached to the rest of the shower. I really don't like bugs at all. And no, the moth is not "just like a butterfly" - if it was, it wouldn't be called a "moth".
Today.... I cheated on my healthy-eating kick by caving into my Starbucks Grande Chai Latte-light water-no foam craving. They usually say if you give into a craving when you're trying to be good, that afterwards you totally feel like it wasn't worth it. They were wrong about the chai latte from Starbucks - it was beyond worth it :)
Today.... I filled up my car with fuel at a price of $1.29 per liter, only to drive by another gas station much closer to home and see the sign state "Full Serve: $1.16 per liter".
Today.... I had a good laugh with a couple of coworkers when one of them scared me so bad I almost lost all the freckles off my skin. Good thing I had a lid on my latte...
Today.... I realized that in a week and a half, I will get to see some people from the USA that I haven't seen in just over a year that I am excited to see !! :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bootcamp: Day 14 of 42 (and Hairdressing)

Okay. Days 10-13 of bootcamp workout were non-existant. The only the thing that got a "bootcamp workout" was my patience :) I don't know what was up with people and their hair this last week but I think we should have a rule-book for clients if they want a good haircut.

For example:

  • Fidgeting, jiggling and wiggling when getting your hair cut is a bad idea. Not only for my fingers, but for your haircut, ears and jugular vein located on the side of your neck :)

  • If you have to sneeze or scratch, just let us know. If you don't tell us, you may end up with extra "texturizing and thinning" when its not needed.

  • If you find that your shirt always seems to get wet after having your hair washed, its probably because you've tried "helping" us wash your hair by lifting your head. Just lay back and relax and let us do the work. Since we don't know when you'll lift your head or how high, that hose will end up making the salon look like an indoor car wash. And you will walk out of there looking like you don't know how to use the indoor car wash.

  • Asking us to make it "just a hair shorter" isn't that funny. Just so you know.

  • Ladies that have hair 8 feet long: If we take off 3/4 of an inch instead of 1/2 an inch, it will not make a difference.

  • Stretching your thumb and pointer finger as far as you can and calling that an inch... that is not an inch. No matter how small your hands are, that is not an inch.

  • Let's address the term "Quick-Trim". No such thing exists. Cutting 1/4 of an inch instead of 1 inch still requires all the hairs on your head to be cut. Therefore, takes the same amount of time. Therefore, the term "Quick-Trim" does not exist.

Just a little insight into the world of hairstylists...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bootcamp: Day 6 of 42

Soooo ! I was missing my days of kickboxing from when I was in my early 20's so six days ago I started a bootcamp workout thing... OH MY GOODNESS ! My muscles. Am I the only one that was unaware that even elbows have muscles ?!?
But soon I will be a pro.. I already have the second half of the push-up down pat. Ya know.... the part where your face meets the floor ? Ya, that part. I do it well. And the situps ? I sit up when I wake in the morning and I lay back down when I go to bed at night.
But apparently, I've been told, this is insufficient so hello to starfish pushups, kill-quicks, the plank, lunges, squats, military presses, jump-rope and jumping jacks. Did you know that doing jumping jacks when you're 31 years old is waaaaaaaaaay different than when you are 7 years old ? Well, cause it is. When your body changes, so do these exercises. I don't know who this "Jack"-guy is that couldn't keep his feet on the ground, but thanks a lot there, buddy !

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Psalm 139

I have been finding this piece of scripture to be encouraging to me in the last while. Sometimes its easy to forget that God already has every page of our book written, that He has already figured out and thought about every last little detail of our lives. Not one single part or detail or moment has He left out - health, finances and work, friends and family, relationships, what we do and where we go, who we meet and when we meet them, what He has called us to do He has already equipped us with exactly what we need to accomplish it, from our personality to how our charactor is built and developed to who we need in our lives and the exact time that we need them. God never lies, and in His Word He has promised us that our steps are ordained and ordered and guided by Him for success and blessing because He is not a God of failure or defeat. He has already planned on how to bring us out of whatever situation we are in, so we can live in peace. When things get tough and I get stressed out, I know I sometimes still have to remind myself of this (even having grown up in a christian home and in the church and hearing it often), simply for the fact it can be easy to get caught up in looking at the immediate circumstances around me rather than at what is ahead... and this is why I love this part of the Word because it reminds me again of Who is really in control =)

"You have searched me Lord, and you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;

You see my thoughts from afar;

You discern my going out and my lying down;

You are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is even on my tongue,

You, Lord, know it completely.

You hem me in behind and before,

You lay Your Hand on me.

Where can I go from Your Presence?

Where can I flee from Your Spirit?

If I go up to the heavens, You are there;

If I make my bed in the depths, You are there;

If I rise on the wings of dawn,

If I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there Your Hand will guide me.

Your right Hand will hold me fast.

If I say "Surely the darkness will hide me

and the light will become night around me",

even the darkness will not be dark to You.

The night will shine like the day, for darkness

is as light to You.

For You created my inmost being;

You knit me together in my mother's womb;

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

My frame was not hidden from You

when I was made in the secret place,

when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed body

and all the days ordained for me were

written in Your book before even one of them came to be.

How precious to me are Your thoughts, God !

How vast is the sum of them !

Were I to count them, they would outnumber

the grains of sand;

and yet when I wake, I am still with You"

~ Psalm 139:1-18

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Thank you

Thank you to my parents, brothers and sister-in-laws,

cousins and friends for all the birthday wishes, cards and gifts

on my .... er... um.... 3rd annual 29th birthday this July 1 :)

I am so blessed to have each one of you in my life !

Thanks Mom and Dad, for the pretty flowers - I love you both very much :)

...and thank you, Cutting Lounge co-workers, for the birthday flowers.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Awesome Lawyer Story

This is probably the best lawyer story of the year.

A Charlotte, NC, lawyer purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars, then insured them against fire and other various things. Within a month of having smoked his entire stockpile of these great cigars and without yet having made even his first premium payment on the policy, the lawyer filed a claim against the insuarnce company.

In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost in a "series of small fires". The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason: the man had consumed the cigars in a normal fashion.

The lawyer sued... and won !!

In delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. The judge stated, nevertheless, that the lawyer held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guarenteed that it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be unacceptable fire, and was obligated to pay the claim. Rather than endure a lengthy and costly appeal process, the company accepted the ruling and paid the lawyer $15,000 for his rare cigars lost in the "fires".

Now for the best part....

After the lawyer cashed the cheque, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of arson. With his insurance claim and testimony from the previous case of being sued against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine.

This is a true story and won 1st place in the Criminal Lawyers Awards Contest :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Dad ~ Happy Fathers Day

(Dad, Mom and oldest niece Joy)

Thank you Dad, for being such a great man in my life !

Thank you for all you have done for Mom, Orlund, Virden, and me

For investing your words and wisdom into our lives

For all the time you have taken out to play and read to us as children

For taking us out for coffees to talk about life and the future as teenagers

For giving us guidance and advice as we move ahead as adults

You are one of the greatest dads in the world !

Love you always Daddy,

Luv, "Dad's doll"

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pancake machine ?

Lilo and I went to Seattle last summer, and one morning we went down for breakfast and found this...


This is my friend Andrea and I. We often go for hot chocolate late at night and have some fun chats - she is super sweet and a good friend !

Lilo. My calm, relaxed, easy-going, laid-back friend - we go waaaay back and have tons of memories and laughs together. She's my travelling buddy, and have we ever got some crazy fun travelling memories together. She is one of the sweetest girls I know....

Tracy and I at the movies... she's my "deep-discussion over a Starbucks" friend :P haha ! I think we have a permanent spot reserved at Starbucks for at least once a week.

And this is my cousin JaeNelle and I at the beach last summer. I don't know why we were laughing but what I DO know, is that by the end of the day, we made cooked lobster look pale. I have a great family, I love them very much !

Monday, June 13, 2011

2 Corinthians 2:14

"Thanks be to God, Who always causes us to triumph."

I am sure most of you who read this also understand this already, but sometimes its encouraging to hear again...

God never ends in a negative, He ALWAYS ends on a positive !! Its like we are in a fixed fight. Just like when you record a football game or hockey game, your friends may tell you the score of the final win, so when you watch it later, no matter how bad the team seems to do in the beginning or how many goals they are falling behind on, you can watch in peace knowing that the outcome is still a win.

The same is for us. In fact, the farther behind you seem to get the more exciting it will be to see the comeback - it will be much greater !! God always ends in "All Is Well", so if all is not well, it simply means it is not the end - there is more to come. If you do your part by deciding to move forward and not get stuck where you are, do your best, and remain faithful to God, He will bring you to a flourishing finish. He has it all planned - from the right person at the right time in the right place, in the right situation, under the right circumstance. God has already written every page of your book and it does not end in defeat, or you falling apart, or in betrayal or living lonely - His plans for you are for good, to bring you to a properous and flourishing finish.

A broken relationship, financial troubles, betrayal, depression - when it looks dark, when you don't know how it could ever turn around, when it looks like there is no way out, God has the way.

It may get worse before it gets better but that is a sign that the enemy is taking his best shot to try and keep you where you are. But know this: his best will never be good enough. The forces that are for you are greater than the forces that are against you. The very thing the enemy set out to destroy you with is the very thing God can turn around to help you and bless others with.

Sometimes we feel that we have made too many mistakes or screwed up too badly and have to sit on the sidelines, but think of Samson. The secret of his hair was the key to his strength, but over time he became careless and undisciplined and told someone his secret. One night while asleep, the enemy came and cut his hair and he lost his strength, was taken into captivity, his eyes removed and was put to work in a mill. One day he was taken to a banquet and chained to the wall for his enemies to make fun of him. He asked a child to place his hands on some pillars close by, and then prayed to God to forgive him, to give him back his strength one more time. The Spirit of God came upon him and he was given back his strength and had a great victory.

You cannot do anything to change the past, but you CAN choose to do your part in moving forward by shaking off the blame, quit beating yourself up and do something about the future. Don't keep feeling guilty and condemned - remember, we are in a fixed fight. If you keep moving forward, do your best and stay faithful to God, He has promised us victory. Not sometimes, but ALWAYS !

If all is not well, He simply isn't finished yet because He never ends on a negative, always a positive.

He has promised YOU a flourishing finish !