Canada & America- A Comparison: A Collab Post By Meredith And Jo



Hello wonderful people of the earth! Or Narnia, Asgard, the Death Star, Middle Earth, whichever you come from. Hi. ๐Ÿ™‚ First and most importantly, GET OFF THE DREADED READER IF YOU’RE ON IT AND GO CHECK OUT THE ACTUAL SITE THANKY YOU.

(I told myself I wouldn’t change my theme ever anymore, but.. well, it was Friday, and I finished my homework (ish) and I was bored and well. CHECK. THE. BLOG. OUT. It’s a drastic (and hopefully much better XD) change. So go and please,ย please check it out and I’m done sounding like a hopeless blogger even though I am XD)

Alright. On with this post. *plugs in Infinity War* *cracks knuckles* *dies*

B9EF66FA-B504-491B-A2BD-B0E1A3ECDE3BRight, so by now you’ve heard of Meredith, right? She’s the sweet and awesome blogger behind Artsy Arrow which, if you haven’t heard of before, you really should check it out. I’m so glad I got to know Meredith and bond with her about AIO, books, homeschooling, and, well, that’s she’s also in Ontario, Canada! ๐Ÿ˜€ Fancy that. We thought it would be pretty great if we couldย  share our experiences about the other’s country, since we both lived in the US/Canada for a time.


I first went to the States when I was five for a family reunion, and to be perfectly honest… it feels like home. So I’m more than happy to talk about the differences between two countries I love. Hopefully y’all like it. ๐Ÿ˜‰


People are just kinda a notch or two warmer and friendlier, for some reason.ย 

If you’re scoffing at this, blame the fact I’m Canadian and wouldn’t really know what it’s like to be American. XD But Americans are just really friendly people! Sneeze in Walmart? Someone says “bless you”. Wait in line at a McDonalds? Any random person could say hi. Stop at a rest area at 2 am on a Friday night? You’ll find yourself being asked how your trip is. Canada is friendly.. but not in every part of the country like that. XD It’s nice.


Patriotism’s really strong.ย 

I kinda grinned one time pulling up to my aunt’s neighborhood and seeing so many American flags from the windows and everywhere. And not just the flags- like seeing little “God Bless America” signs and just the.. vibe. Correct me if I’m wrong. ๐Ÿ˜›


People say “you’re fine” when you say “thanks”.

I tested this at a store once. Approximately everyone I interacted with said “you’re fine” whenever I said “thank you”. It’s awfully sweet of them to confirm my emotional status, but, uh, I don’t think I can get used to it. XD


You say “sir” and “ma’m” and not “tito” and “tita”.

Ah. Double culture. XD um, well, in Filipino culture, the equivalent of sir isย tito and for ma’m,ย tita.ย Add in the fact that most of my Canadian world is Filipino, and I don’t get to say the English versions much. ๐Ÿ˜› Although I did get to going to Ottawa, but yeah. I find that interesting.


A lot of my family’s on the other side of the border.

Does this make a ton of difference? It kinda does for me. After people find out I’m “the cousin of so and so’s friend’s sister-in-law’s brother,” they just start asking questions and being friendly and I’m not very much used to that, because I’m a sheltered homeschooling bean. XD No, but really, I went to a Sunday-school once, and after my aunt told the teacher who I was, Mrs. Iforgotyournamebutthankyouforputtingupwithme just beamed. “Oh, we’ll make sure she has a great time!”

I really did. XD

Maybe that’s why I feel at home. Huh. Dunno.


American sweet tea is sugar water with a weak strain of some powered Lipton tea!ย 

*gags* I’m not sure I like this part of American culture once. I tried Chikfila sweet tea and.. wow. That’s my sugar intake for the day. Finished in one sip. *shudders* How can anyone handle that sweetness? Someone help and explain. Anyway, our sweet tea’s really tea. XD Probably flavored with maple syrup. ๐Ÿ˜›



I’ve yet to really be in small town Canada (somewhere on the bucket list), but if it’s like small town America, I’d die of happiness. Again, I can’t say for sure what it’s really like, but my family walked into a Taco in Ohio somewhere once. There were like 2 people working the counter, and one was spoon-feeding her grandkid, who was eating there, there were two girls in the corner booth just talking. Then, one guy comes in,ย doesn’t order anything. I’ll never know why he came in, but everyone in the restaurant except for my family immediately shouted, “DON’T GIVE HIM HER NUMBER.”


I wish I could remember that town. I’ll go back one day.

I kinda wanna ask if he got her number, but I suppose that’s a mystery for the ages.


America has the best franchises. Ever.

Chikfila. Cracker Barrel. TRADER JOE’S. We don’t have these wonders in Canada (except Chikfila’s coming here and I couldn’t be happier) and the obvious need for them SHOWS. I’ve been to Chikfila tons of times but I haven’t gotten to try a Chikn mini. I think that needs to change. Also, have you ever heard of Trader Joe runs? Yes, well, they’re part of the reason my family tries to road trip once a year- COOKIE BUTTER. *dies* I’d cross the border once a week for it. XD And Target didn’t even last in Canada like a yearish. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Wah. I kinda miss it. Ish. It’s like Walmart but red.


I hope this post wasn’t too cringey XD I had a ton of good memories writing it, and now I really wanna dash across the border to say hi to everyone I know in the states. ๐Ÿ˜› All my friends are on the other side of the border, why is that? ๐Ÿ˜›ย  I had a hard time bottling up my wandering self in the pictures and I’ll probably do a wanderlust post of some sort sometime- but yeah.


America is a beautiful country. It’s not perfect- no country is, but God’s really blessed me through the people (the ones I know, of course ๐Ÿ˜› ) living there, and I hope what the wonderful U.S of A stands for doesn’t change. Even though it kinda already is, but that’s a topic for another time. As Thor said, “Asgard isn’t a place. It’s a people.” And so is America.

I wish I knew why God put me in Canada- apparently, if things had been just a tad different, I’d be an American. But there’s a reason, I suppose, why both countries feel like home, and until I figure it out, I’ll just enjoy living in the true North- or so they call Canada. XD Besides, if I hadn’t been living here, I’d never have gotten to really get to know Meredith! Go check out her post about Canada’s differences- sums it up better than I ever could! ๐Ÿ˜€

life is a highway, Jo

(me makesy new signoffy- does you likey? ๐Ÿ™‚ )


A Sunday In The Life Of A PK (or a CP PK, at least.)

DISCLAIMER: NOT OUR CAR. Cause if we did do this, it’d be a lot longer. ๐Ÿ˜›

*CPPK= church planter pastor’s kid

7:00 AM– wake up to an alarm that’s been snoozed twice already, whack the screen and fall back asleep, only to have the door swung wide open and the lights turned on.

“It’s Sunday.” announces Mom. Fall out of the top part of the rickety bunk bed and land on the pile of laundry you swore you’d fold.

“Sa wakas, (at last), it’s finished, now plug in that printer,” is heard from the other room. “Please tell me you do have something ready to wear?” Mom asks. You nod and look at the semi-wrinkled shirts around you, grabbing the closest thing. Nope, no Blue Jays shirts to church. Nice shade of blue though.



8:00 AM– Get a half up, half down thing going on with your hair and gracefully trip over your violin. Poke your head in the guys’ room and ask if they’d just hurry up. Get promptly kicked out and left to print the remaining programs. Sneak some carrot cake that was supposed to be for church. Well, in your defense, youย are a part of the church, amirite or amirite?

“Don’t give me that smile,” Mom warns jokingly in the front seat of the car. Settle down and get back to sleep for the 30 minute drive into somewhat open country and somewhat closed city. Wake up as the car turns past M&M Market and Wimpy’s (closed for the day) Diner, and past the basketball court they fixed a month ago.


9:00 AM– Pull into the parking lot and get outta that car and start hauling the heavy stuff from the car to the stairs, from the stairs to the room and don’t forget your Bible. Go back up and wait for the transit bus to pull up. Greet Ms. A and her bus driver and push her wheelchair up the ramp, assuring Ms. A that you are more than capable to push her all the way down. Get her safely with Mom and start practicing violin until everyone else comes in, switching from “Standing On The Promises” to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” if need be.


10:00 AM– Settle down on the floor as Sunday School starts. You’d sit down if it weren’t for the bright eyed child toddling over, smile widening as your camera shutter clicks. Snatch bits and pieces of The Stranger From Emmaus. Wait for the announcements to be read so the rest of the service can start.

“No, it’s notย Jacob who has a birthday this week! I printed it!” Chuckles echo from around the room. Get up and read the Call To Worship, mirth giving way to respect. Rosin your bow and take your place, preparing to lead worship to the One who deserves it all. Resist the urge to say something as the worship leader urges everyone to sing, saying “Heaven hears us when our voices are loud.” Give in.

“Show me that in scripture!” Another round of chuckles.

The piano plays and worship is led. Switch between fiddling and playing classical, and try not to smile as a toddler dashes for her dad singing in the front. The last song is sung and you sit back down.

“You do have the supply bag for the kids this time,ย right??” Wince and ask your brother to get it from the car.


11:00 AM– Get the all-too-eager group of kids and take them to the spare room. Lay down the rules: No parties in the dark, even if you have light up Skechers; no pretend operating with scissors if you want to stay; and no PJ Masks in church. And under no circumstances, EVER, are you to touch that. EVER.

“I wanna race!” cries a hyper 5 year old. Your brother silently drops off the supply bag and gives you a thumbs-up. He leaves before you can pull off your “halp meh” face.

You pray with your co-worker and friend that maybe this time, just this time, you can capture the kids’ attention and help bring God’s Word to life for them.


12:00 PM– Nobody can say you didn’t try. But an hour of a round of cartwheels, races, piggy backs, one timeout, some shoes missing, fake money, and dancing later, really all you did was mention “Zach the tax collector who climbed the sick tree”. Sigh in frustration as you look for a missing kid.

“Yikes, I think we missed the ending.”ย  Race to clean up and put shoes on a protesting girl and see if you did.

You did. But you were right on time for the refreshments. Some more carrot cake can’t hurt. Greet Mark a happy birthday. Get convinced into giving another piggy back and get choked. Load the piano into the waiting van and walk back in the heat.


1:00 PM– Wait for Ms. A’s bus to come so you all can go home and rest. It came late. Stare out the window, music blasting in your ears, thanking God for the little blessings that came today. Beg for AC because it is nothing but hot. Fall asleep in the car.

Then jolt awake making a mental note that you must get paper for the kids to draw on or lose complete sanity.


The Rest Of The Day-ย “Mom, where are the canned peaches??” “We finished them yesterday.” “Aw.”


NECESSARY DISCLAIMER: This doesn’t reflect PKs in general, but rather on one specific one. Not all PKs help with Sunday School or steal carrot cake, so I don’t wanna have y’all thinking that!

Scribble Scrabble

Afternoon, y’all. Welcome to the first Scribble Scrabble. *tips cowboy hat*

You might be wondering why I am calling it Scribble Scrabble.

Well, it all started when I was knee high to a grasshopper, and started my day with crayons in my hand. (Not anymore now, though!)

A flash of inspiration came to me one day: why not start my own newspaper? I thought it was a wonderful idea, so with a page ripped from my drawing notebook and all the crayons I had, I scribbled some words here and drew this there.

I was so pleased- my own creation! My brother, however, thought it was scribbling. I, like the good child I am, ignored him and went off to play Scrabble with my dad.

ย I lost.

Later, after mourning my loss, I dreamt up the perfect name for my newspaper: Scribble Scrabble!

Naturally, production of my newspaper stopped after the first page. Scribble Scrabble was no more.

But I’m older now. And have a blog. So, Scribble Scrabble is back! Basically pretty much whatever comes to my head will be typed.

Ready? Here goes!

First up: Jo’s Snowy Sunday!

It was early Sunday morning, and the snow was thick and slippery. Could we make it to church safely without getting the car stuck in the snowdrifts?


Aw, piece of cake! However, it really was dangerous, and a few cars somehow managed to get stuck on the highway. Thankfully we made it safe and on time!


Then on the way home ice stuck to the windows and snow on my shoes. I don’t really mind, though. Winter is my favorite season! (Except when I’m planning to join aย spring photography contest…)


(Also, if you didn’t notice, the title sounds a lot like Sir Buddy’s Snowy Day, the next AIO episode! Hee hee!)

Next up!

Abstract Streetlights!

I always thought it would be neat if I could take pictures of streetlights, and here they are! However, if you noticed, they’re a bit abstract.


My blog button!

WordPress Logo

Y’know, it ain’t easy to come by these! Treasure ’em! Many many thanks to Clara from Clara & Co. for making this beautiful clipart and for letting new aspiring bloggers like me use it! Clara, like me, plays the fiddle (different from a violin).

And lastly:

A Word Of Thanks

Y’know, a blog isn’t much without people reading it, and my blog wouldn’t be much without you all reading it! Thank you for your likes, your comments (both short and sweet and long and varied), and your follows! It all puts a smile on my face, and I hope my blog does the same for you.

Thanks for reading.


In Another World Much Like This One: What We Say And What We Do (Or Kids..)


Anna!” My mother called. I didn’t catch it, though. My headphones were on and I was working on exponents. “Anna!!” My mother’s voice broke through a lull on the radio, snapping me to attention.

“Yes, Mom?” I asked as she came in my room. “Mrs. Thomas said it was your turn for the Children’s Care this Sunday.” I took my headphones off. “It is?” I swiveled my chair to face her. Mom nodded. “Yes, and I think you should prepare your lesson early. I’ll be preparing dinner if you need me, ok?” Mom said as she headed out.

“Ok, thanks Mom.” I said as I watched her go. When the door closed, I got up to grab the Bible storybook off my shelf. So I must face the barrage of questions this time, I thought as I began to flip through the book.

My church is small, but rich in its own way. I loved the worship, the sermons, and the Children’s ministry, even when I was asked to help. The children’s questions and thoughts are just.. wasn’t there a show about the funny things kids say?

The last time I helped, however, was.. interesting.

“Oh, boy, I just can’t get their attention.” Mrs. Scott mourned. It was her first time teaching the kids, and their attention span was miniscule. “I know. Let me see what I can do, ok?” I comforted.

“Hey!” I shouted, turning my attention to the kids. I was a kid once and I knew a little how impatient six and seven year olds can be. They didn’t hear. One little girl under the table did, however. “Yes, Anna?” She asked as she trotted over. That kid is so cute.

“Nelly, no one’s listening. Can you call them so we can start coloring? I asked her. “Ok! EVEYBOODDDDYY!!!!!!!!!” Nelly’s voice pierced the air, stunning, me, Mrs. Scott, and the kids, who finally got the point and lifted their heads.

I took advantage of the aftershock and made my case. “Now that you have so graciously listened, it is now time for Mrs. Scott to read the story of the Flood.” For some reason, all the kids groaned. “Do we have to, Anna?” It’s boring.” “I just wanna play!” “I’ve heard this before!” The complaints came. Except from Nelly and Della, who were the youngest, the cutest, and happily coloring under the table.

I grabbled a sheet of paper and a pack of crayons. “Who wants to color?” I said as I waved them in the air. The roar, stomping, and running was deafening. I almost was trampled on by a bunch of eager pre-schoolers. “MEEE!!” The kids cried. Mrs. Scott looked at me dazed.

“Alright, you can color.” I held out the paper and crayons for the kids to take. “If,” I said as I pulled my hands back, “if you listen to Mrs. Scott.” My deal was out. “Aw… ok.” they agreed and sat around the table.

Mrs. Scott beamed at me as I gave the kids paper. “Alright boys and girls. Today we are going to learn about a man named No-”

“Anna?” Ryan interrupted. He ignored my glare and smoothly stated, “I love God!” “Me too.” The other kids said. “I would do anything He asked me to do!” Ryan continued. “Me too.” The other kids agreed.

“That’s, really good, Ryan. Not everyone loves God.” I conceded. Ryan smiled. “But if you love God, won’t you listen to His word?” I asked. He stopped smiling. “Wellll, I don’t have to!” he said a little flustered-like. “Really? But I thought you would do anything God asked you to do!” I replied, feeling a bit pleased I had caught him with his thinking.

Sure enough, I did, but I missed one aspect of childhood reasoning. “Yeah, but God didn’t ask me to listen to Him. You did!” he stated. I wondered if Ryan would ever know how ridiculous he sounded as I mentally banged my head against a really hard rock.

The rest of the hour was wonderful.

Jumping to the present, as I got some tape to throw in the supply bag, I thought a little about Ryan’s statement. He wasn’t the first one to think like that, for sure.

It seems kinda sad that we say we love God but won’t listen or do what He says, I thought.

It seems wrong that we think nothing of it when a swear word slips out.

How will we know what God wants us to do when we don’t listen to His word?
I knew then what I would teach this Sunday. But I would be sure to bring my Bible as well as the storybook.