Author Archives: Terynn

About Terynn

I am a Canadian in love with an American and the proud mother of three daughters. I hope to be able to achieve my goal of making a career from writing at home before the end of 2013. I better get to work!

April 2nd – Hold hands/Text emoticons

April 2nd – Hold hands/Text emoticons


Hand-holding has been proven to reduce stress so those of you who can, hold hands for at least five minutes today. Hand holding is an accepted form of PDA and can be done in almost any situation so there is no excuse!

For long distance couples like me and Heidi, you are going to put technology to work. Here are some very comprehensive lists of emoticons (12, 3) that you can reference. Throughout the day, text your partner emoticons that show how you feel about him/her.

April 1st – Be a “Fool” in Love!

April 1st – Be a “Fool” in Love!


Remember the days when you would scribble your partner’s name all over your school binders? Remember obsessively writing your initials + his/hers encircled by a heart on any writing surface available? You were smitten and you wanted the world to know! Remember how good it felt? Bring back those feelings and be free! Be a fool in love! Both local and long distance couples can do this!

Write your partner’s name in the mud, sand, or snow or spell it out using whatever objects you can find (sticks, stones, sidewalk chalk, etc). Show it to them. Take a picture to show them if that is not possible.

My partner, Heidi, wrote my name with blue food colouring in the snow. I wrote her name with blue sidewalk chalk in my driveway.

Heidi wrote my name in the snow n blue food colouring

Heidi wrote my name in the snow in blue food colouring

I wrote Heidi'd name using blue sidewalk chalk in my driveway

I wrote Heidi’s name using blue sidewalk chalk in my driveway

Share your pictures on Twitter #aprilshowers30. Follow me on Twitter @writerbychoice1

April Showers Bring May Flowers – A romantic “task” a day for 30 days to strengthen your relationship

April Showers Bring May Flowers – A romantic “task” a day for 30 days to strengthen your relationship

AprilShowerslogopinterestApril showers bring May flowers so pour on the romance and watch your love blossom! Check back here each day in April for your romantic “task” of the day to complete with your partner. These “tasks” are perfect for those couples madly in love, for those struggling to reconnect, and for all couples in between.

We have included tasks for both local and long distance relationships. If you are normally in a local relationship but find yourself apart for a period of time during the 30 days, simply switch to the long distance relationship tasks for those days. Vice-versa for those long distance relationship partners who are lucky enough to have some time together.

The romantic “tasks” we have given are suggestions. Follow them exactly or adapt them to fit your current relationship style and status. They are designed to get couples thinking, sharing, playing and touching – enjoying each other in ways you may not normally.

Even the closest couples can get caught up in the “everydayness” of life, putting their relationship on the back burner. For the month of April, bring it back to the front. Make your relationship a priority for 30 days. Pour on the romance and watch your love blossom!

Finding this after April 1st? You can still do it! Just start with the first task and do it for 30 days:) It doesn’t have to be done in April as long as you do it!

A new “task” will be posted each day. In order to find the tasks, simply click on ”April Showers Daily Relationship “Tasks” located in the menu at the top of the page, or go to the homepage The most recent posts will be on this page. You can also find them in the menu on the right hand side of the homepage by going to “categories” and selecting “April Showers Daily Relationship “Tasks” from the drop down menu.

Twitter #aprilshowers30  Follow me on Twitter @writerbychoice1

Should We Force Children to Eat Everything on Their Plate?

Should We Force Children to Eat Everything on Their Plate?

Here are some very common lines parent use to “encourage” children to eat their food.

  1. “Clear your plate or you can’t have dessert.”
  2. “I made the food, all you have to do is eat it.”
  3. “There are people starving in this world now eat your supper!”
  4. “Go to your room if you are not going to eat your supper.”
  5. Child “Why do I have to eat all of it.” Parent “Because I said so.”

Do any of these lines sound familiar? Have you said any of them yourself? Sadly, these directives leave parents’ mouths far too often. I ask you to read them again and count how many have to do with teaching your child healthy eating habits. The answer is 0, nada, nil, zilch.

Here is what they really teach your children:


How child interprets it: If I eat everything on my plate, I get something I really want.

What it teaches your child: to eat solely for rewards


How child interprets it: If I don’t eat my mom/dad will be sad or mad.

What it teaches your child: to eat to please, to eat out of guilt or to avoid negative consequences


How child interprets it: If I don’t eat I am being wasteful and that is not fair because other people do not have food like me.

What it teaches your child: to eat out of guilt


How child interprets it: If I don’t eat this I am in trouble. I don’t want to go to my room so I better eat it all.

What it teaches your child: to eat to avoid negative consequences


How child interprets it: I have no choice but to eat.

What it teaches your child: resentment towards the parent, that s/he has no control over what goes into his/her body

Now I ask you to think of why we eat at all.

We eat to fuel our body, to give it the nutrients it needs to develop and the energy we need to live. Does eating everything on our plate at every meal ensure that we will be successful in doing so? Depends on what is on the plate of course.

“Eat everything on your plate” is not the message we need our children to learn. We want them to hear that they have a choice of what foods and how much of them they consume. Does that mean we give them free reign? No way. Just like in every aspect of life they need our guidance. They are not born knowing what nutrients they need or how to get them.

As a mom, I have heard all of the arguments about why children should just eat what is placed in front of them. Here are the two most common ones with my two cents worth.

1. My kitchen is not a restaurant. I cannot make a different meal for each family member.

My two cents: Nor can I. And your children should not expect that of you. For family members who are not fans of the prepared meal, a quick and easy alternative should be available such as a peanut butter and banana sandwich. If the child is old enough, s/he can be responsible for making a substitute meal on her/his own.

2. My parents made me eat everything and I was fine.

My two cents: Think about why you ate everything and how it made you feel about food, how it made you feel towards your parents. How does it affect your eating habits as an adult? If you had siblings, did it work the same for them? My three daughters were all exposed to the same foods when they were infants and toddlers but not surprisingly to me, they each have different food preferences and aversions. And why shouldn’t they, they are individuals. My middle daughter will not eat a green vegetable to save her life and she has been that way since the mushed up baby food stage. She just does not like them – not mushed up, not raw and not steamed. It is not the texture, it is the taste. My eldest daughter, who does like green vegetables, bases a lot of her food preferences on texture. My youngest daughter, who happens to be the one I gave more “free reign” to in the food department, eats the most variety of foods and is more likely to try new ones without coaxing than her sisters.

The main rule I have at my house is that everyone needs to try something new when it is placed in front of them. The adage, you never know until you try, really is true. If you try, and you don’t like it, then you don’t have to eat it, but you do have to find an alternative that provides you the same nutrients. Afterall, that is why we eat in the first place.

Easiest Grilled Cheese Sandwich Ever

Easiest Grilled Cheese Sandwich Ever

Grilled cheese sandwiches are yummy and fairly easy to make in the grand scheme of things but this is the absolute easiest grilled cheese sandwich you will ever make in your life!

Simply toast two pieces of bread. As soon as they are out of the toaster, insert a slice of your favourite cheese between them and you are ready to eat!

It really is that easy!

grill cheese apart

grilled cheese



Gag Me With a Yellow Bean

Gag Me With a Yellow Bean

You can see the disgusting bean pushed as far to the left side of the bowl as possible

Gag me! I was enjoying a nice bowl of chili for lunch today when I discovered my only food nemesis – the yellow bean! The site of it made my stomach churn. I was almost rendered incapable of swallowing the yellow-beanless bite of chili I had in my mouth. I forced my way through it and savoured the piquant taste. I have not had a yellow bean that close to my mouth for close to 30 years!

I was probably about ten years old the last time I was served canned yellow beans, or string beans as we called them, on the plate with the rest of my supper. I had eaten them for suppers before, and hated every mouthful of them. Remember in our day the rule was to “eat everything on your plate”. This was an awful rule for a picky eater like me and the most cruel rule I could ever think of as far as canned yellow beans were concerned. Each time these beans ended up on my plate, my stomach reacted. It warned me that it did not want those pale, waxy, yellow vegetables anywhere near it. Each time, however, I forced them into my mouth, often having to plug my nose in an effort to reduce the awful taste. Next step was to move them from my mouth down my throat. This is the step that always proved to be near impossible. I had the same difficulty swallowing the string beans as I do those horse sized antibiotics prescribed to cure bouts of strep throat –  the string beans because they taste so unbelievably disgusting, the horse sized pills because they are near the same size as my pharynx.

This particular “battle with the beans” was no different than the previous ones up until the moment I swallowed and forced them into my pharynx. I think they made it as far as my esophagus when my stomach decided to fight back – tonight it was not having string beans! It had tried to warn me just as I had tried to explain to my parents that string beans were different than the hundreds of other foods I disliked. String beans were in a league of their own as far as yucky foods go. This is the moment they believed me.

I squeezed my nostrils together harder, closed my eyes and swallowed forcefully. Instantaneously those string beans, along with my stomach contents, travelled back up my esophagus, through my pharynx, into my mouth and back out again, landing on my plate.

My parents decided that I never had to eat yellow beans again.

The Best Ever Potato Casserole

The Best Ever Potato Casserole

It will cost you too many points but this is the yummiest potato casserole you will ever eat!


2 lbs frozen hash brown potatoes
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated onions (equivalent to about 2 slices of an onion)
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
crushed potato chips (plain)


1. Mix all ingredients together with the exception of the crushed plain potato chips.

2. Put in 9 x 13 casserole dish.

3. Cover with crushed plain potato chips. I don’t measure but it is a light covering over entire top of casserole. I would guess 2-3 cups of crushed potato chips :)

Potato Casserole

Best Ever Potato Casserole ready to go in the oven (minus the crushed potato chips)

4. Cook, uncovered, at 350 F for 45 minutes to 1 hour

5. Enjoy!

Best Ever Potato Casserole Cooked

Best Ever Potato Casserole cooked and ready to enjoy (complete with crushed potato chips)!

The Heidictionary

The Heidictionary

The Heidictionary is a dictionary of words, terms and expressions Heidi uses that I had never heard of and/or enjoy so much I simply have to share them with you.

THANG – Heidi’s pronunciation of the word “thing”. The substitution of the “a” for the short “i” vowel sound caused some confusion for Heidi in her childhood while reading Dr. Suess books such as Hop on Pop. “Thang” did not rhyme with words such as sing, ring, etc. Please see my post entitled I Wondered Why That Never Rhymed!.

BUTTONS - what Heidi calls a remote control for the television. Her mother points out the reasoning behind the terminology, “Well the remote has buttons.”

CANADIAN GOOSE – used by Heidi and the other Kansans I have spoken to in reference to the Canada Goose (Branta canadensis). I saw more Canada Geese in Kansas than I ever have in Canada. Anywhere there was an open field, there were Canada Geese. There are even Canada Geese that hang around Heidi’s mom’s house. I like knowing that when I am visiting Heidi in Kansas that there are fellow Canadians close by. 

“CLEAR OVER HERE/THERE” – This is an expression used by Heidi and many other Kansans. It means “a substantial distance away.” For instance, in a situation where someone who lives on the East side of town is shopping in a store on the West side of town, Heidi would ask, “What are you doing clear over here?”

SEAGULL – Just like the word vehicle, seagull did not make the Heidictionary because of the word itself, but because of how Heidi pronounces it. She struggles, and actually seems physically unable, to make the “ull” sound so she pronounces it “le” instead, making the word seagull rhyme with beagle. Heidi has provided audio of her using seagull in a sentence, “I saw a seagull on the beach.”

SEEM – used by Heidi and other Kansans in lieu of see him as two separate words. Why take the time and effort to enunciate and say two separate words when everyone there understands when you slur them together? The word seem is typically used in this way, “While it may seem that I spend all of my money on clothes, reality is that I just know what sales to hit.” or “He just says that to make it seem like he loves you”. But for Heidi and other Kansans it can also be used in this way, “Your dad had to go away for work for a while and I don’t know when you’ll seem again.” or “If you are looking for Mike, I don’t seem here.”

SHOESTRINGS – what Heidi calls shoelaces

SLOSHY - used by Heidi to describe snow that is “like a Slushie”. Used in a sentence, “It is freezing out and this snow is all sloshy.”

Officially it is an adjective that means wet and sticky or slushy (which is the term I normally hear) Slushy means resembling, consisting of, or covered with slushSlush, which is partially melted snow or ice, is a common occurrence in Cole Harbour during the winter months.

VEHICLE - Heidi uses this word as intended, to describe anything used to transport goods or people. Vehicle made the Heidictionary not for the word itself but because of how she pronounces it. Here in Nova Scotia, most of us do not accent the “h” so it sounds more like vee-ick-le, whereas Heidi, and many Kansans, strongly pronounce the “h” so it sounds more like vee-hick-le. Heidi has provided an audio of her using the word vehicle in the sentence, “The vehicle I drive is a Toyota.”

8 Reasons Why I Would Not Make a Good Amazing Race Partner For Heidi

8 Reasons Why I Would Not Make a Good Amazing Race Partner For Heidi
Heidi and Terynn at Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia

Heidi and Terynn at Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia

Both Heidi and I love to watch the Amazing Race and when we are watching we like to discuss our strengths and weaknesses as they would pertain to the Race. We analyze each task to determine which of us would be best at which ones. Our analyses never end very well for me. Although I have many strengths in a non-Amazing Race environment, I have come to the conclusion that I probably would not make the best AmazingRace partner for Heidi and here are 8 reasons why:

1. Shyness: Most people who know me would never believe that I am actually quite shy. In fact I think I can hear my friends reacting to that statement right now. Yes, yes I can. I hear phhssssst and just got hit in the face with the saliva of disbelief. However, they are not me and as me, I assure you that it is true. Until I get to know you, I am reserved and guarded. Once I know you, or am talking to you in a small group, I come out of my shell. Way out! Most likely you will wish my shyness would resurface.

The “being the centre of attention in a large crowd anxiety” part of my shyness I have does not seem to change no matter how much I know you. This anxiety inhibits me from:

  • public speaking (I did not make speeches at either of my brothers’ weddings).
  • I do NOT dance – not even under the influence of alcohol
  • Being proposed to in public – although I am sure she thought of it, Heidi knew I would kill her if she proposed to me at a Toronto Maple Leafs’ game
  • Performing (as much as I would love to be the next up and coming movie star, thinking about performing on demand, in front of a camera when I KNOW everybody is staring at me, is frightening)

Luckily the Amazing Race does not require dancing or public speeches (the occasional interview, but since that is not “performing” I may be able to stumble through it. Plus it doesn’t affect the actual racing part anyway). It could involve being proposed to but Heidi has already done that and if she hadn’t she knows better! As for performing, I would not even notice the cameras once my adrenaline was rushing during the tasks but I would know they were there the rest of the time. Shyness alone would not be enough to stop me from competing but combined with the rest of the list it would be inhibiting.

2. Strong gag reflex – Foul smells, gross food, copious amounts of food to eat, or food that takes a long time to chew are all guaranteed to make me gag – possibly to the point of vomiting. I would be no good in food challenges. However, since Heidi only weighs about 100 pounds soaking wet (although she is surprisingly strong for being so petite) and cannot consume as much as me in one sitting, I would have to try to gag my way through these challenges.

3. Fear of heights – No way, no way, no way would I be able to do any of those insane bungee jumps, repels or any of the other crazy things they make the contestants do at no-need-for-any-human-to-be-that-high-ever heights! Luckily for us Heidi finds this type of activity thrilling. Score one for our team!

4. I FEAR flying – Anytime it is possible, Heidi flies to Canada instead of me flying to Kansas. I have flown numerous times in my life for sports and to visit Heidi and her children in Kansas but if I can avoid it, I do. Obviously flying is hard to avoid on the Amazing Race so I would do it. As long as Heidi held my hand…no matter how hard I squeezed.

5. I HATE driving – I have my license and I drive every single day but I really do not enjoy it. It makes me super nervous driving in unfamiliar places, especially when I have no idea where I am going. Unfortunately that is a major part of the Amazing Race. Heidi loves driving so it seems obvious she would be our driver – until you read the next two things on my list.

6. I CANNOT drive a standard - The major obstacle to me being the driver is that most of the cars are standards and I CANNOT drive a standard. I have a very stressful story about trying to learn to drive one that I will have to share in a later post.

7. I CANNOT read maps – I know what you are thinking, if you can’t be the driver, just learn to read a map. Believe me, I would MUCH rather learn to read a map than learn to drive a standard, but I have tried and tried and for the life of me, my brain cannot make sense of one. It doesn’t matter if I turn the map in the direction we are driving or have familiar landmarks clearly marked…maps just make NO SENSE to me whatsoever. And Heidi is good at reading maps. Score another for our team! Guess I would be learning to drive a standard.

8. I am Canadian – It says right in the Amazing Race eligibility guidelines that you have to be American to participate.

“Both members of each team must be United States citizens and live in the United States.”

Heidi scores another for our team. I prevent us from even being eligible to apply. Guess this should be the number one reason I would not make a good Amazing Race partner for Heidi.

Good thing I make a great life partner for Heidi :)


Who lives in the Great White North?

Who lives in the Great White North?


I’m sorry…who lives in the Great White North? Wichita, Kansas is shut down for the third day in less than a week because of…



Wheat field in Derby, Kansas February 25, 2013


Yard in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia February 25, 2013

I told you it snows in Kansas. And when it snows it pours I guess. My children have had two snow days this year and so far Heidi’s children have had three! Who would have thought the Kansans would beat out the Nova Scotians in that category!

Wichita received about 14 inches of snow on February 20 and 21 and was just dumped on with another 7-10 inches (17.7 – 25.4cm) yesterday and today – this time in blizzard conditions. After being hit in the face with yesterday’s falling snow, Heidi described it as “sloshy”. This will be the first official entry in the Heidictionary.


Sloshy snow falling in Derby, Kansas February 25, 2013

That’s not to say that we here in Cole Harbour have not gotten our fair share of snow this winter. On February 9 and 10th we got blasted with 45 cm (17.7 inches) of it. My brother, who flew in from Korea with his wife to surprise my mom for her 60th birthday party, got stuck in Chicago for 3 days and never made it to Cole Harbour until February 11. As a double whammy to me, this snow fell on the weekend. Had it been during the week I would have had at least one snow day off of work! Instead I spent my time off shoveling and shoveling and shoveling.


After shoveling on February 9, 2013 I measured the snow bank at approximately 7 Pepsi Max cans high

Despite the horrible driving conditions and the endless hours of shoveling, snow is not all bad – our children love it!