Friday, December 19, 2014
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Monday, November 3, 2014
Plus, gardening is one of those things that is just in the air here. Like football, and friendliness. Maybe it is because so many people are connected to the farms here. Most people have a relative still on the farm, or grow up on the farm. And farming still makes the economy move here. They even have a farm report in the newspaper.
So this spring I got really excited about putting in at least a little garden. My amazing husband built two large raised beds and we got to work. We had a bit of a late start and neither of us had much experience but we had lots of helper. So in went the seeds and watering was done enthusiastically.
And then came harvest time. I was and still am in awe of what the earth has given back.
Friday, September 26, 2014
We are pregnant! Due at Christmas time.
I am very excited about this. Actually we all are. But it has been a very different pregnancy for us. Being pregnant after loosing a baby is not easy. At first I did not trust my body to carry this baby. I was worried a lot of the time. This is not normal for me. I am a very relaxed, carefree sort of gal. I don't stress a lot. But I was very stressed for the first half of this pregnancy. I put all my trust in tests. In pregnancies of the past I would turn down most tests, and for tests that I did do I did not worry about them much. But this time I asked for a early ultrasound just to see the baby. I was sure that it would help me feel more confident. And it did, for a few days. Then I was sure that hearing the heart beat would make things easier. But it was the same story. It helped a little bit for a few days and then I was back to worrying.
Peoples words of encouragement also did not help. It felt like they were complete platitudes. I know better now then to think that every thing will be fine. My innocence is gone. No longer can I say "Oh I am sure it will all be fine." Because I know that some times it is not.
But at the same time I almost when insane living every day thinking that this might be the day that I lose this baby too. So I prayed a lot, tried to change my thought patterns, and tried to remember the my emotions are like waves. They come and go but they don't need to take me away with them.
It has gotten a lot easier now that I am past the twenty week mark, as this was when we lost Hilary. It also helps that I can feel this baby moving like crazy. I still have moments of worry, but more and more I am starting to think about birthing this baby not just staying pregnant with him.
But now I have a new set of worries. I find it hard to know what to say when asked which number this baby is. How do I answer that? Is this baby 5 or 6? So far I usually say 5, especially to nice old ladies at the grocery store who I will never see again. But other times, if I know the person, or we have the time to have a bigger conversation tell them my story. When I do this good usually comes of it. I have heard lots of other peoples stories of loss, their own, their sister, mother, friend. People have asked me how to talk to their loved one, what kind of resources are out there or just been comforted to know that they are not alone. I am glad to be that for them. There are so many untold stories of babies never forgotten but held in secret and I love helping others to open up.
And so I ask for your prayers. Prayers for a save delivery and a healthy baby. Prayers for less worry and more trust. Prayers for all families expecting again after loss. That they will walk this bumpy road knowing they are not alone.
Monday, September 15, 2014
Step One and a Half: Pour husband a Scotch before the gaggle of 9 year old girls show up. (I forgot this step but will never forget again.)
Step two: Start the girls off with "Anti -Gravity Serum Training" on the trampoline.
Monday, September 8, 2014
Having them stay also means that a lot of my attention is focused on them instead of on the kids. But these small hardships can never out weight
the vast blessing of having them. This was made clear to me in two beautiful ways recently.
Grandpa has been cleaning out his office and found a collection of pennies dating back to the 1910's. Unsure what to do with it, he brought it to us thinking if we did not want to keep it at least we could sell them. Our oldest was enthralled. So, for hours Grandpa and Great-grandson sat with piles of coins and a magnifying glass. They talked and listened, shared stories and organized the coins. My son now has a coin collection but more than that he has a deepening relationship with a man that has lived through the depression, WW2, who started teaching in a one room school house, and who has stayed active and generous through a retirement that has lasted longer than his teaching career.
During another visit, Great-grandma and Great-grandpa and our littlest sat finishing lunch. I was cleaning up, and putting away the left overs. Just like every three year old, she wanted to help so I gave her a small piece of crumpled plastic wrap to wrap up her half eaten cookie. She sat patiently straightening out the plastic wrap while Grandpa looked on. I thought nothing of it but later that week Grandma told me over the phone that Grandpa was inspired. Apparently, before their visit, every time the plastic wrap got stuck together Grandpa gave up, threw it out and got a new piece. But now, he says "If your great-granddaughter can do it, then so can I"
I have often thought how much we have to learn from these amazing people. How to grow a garden to feed you for the whole winter, how to knit, sew and make cool things out of wood. How to be married for 62 years, how to stay strong and committed through the loss of children, professional insecurity, and failing health. But I am learning that we have a lot to give to them too. The energy of youth, the simple joy of a child's smile. On their last visit, Grandma said that we here a force of healing for her. And I see it. I see how sitting and reading to the kids, seeing them run around with laughter, and sharing their stories to eager ears gives life to these venerable people.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
It was of course totally crazy in the school today. 450 parents helping 450 students find their classroom, each with four bags of school supplies. But it was nice to see a few familiar friendly faces, have a few chats and a play on the playground after dropping off the big kids. All in all a very nice morning.
And we are all hopeful for a great second year!
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
I did not know how this would all shake out when I registered us back in March. At that time it was only going to be me taking any instruction and the rest were just "roadies" But the our oldest girl started fiddle lessons this summer and so I signed her up for the camp about a month ago.
So we pack up the van, and drive the 6 hours to the camp that is in a beautiful provincial park on a gorgeous lake.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
We arrived in Saskatchewan a year ago. I said it would take me a year to really know what it was like here. Well it is awesome here.
But I have learned a few things in the last 365 days.
1: Don't leave pop cans in the garage at temperatures lower then -20. They explode. Really!
2: People ware watermelons on their heads. Yes, they really do. It is a football thing, but still people, you don't think that is a little weird.
3: Football is king. If you don't watch the Riders play they take away your health card. It is that important.
4: Mosquitoes are not pets. They are demons sent to torment us until we say bad words in front of our kids.
5: Don't worry if you forget to put out your recycling, your neighbour will do it for you. They are really that nice here.
6: The weather can kill you. So respect it. And don't worry everyone, looks just as dorky in a parka but they are warm.
7: Again the weather can kill you. So bring sun screen, bug spay, a hat, sunglasses, and water every where you go. If you can, stay close to an air conditioner. They are a gift from heaven.
8: Even from far away, the people you love will still love you and you them. Praise God for phones, face book and email.
Here's looking forward to another great year on the prairie.
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Now it is only about a two and a half hour drive but somehow I forgot some road trip basics, like bring snacks and travel at nap time. So we started the vacation with hungry, bored and tired children.
Things started to get a lot more fun when we arrived. We went straight to the museum, where we learned about the history of transportation. And began our training as steam train engineers.
Sunday, July 6, 2014
For the last few months I have been very tried and not at all my usual fun loving self. Consequently the house work that I am an never really on top of has literally got on top of me. There have been many days were no one has clean underpants nor can I find a clean blow of the morning cereal. Has my mensch complained, pouted, or made me to feel bad about the situation? No, he has done double duty and cooked dinner many nights after working all day, asked really nicely if there is anything that I could use his help with in the house and done almost all the shopping, focusing on foods that I love.
All this alone should have pushed him into super-mensch qualifications. But just as I was starting to come back to myself I got two bad colds back to back. And not a little runny noise kind but the kind where your head feels like it will fall off and you can't breath or sleep or do anything but moan and grumble. And what does this amazing man do? He puts more time into the house and kids. Takes his first week of summer holidays and cooks me food, lets me nap AND build the kids a play house/swing set! They are out there right now having a blast.
So when he woke up this morning with a swore throat and a head ache I sent him back to bed, took the kids to church and then out to Timmy's for breakfast. OK that does not at all compare to what he has done in the last few weeks and months but hey, for a normal weak and selfish person I had to start somewhere.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Our six year old insisted that we buy lemons the other day. I thought it was a strange request but considering he was not begging for candy I was happy to comply. Early the next morning before school he set about his project. After asking for a few tools he set about making his lemons into lemonade. His sisters were his enthusiastic assistances. Yes they make a mess but they also make amazing lemonade.
More then that they worked together to make something wonderful just because he wanted to. How often do I have a great idea that never gets of the ground because it might not work. Or even more often gets half started and then left in the pile of "do later". (Right now there is a half pair of socks to knit, a quilt to make, a raised planter with no soil.)
I have alot to learn from this amazing boy.
Monday, May 26, 2014
I finally did it. I washed, dried and put away the winter coats. My local friends say I'm save. That summer is basically here. But I am having a hard time trusting. This is a little silly as it has been plus 20 or more every day this week, the apple trees are in bloom and Ryan had already mowed the lawn three times. It is so hot now in the afternoon that I have turned the air conditioner on. But still I am just not sure this is here to stay. I never knew I had trust issues.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
As my father-in-law said if you want to see spring time on the Prairie you better bring a lawn chair because if you go back inside you will miss it.
Friday, May 9, 2014
I love spring. What an amazing season. Right now there are tulips coming up in my flower bed. I find this amazing I planted them in October right before the snow fell. They have been buried in frozen dirt and snow for months. And now they are peecking out about to show their beauty to the world.
And in my backyard I have robins bluiding a nest under my deck. These birds that have been gone for so long that I sort of forgot that they ever came up here. Now they are planning on starting a family in my yard.
Spring is an easy time to have hope, to have faith and trust in new beginnings.
Saturday, May 3, 2014
We just got back from an epic journey to Vancouver island. Ok, we did not meet any dragons or trolls, but the journey was long (just me and the four kids flew alone. Ryan came on his own for only one week)
We had many adventures. And lots of great times with the cousins!
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Thursday, April 3, 2014
On days like this it is easy to hope, easy to laugh, easy to trust that there are good things coming. And I think that if we can see love and joy in a little bird then we have already found the good things.
Friday, March 28, 2014
But really that's not it. For the most part, having the kids do chores is more work for me, not less. For one thing I have to get them to do them. I also have to get all the stuff out for them, help them along the way and "inspect" to make sure it is done. Plus, I have to put up with it done their way and not mine.
So really if a clean house with no effort from me is my goal I am way better off hiring a cleaning team and depriving my children of all luxuries and some basic needs to pay for it. There would be less whining.
First off, it teaches them that we are a team. This is OUR house, not my house with them as guests. We all live here and we all have to take care of it together. I hope that this lesson will carry over to the idea that we are also a team in other ways. We all have to take care of each other. We are family for life and if your brother or sister needs help, a hug, a laugh or anything else you will be there to offer it.
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Now, there's been a lot of non-study gaps in there: I only really began my GDRE (graduate degree in religious education) in 2003, I finished it in 2008 or 9 or something, then started up again in Spring 2012. I haven't taken a course since Jan 2013 and the thesis has been interrupted by a few important life experiences in the past year and a bit.
It represents the huge support that first of all Monique gave me when on stupid occasion I was taking two courses, coaching two teams and representing teachers in the local association when Avila was a newborn. And the support of the college, in all its various staffings that I've seen through the last 15 years.
And it presents me with a What next? What now? experience that I am eager to get rolling on - what's my new project? Where will the work on my thesis lead? Let's discover!
Above all, there's lightness and space in my heart and spirit and mind which has been holding this project for so long. It's just pretty cool.