Saturday, August 31, 2013


I am trying to rest and de-stress by listening to music and writing. Everything was fine this morning, other than the kids being restless and getting on each other's nerves, that is. But then suddenly everything was happening at once. Kids fighting, kids asking for things, spills on the floor, 4 texts at once to answer, phone ringing, lunch to make, conversations all going on at once and I couldn't focus or follow anything. Argh!


We have so much going on that I don't know where to start. But a nap sounds good! (I wish!)

It is a few days until school starts again. I am feeling sad to think of summer being over, and knowing that my house will be quiet....and don't get me started on the early mornings again! But the kids are restless this week, so they are ready for something new again.

Why is life so damn expensive?
School supplies, shoes and clothes, school tuition, food, gas....we are fast approaching our expensive season, which begins the end of August in the preparation of school. September is filled with sudden school expenses like hot lunches and class pictures. Then we have birthdays and the beginning of Christmas buying. *sigh*  Our stress feels higher at the beginning of Autumn. It feels new and full of promise in Spring. And even when expenses put things on hold in Summer, there is still the hope of "another day" to get things done. But Autumn and Winter tells us to "hurry, you're running out of time, it needs to be done now." And I resent it because I love Fall so much. :(

Deep breaths.

Inside I feel all angsty, like there is a battle going on. I am trying to search for answers and find some peace and I am longing to lean on Him in trust, but the struggle continues. I feel like things are going to change and that there needs to be a change, but I don't know what or where. It's like being in the eye of the hurricane. It's calm and things are going well, but all around me I can see disruptions and chaos, and I fear it's going to hit me soon.

Or maybe all this overwhelming stress is the hurricane and I'm almost out of it. Soon there will be complete peace and I can sit and breathe and think clearly. Not because I'm in the Eye, but because it's done and settled.

We had our children's schooling figured out last week. It was a simple phone call, that's all it took. It was so underwhelming that I felt anxiety over it! I had spent my summer weighing options, being filled with worry, praying for solutions, discussing ideas, being held back by this One.Big.Thing. And it was solved in one minute!  I admit that I would've liked it to have taken a bit more work, more discussing, more laying out our plans. Maybe even a bit more excitement all around.

To have it solved is a huge blessing and a weight off our shoulders, but it took up so much of my mind that I don't know what to do with myself. The ideas we had thought up, what happens to those? I wish it were so easy to dismiss it all like others have with the enthusiastic, "Hooray! That's great! God is good!" but it is taking me a bit longer to find the strength and the trust, I guess. I feel like I'm doubting a gift and that makes me feel even worse!

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.    ~Galations 5:22, 23

I need those fruits right now.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

staying occupied

This is what we do to occupy ourselves when our big siblings shop for back-to-school supplies:

We steal Mommy's list and pen and lay on the floor, swinging our feet, while we colour swirls.

*I loves her.*


This guy turned seven at the beginning of the month, but due to camping and family events, we didn't get to celebrate until last week.

Bryn is such an easy-going child that he didn't seem to care what kind of party he'd have, so I tried to come up with some suggestions. Since his birthday is in the summer, it's a bit easier to plan, since we can go outside. And since he is more adventurous, I thought it would be fun to do a Man vs Wild party. I had seen a great one here.  But then that didn't seem to work, so I decided on something more to do with his interests: Minecraft!

 If you have kids, you have probably heard of Minecraft. Abi learned of it when all the boys in her class used it for their presentations and such, which got Hunny to look into it, which meant that our family got a copy too. It's like a LEGO computer game. Maybe that isn't the proper way to explain it, but I don't play it. I don't "get it". I can't visualize it like everyone else can. But you get to create a whole world using blocks. My kids like playing in Creative, which means they get to make whatever they want. But you can also play in Survivor Mode, which has all of the Mobs full of Creepers, Zombies, Endermen, and such that can kill you. I found a few great ideas in my searches and came up with a great birthday party!

The only problems we encountered were that we couldn't get many of his friends to attend since a  lot were away then (that's the downfall of having a summer birthday), and I wasn't able to go out and pick up a lot of the supplies until the day before, and I was out until 2am the night before the party going night sliding with Abi and the Youth Group. (which was a BLAST, but didn't give me enough sleep!)  I am good at planning parties but not good at executing them. I was begging Hunny to help me out! He is good at it! He knows how to command a group of kids. He really does have a talent with them. I love it!

We did Mob target shooting

 Check out our lovely handmade targets. The kids and I had fun making them. I should've taken a better picture. That's a Creeper, and Enderman and a Zombie, if you can tell!

Rhys had a lot of fun shooting the guns!

After the kids shot those a few times, we went outside to play Creeper Tag. (I found the rules to it here)  Originally we had planned on hosting the party at the park, but the weather forecast spoke of rain, so we decided to move it to our house. (which meant a mad panic cleaning spree!)  Of course, it did not rain in the end! But having it at home made it easier in that we didn't have to haul all the party supplies to a park, have to find a place to set up, and have to keep an extra vigilant eye on wandering and curious children!  It also meant that we would have shelter if it did decide to sprinkle us with liquid sunshine.

Since our front yard is not nearly as big as the park we were anticipating running around in, the game didn't go quite as I imagined it would! The Creepers were tagging out the Miners must too fast! I was so grateful that Hunny was able to come up with new rules and he changed things up. Instead of splitting the teams into two, he made Bryn and his friend, Josh, the Creepers, and set up Night/Day Mode. I the game, when the sun is up, the Creepers attack, but at night, they sleep. I didn't know this! So whenever he called out "Night!" the Creepers had to walk super slowly and couldn't tag anyone out! I was worried this made it an incredible disadvantage for the game, but the kids all thought it was fun! So there you go! A tip if you ever decide to play!

After that, the kids were all tired so we went back inside for something to drink! That's when Hunny also decided to wander from my list of Party Activities!  He had all the kids surround Bryn, and each grab and arm or leg, and they sang "Happy Birthday" to him while giving him Birthday Bumps!!! He loved it! So did the kids!

(Kai made Bryn his Creeper t-shirt! I had seen it online, done with stencils and fabric paint, or with iron-on transfers, but we didn't get that far. Instead, as a last minute, we found the green shirt at the Dollarama near us and picked up cheap black electrical tape for decorations. Kai used the tape on the shirt! It lasted great all day...but didn't hold up in the wash!)

After singing and gift opening, we sent the kids into the spare bedroom for a scavenger hunt, telling them they had to find 12 blocks each. Bryn didn't have much of an opinion on what type of party he wanted, but he was clear that he definitely wanted to have a scavenger hunt! I found a great idea on a blog that incorporated a hunt with the mining they do in the game. Sweet! I also used her idea on the wiki-craft table.  She had better blocks than we did, but I was proud of my creativity of using LEGO pieces into blocks! We were still short a bunch though, so I picked up a bunch of dice sets and the kids and I wrapped each one in coloured electrical tape! *big cheesy grin*

Abi and her friend, Bethany, had fun making up the Minecraft wiki poster!  I wish I took a more clear picture (and had them outline things and write bigger!)

We offered a whole bunch of different things for the kids to trade in:  dart guns, jump ropes, candy (which was by far the most popular, and easiest to trade in for), bubbles, flying discs, marbles, goo (which my kids fought over), temporary tattoos.  About half of the guests had already played Minecraft, so we still had to explain the process of how you "mine" and collect items and get to trade them in for real items in the game to the others. With the many coloured blocks they found, they could put them onto the craft table to get their own prize, or they could trade amongst their friends for blocks they wanted. I thought this would go over well as it made their take-home goodie bag up to them! The kids were a bit perplexed by it though and took a long time trying to figure out colour combinations. In the end, we had leftover prizes, so we handed them out to whomever wanted them!

Abi wanted to "man" the craft table and hand out the prizes! She thought that was pretty cool!

After all the cake was eaten and the blocks all traded in, we took the kids outside for one last fun game. I had seen this Blow Up The TNT game online and thought it totally fit with my kids' Minecraft interest and Mythbusters fascination!  I didn't do up a box like TNT though, I ran out of time, but the kids still thought it was awesome! My Hunny gave them a brief scientific explanation of how Diet Coke and mentos react to eacher, and then gave them a demonstration!

He called on a brave volunteer to try it out as well! This boy is the second youngest of 6 boys, so I don't think he minded being sticky or exploding pop all over the place! 

My Husband wanted to know what would happen if you could get a mentos into a bottle, and get the cap on, and shook it up. So he and Abi played toss for a little bit! 

 Abi got a bit sticky, but she secretly loved it! 
Next year I think we'll have to do a Mythbusters party! Thanks to Pinterest, I'm sure I'll find someone who's already done it!

All in all, it was a great birthday! Bryn had fun and so did his friends!

I really am blessed by this boy. He is different than the others in many ways. He has a confidence and adventuresome spirit, is always making jokes and being silly, and will do what he can to make someone laugh.  He is kind and sensitive and thinks of others and wants to include his siblings. On his birthday, his dad took him out for a special breakfast treat at Starbucks, and he came home and shared his snack with everyone!  He did the same thing later when he got to go out with his Grandma Lynn for  special birthday shopping and shared his treats with everyone. I love his heart. No only does he share his toys and snacks with everyone, but he also is brave and shares his love and beliefs of God with his friends!  He is matter-of-fact about it too and I love that he isn't too caught up in worrying if he should be ashamed or about the reactions of others. He can really teach me a thing or two!

It's hard for me to believe that this crazy fun seven year old started out as a tiny preemie born 7 weeks too early!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

lunchy goodness

My kids are starting to get older. Both Abi and Kai have learned to cook independently this summer. (well, I guess Abi has been doing that for a year already, but she has taken more on this summer)  It's been nice!  I am not a cook,  I actually hate doing it and I really only eat because we have to. I am so thankful that my Hunny loves to cook (except after he has worked a hard day, which I understand. I hated to come home last from work and have to cook dinner too.) Abi shares his ability to look in the cupboard and find a meal. (My Mom has that ability too) I am slightly jealous!

Abi decided to make pancakes one day for lunch. She had fun with it too. She made everyone's name with the batter! 


I missed taking a picture of Kai's. But here is Bryn's.




I am so blessed with this girl and this family.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

enter, bow and wait

another round...

I took Kai into Children's for his annual cardiology appointment but ended up at VGH for myself. Oops.

It started out just fine. I was happily surprised when my Hunny stayed home from work, which meant that I could leave the majority of children with him (taking more than 2 children in for a doctor's appointment at a time is quite stressful for me! They don't sit still, they play, they fight, they get bored, they complain, they climb on furniture, they climb all over me.... *sigh*  I try to keep my patience, and I try to pack snacks and activities to keep their attention, and I try to listen to the doctor, but it is not easy and if I can I like to go with as less kids when I need to to see a doctor, thank-you very much!)   But as Kai and I were leaving, I started to feel a bit nauseated. Then as we were driving down the freeway, I started to find it difficult to breathe in deeply enough. And then my heart started to dance and palpitate. And then I had a hot flash go up my body, starting at my feet and sweeping all the way up to my head. And then I really had a hard time getting enough oxygen.  I was 20ms from Children's, and my hands and feet were tingly and felt like dead weights, and I didn't feel good and I debated on pulling over to call 9-1-1, but then I would feel 'fine enough', and there was just enough traffic that I couldn't get into the far right lane, and then I thought if I could just get to the hospital, I could get Kai in for his needed appointment and then I could see a doctor. It's a hospital, it shouldn't be that hard to find someone to check over me!

I had a whole bunch of thoughts go through my head. Heart attack? I know that they hit women differently then men, and heart/chest pain, difficulty breathing and nausea are symptoms.  Or could it just be nerves? Yes, I don't like to drive Oak Street...I find the 6 lanes of traffic a bit stressful. (I tell myself that my van can fit into the lanes just fine, after all there are big trucks that drive these roads every day, but I am convinced that where I live it would only be 4 lanes of traffic! Eek!)  But since I have driven this route many times before (and have made the trip to Children's annually for 8 years, and gone to Women's, in the same location, sometimes twice a month when I was pregnant with Eden) I didn't think I was *that* stressed.  Maybe it was my asthma bothering me; but taking my inhalers gave me no comfort, just got me buzzy with steroids. Maybe it was just indigestion? I felt gassy and nauseated, so could that be it?  (a trip to the bathroom didn't ease the symptoms though)

After I got Kai checked in, I really didn't feel good and I just wanted to lay down. My chest started to tighten and hurt and my breathing got worse. Finally, I went up to the receptionist and asked if I could see a doctor? This would be the perfect time for me to feel slightly embarrassed (I'm about to make a scene at the Children's hospital with a ton of other parents and patients watching me!), but I was feeling too weary and too sore to even pay attention to them.  One of the Cardiologists came over and sat beside me, checking my pulse (said it was normal) and asked what was happening, then asked if I wanted an ambulance. I was asked that twice, as I had to think it over. Did I really think I was "sick enough" to call for an ambulance? Since this had been going on for an hour and was only getting worse, I agreed to an ambulance and they packed me up to go to VGH, leaving BCCH!  Of course, despite being in a hospital and being surrounded by Cardiologists, I had to be seen by an "adult doctor" at an "adult hospital", which meant them having to call for one to get me! Poor Kai was sitting there bewildered! He ended up missing his Cardiologist appointment after all!!!! :(  Boo!

With my Dad having a heart attack last year (a few days before he turned 60) and his Father dying of a stroke caused by heart attack at 60, I was slightly concerned about my own heart. And with my chest pain, the paramedics did tests as well. They did an ECG reading before we left, and gave me two baby aspirin to chew (orange flavored too!), and everything looked ok based on that.  At VGH (which is maybe 10 minutes away) they did another ECG test, plus took some blood, gave me more chewable aspirin, and sprayed under my tongue with nitroglycerine.  (which for some reason always makes me think of those muscle cars that use nitrous to boost their power! lol) One nurse tried to do an IV on my left hand, which hurt worse than the chest pain! (I hate those things! It's like sticking a long metal rod into a tiny hose! IV's just don't Fit in my hands!!!) For some reason, he couldn't get it in, which meant it had to be done again later. Boo! When things settled a bit more, another nurse tried to insert the IV into my right inner elbow. I was ok with that, until she couldn't thread it in, then that hurt a lot too! :( It was bad enough that the pain would come in waves and I had to ask her to wait with the IV so I could try to remember to breathe, but to have her hit the wrong spot didn't make it any better. As she was attempting the third IV placement in my right hand, it hit again and I had to roll over to my side to ease the pain. She managed to insert it just fine this time though. Finally! (it turned out she had used a smaller needle. I'm going to have to remember to ask for that when I go in to the hospital again. So much less painful!) By then I was in such discomfort that they suggested a pain medication. Have you ever had morphine? I have had it twice now. The first time was with my ectopic in 2005, when I was in the ER, and it was terrible. I could feel it hit me, as it started at my feet and went up my whole body until I was truly drugged. It was not a good feeling. Krista (my nurse) said she would give me a "small dose", but I wasn't too sure what that meant, but I admit that it hit me differently this time. Oh, it hit me all at once, like a forceful wind knocking me over, but it wasn't as bad as the first time. I did think I was going to fall over though! I was supposed to sit up nice and still for the portable x-ray machine (no, I'm not possibly pregnant, but thanks for asking) but I felt so drugged that I thought I was going to fall over, and I couldn't control my body. I have a hard time thinking that some people actually like this feeling? But I guess if you feel your life is so messed up that you'd rather feel drugged...that's sad. :(

I was drugged up pretty good. The good news is that I wasn't in any pain anymore. I could feel the pressure in my chest, but it didn't hurt. The other good news is that all of my tests were coming back normal, which meant no heart attack or problems. But all I wanted to do was sleep. I felt so out of it and I had lost my bedside humor. Instead of making jokes and trying to laugh my way out of the situation (what I like to do), I had nothing to say and I felt dizzy and wanted to rest. At one time, I was so loopy that I was falling asleep, but I got nervous that I was passing out because I'd be laying there and would suddenly hear voices and noises again, as I was coming back alert. (apparently a side effect of morphine is to make you sleepy. It would've been nice if I was told that!)

I got a nice bed in the ER for a good 5 hours until the doctor transferred me to the DTU, which is an extension of the ER even though you are admitted to the hospital (which confused me), but you're only there for a few hours (maybe sometimes overnight, for a short term stay) as they finish up tests on you. It was a quiet unit, with just myself in a huge room! Kai got to come over too, of course, and by then Hunny had joined us. (My Dad drove him into Children's to pick up the van, and then he went back home to help my Mom watch the other kids. Don't ask why he didn't come and take Kai home as well. The men didn't think of that. Us women did and it didn't make sense to us that they didn't!) It was quite boring for them. But at least they got to go out and get something to eat. I got a tuna sandwich that the nurse scrounged up! And that just made me nauseated again. So I got to have some Gravol. Oh yay.  So I was drugged up even more. And I felt it!!!

After 7 hours, I got to go home! Hooray. Apparently I was "well enough!" My heart was deemed healthy. I was not considered at risk of anything drastic happening. (although I was told to head back to ER if my chest started to hurt again.) Apart from feeling Very Loopy, that is. I was told to take baby aspirin and make an appointment to have a stress test done. That was it.

I don't know what causes my chest pain. I am no closer to having an answer. I do know that what it isn't though, and that should be comforting, but it's hard. I have a feeling that this may never be solved. But this is the second time I've ended up in the ER by ambulance from chest pain. I had to call for one from home last year, Sept 2012. That was another day that Kai was with me, since he stayed home from school that day. Everything was fine and I felt ok, but then I got up to get something and I had a sudden sharp pain in my chest that made me stop in shock. It felt like knives digging and pushing into my chest wall, on my left side, above my heart. I didn't really think I was having a heart attack, but decided to Google symptoms anyways! (not that it made me feel any better) I was having trouble breathing and was dizzy and weak, so I finally called 9-1-1. That visit to LMH was different in that the pain was different. This past week I had a pressure, as if something was pushing down on top and from the sides of my left chest. Last year it was sharp spasms that came every few minutes. It left me gasping and doubling over in pain. I didn't have morphine then, but they gave me Demerol, which left me pretty drugged too. Of course, they did the usual x-ray, ECGs and blood tests to determine it wasn't my heart. In fact, the doctor said that it was "intra-muscular." and sent me home.  In my own searches, I came up with Costochondritis as a possibility, but my doctor suggested Tietze Syndrome. Neither of which can be helped, only treated with anti-inflamatories. So when I had the same sharp piercing pain last Sunday at my parent's house, I tried to rest, to control my breathing, and took some Naproxin and tylenol. Finally after 2 1/2 hours, the pain went away.

I don't know what to do. I've looked up possibilities that have popped into my head, even if there isn't an obvious link. Like Diabetes (I have a triple threat, since there's family history, since I have a sweet tooth not the best eating or exercising habits, and because I was on insulin for gestational diabetes with E. Oh great.) Or Hypothyroid. (which I am.) or Asthma. (which I have) Or Pulmonary Hypertension (I came across that in a search, and it scared me just a bit, until I realized that it was likely ruled out by the tests I did in the ER) It was also suggested by my family doctor and some friends that maybe it was a Panic Attack, which really didn't make me feel any better. I suppose it would be better than a heart attack, but it just didn't sit well with me. Sure, I have a few stressful situations going on (finances, not knowing which school the kids would go to, deciding on a move or not, finances, not enough sleep, ongoing delayment issues with R, finances, feeling unsure on what to do, deciding on going back to work, and did I mention finances?) but I tend to handle stress pretty good. I talk about it, and I think it over, and I try to come up with different solutions. But mostly I end up having to let it go. If I feel there isn't an answer that I can find, I know that my only solution is to give it back to God and let Him show me how to deal with it. Mostly His reply to me is to wait, and I'll admit that I am still struggling with patience, but He loves to teach me, so I wait. And wait. And wait. And pray for peace and wisdom and patience.  It hasn't been an easy summer with all of the things we felt we needed to decide on, but after several nice long walks and talks with Hunny (while the older kids were away) I felt confident in what we had come up with. So I didn't feel panicky, or fearful or like a stress ball. But it's so hard. I don't know what to think. A part of me thinks we'll never get a full answer and that's frustrating. But maybe that can be okay in the end, too. My friend gave me a wonderful text, saying "When God wants you to walk with a limp, you walk with a limp."  Maybe this is my limp.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

*stop thinking so much! **Alt title: how to solve your pressing issues

I have decided that from now on, whenever I need to think on something that I should just have a nap. Whether or not it be something as simple as deciding to bake cookies or to organize a drawer, of if it's something I need to remember such as 'why did I enter this room?' The answer lies in me laying down in the pretense of going to sleep, because that is when my brain seems to work the most.


My body is tired. My eyes are so sleepy they don't want to stay open. I need to go to bed. So I get my weary self down the hall, mechanically brush my teeth, turn off all the lights and stumble to my bed (memo to self--you really need to clean your bedroom floor) and crawl under the covers (after I've snatched some back from Hunny, who is an Early Bird to my Night Owl) and BAM! Suddenly I remember all the things that I forgot to do that day! I can now compose several emails, blog posts, letters and FB status'! I start thinking up wonderful ideas on de-cluttering rooms in my house! My mind is at an information overload and I debate on whether this stuff is important enough to climb out of bed for to write down (sometimes it is) or if I should just roll over and attempt to think sleepy thought (good luck)

Dumb brain. Thinking too much. Don't you know it's bedtime? You've had all day to be brilliant, it's too late now!


One sheep, two sheep, three sheep, four....

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What we need to know about modesty

I read this blog piece a few weeks ago and was so touched by it that it ran through my head a few times. I knew I wanted to put it up on my blog too, but I just didn't know what to say. How do I add to the words that were already written? How can I even attempt to make my words more when she's said it so well?

To say that it got me thinking is an understatement! The funny thing is that I had often thought these things myself yet still fell into the typical thought process we are fed. It's all our fault. We need to do more to protect ourselves. We are 'asking for it' if we aren't careful. But it's ridiculous and it needs to stop!

The author mentions the most common argument that Christians use in how we are taught to dress: that a woman ought to cover herself up lest she cause a man to stumble and fall. Then she mentions four ways that that line of thinking is incorrect. You really should read it! Highlighted here: it is legalistic, it objectifies women, it is spiritually weak, and it "paves the way for victim blaming and rape culture". I hadn't thought of those before, but wow.  She says that we are sending a message to boys that they are "untamable animals, subject to their bodies desires".


I have always felt that it was misleading the way we are teaching our girls. Yes, I do believe we should dress appropriately and that we shouldn't be showing off our bodies or attracting attention in a negative way. (I've been teaching Abi lately about how a girl can use her clothes to portray different stories. Certain clothes will give a certain thought to people. I tell her that the girl may be a great friend and be fun and not intend to give the message people see, but sadly her clothes speak for her, and we need to be aware of that as women.)  But (and it's a big one) why aren't we also teaching our boys to behave properly???  I see it all the time, and it's so common, and it starts way in infancy. When our boys start off with an easy out excuse: boys will be boys.

 I remember talking to my BFF when she was pregnant and she would get dumb remarks from people: "oh, you better hope it's a boy! a girl can come home pregnant!"  For one, what an idiotic thing to say! Two, why would I teach my boy to not be responsible if he did get his girlfriend pregnant? why would it be acceptable to just 'come home'? Three, why would my girl be coming home pregnant? ARGH! We both got irked by those type of comments! 

This line of thinking is what gets us into the troubles we are having today with our youth and social media and the rape culture.  When boys will be boys and sexually assault and humiliate our girls. When images are shared amongst eachother with no thoughts of consequences and of anyone else.  We need to be teaching responsibility to ALL of our children. Proper etiquette. Caring for others. Standing up for what's right. Honoring God with our bodies.

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Colossians 3:12 

**related reading: hurt heart,    she wore an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka-dot bikini

one-child feeling

The kids are at my parents' house for a few days this week. I love that stage of being a kid! I remember staying over at my Oma & Opa's farm with my sister a few times. Once, we had a tent set up outside and we tried to capture all the kittens to sleep in there with us (there must have been about 4 or 5 of them); it was cute at first, but they mewed so much and kept scratching at the sides that we let them go (in annoyance and dejection). I don't remember if we actually spent the night in the tent (I can't see us being brave enough, but maybe we were. Let's go with Yes!) but I do have a lot of fond memories of playing on The Farm. I am so sad that my children don't know the Farm, being on the West Coast. (my childhood was spent back East, where all my relatives are) Many of my summers were spent there, playing and exploring. We made forts with the cousins, we played in the old cars, we hid in the hay barn (I found out years later that were weren't supposed to do that), we chased each other around the house, we played with the kittens (there are always kittens at a farm).

My children won't have those types of memories with their grandparents. But they do have something that I never did: a relationship. Oh, my Opa & Oma are great ---I do recall many tea breaks with cookies, and Oma would wake us up real early to watch old reruns of The Little Rascals with homemade oatmeal. And I remember going for walks with Opa to look for the cows, and I have a faint memory of going for a ride with him on the tractor. But mostly I remember playing and exploring.  My children's grandparents cater their sleepovers for them --- they get their favourite foods, get to watch their favourite movies, get to stay up late, and have special one-on-one attention. I love my Opa & Oma, but my kids have  made! *smile*

I will get them in two days and we will spend the afternoon at the pool with my Mom (I wouldn't dare brave it alone with 5 children! A lake yes, because I know the chances of them going into the water is slim!) Until then, it's just me,  Eden and Hunny. Eden was offered the chance to stay over as well (and I secretly hoped she would agree) but she isn't ready. She doesn't get the idea yet, which I find interesting. She likely won't until she's 4. That's when Rhys finally got it and wanted to stay as well! I didn't mind bringing Eden back home, though. She'll get her chance one day (God willing)

Today we cleaned dishes (not that I would eat off of her "clean" ones), had a bath...three times, did some laundry, played "tickle monster", cleaned a bit of the boys' room, had a nap (I tried to also, but my mind wouldn't settle. grr) sang and danced to music, checked out FB, went for a walk with Daddy, shared a snack, chased eachother around the living room, shot Daddy with a Nerf dart gun, and then snuggled to sleep! Phew! She is an energetic, loud, bouncy, giggly toddler! I know that is very typical for a 2 year old, but I did wonder today if that was what it was like when it was just us and Abi, and I couldn't remember. Eden and Abi have different personalities; Eden is loud and cheeky and bold and Abi is reserved and gentle and thinks first. I remember Abi being a Delight (she still is) and I'm sure I must've chased her around and played Tickle Monster til she giggled and lost her breath too, but you lose the actual memory and feeling. It was nice to have that one-child feeling again today.

As I snuggled with Eden tonight I thought ahead to that one day when it'll just be the three of us again. When all of her siblings have moved out and she's still at home.  That is, if it does happen that way. She may move out faster than her brothers! She does seem to have a pretty set mind!

Earlier this morning, while we were downstairs organizing in the spare room, she tells me, "Pizza. Now." I smile and tell her something non-committal like, "Oh good!", thinking that she's playing pretend cooking or something. She tells me this a few more times, sounding quite insistent. It wasn't until an hour or so later that it occurs to me, Ohhhh! The peaches!!! We have a few more jars of peaches we canned last year down in that room! "Yesh!!!" Eden was quite excited when I finally understood her!

Later, as I was making lunch,  Eden was feeling impatient, so she pulled out a bag of cereal and held it up to me. "Want it. Really dooooooo!" She said to me in a sing-gongy voice. "I need it!"  It's hard to refuse such an earnest request.

What a cheesy grin! I love this girl!

I laughed at the "I need it!" phrase. Where did she learn that? Apparently as a toddler, I said the exact same thing! I "needed" everything!  My Mom says that it was because she was trying to teach us that we Want things, but we don't Need everything! I was pretty sure I knew exactly that I NEEDED everything. (I admit that I still use those words when I want something, teehee)  I guess she really does pick up everything. *huge grin*

Thursday, August 15, 2013

dead ends?

I feel a bit on edge lately. Not quite stressed, but no where near relaxed either. It feels like my life is on the verge of changing, but into what I don't know. So many things are close to the end, but there are no side roads or street lights and no signs for alternate directions, just a dead end. And I'm stumped.

Right now, things are up in the air for my children's schooling....will they return to the school they've only known and that I am very attached to after 7 years? Will I be starting up something completely different, like, gasp, homeschooling?  What about Rhys? He is supposed to start preschool (which he is actually very excited about. Last year at this time, he was terrified at the idea! Yay for a year's change!) but will it even work out if the Olders have to change? *sigh* And, did I mention that school starts in 3 weeks?

Things are at an end with SU as well, and it saddens me. Friends who used to stamp and scrapbook have moved on to other things, it appears. I know! WTFroot? How do you stop being crafty???? So with no customers, it's not much of a business. *sigh*  I'm trying to decide what to do. I'm not able to go back to the workforce with Eden only being two. Sure, there are plenty of part-time jobs in retail and such for me (which is all I'm really qualified for. I worked retail after highschool and was a Store Manager of Claire's, which I am very proud of, thank-you very much. But that was over 10 years ago. I went on maternity leave and didn't come back.) but to do that means either putting E into day care (and R part time) or I do evenings/weekends, which means that Hunny can't get any work done.  (men truely are terrible at multitasking. grr.) I want to be able to help "provide" for the family, but I'm not too sure how yet. There are so many different things I want to do that I can't decide which way to go! GAH! I wish my brain didn't think so much!!!!

I'm trying to be patient and trust in God. I know that His ways are good and that whatever happens, where ever we are lead, is all a part of His plan. But that hasn't quite given me enough comfort yet. I wish I could say that was all I needed to be assured of, but not having ANY clue as to which way to go is quite daunting. It would be different if our alternative plans were ones we were excited about, but instead they really are our second options. And it would be much easier if I could even hear a whisper of His "still, small voice." But instead we have to stand here and wait.

I guess that means the only possible solution is to keep doing what we're doing. But that doesn't seem like much at all right now. It's hard to prepare when you don't know what you're preparing for!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

hurt heart

I found myself crying again today for a girl I don't know and will never get to meet. The story of Rehtaeh Parsons has really shaken me ever since I first heard it months ago.  I feel such anger at how she was abandoned by her own peers and by the police, and I feel incredible sorrow that  the pain she carried brought her to her death. I wonder how anyone could think it was acceptable or justified to ever humiliate, degrade, take advantage of, molest and lie about a fellow peer. She wasn't a stranger to these boys, she was a student, could've been a friend, yet they treated her like some object they could discard. And it hurts my heart.

What hurts more is that it sounds like she was completely alone in all of this. I have yet to hear of any friends who supported her or stood by her or tried to dispel any rumours. Did the one friend who took her to the boy's house really not remember the events well enough to connect that she was absolutely drunk and not able to walk on her own? My friends and I had made a pact that we were to watch out for each other when we drank. One of us was a little more susceptible to poor choices when she drank, so we needed to watch for her the most, which meant checking up on her, not letting her go anywhere alone and taking away her car keys. It's a shame that this 'friend' didn't have the same values, and that her mom didn't help either. How do you see a drunk girl and not worry about what is going on? Even if she were sober enough to consent, as a mother I would've insisted she come back home, as I was the one who was responsible for her (since she was staying at my house for the night with my daughter, that is) It's too bad that no one thought of that. That they chose to think that Rehtaeh was the kind of girl who would drink so much that she'd ditch her friend to have sex with two boys she didn't know very well.

 Read Rehtaeh's father, Glen Canning, describe the painful experience here. Read Rehtaeh's Story Then Tell Me She Wasn't Raped.  If you can, read his other pieces too. He's a good writer and a good father. If my heart hurts at what happened to her, how much more his must feel like bursting.

It makes me angry that these boys are only going to be charged with possession of child pornography, and only two of them, when so much more went on. It makes me angry that the police couldn't do anything for Rehtaeh. Or wouldn't. I know that they can't press charges based upon assumption or a one-sided story, and they need some type of proof, but that it took over a year to even make this recent arrest is ridiculous!  How could there not be enough evidence to go on? I am so angry at these boys that I could spit! (and I hate spitting) That they thought what they did was ok. No big deal. A huge joke. That rape was something that is acceptable when a girl drinks too much. It appalls me to think that boys can get together and decide that this is something that would be a fun idea. That not one of them thought it wasn't right. Surely someone in their group of friends, someone in the school, someone they knew, thought  that something wasn't right with this picture. How can every one all think the same way? Did any one mention it to a school counselor or go to the police or even talk to Rehtaeh?

I fear for us as a country where actions like these aren't questioned.  But it happens every day. Boys take what they want and girls get blamed because of the clothes she wears or the amount she drinks.

One of my favourite writers, Ann Voskamp, wrote a blog piece just after the Steubenville rape trial ended that really stuck with me. While it mentions a more well-known case in the US, this still rings true for all of us. She put it perfectly when she wrote,  
When the prevailing thinking is boys will be boys — girls will be garbage.
And that is never the heart of God.
Unless a man looks to Jesus, a man doesn’t know how to treat a woman.

Her piece is full of the heart of God and how Real Men treat a woman God treasures. (and He treasures us all). After Steubenville: 25 Things our Sons Need to know About Manhood.

We need to change.
We desperately need Him.

Friday, August 9, 2013

always pray

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