Monday, June 30, 2014

Oma & Opa

Yesterday was my Oma & Opa's Anniversary. 62 years.  I guess in today's day and age that's forever. I have been very blessed to be surrounded by couples who have been married for a long time, though. In my intermediate family, I only have two aunts who aren't with their spouses any longer (for various reasons), and I would say that is a very good percentage!  I am not against divorce, there is a reason that it was permitted in the Bible, but I am very much for marriage. I think that marriage is intended to last forever.

My Oma & Opa live in Ontario on a huge farm that I love and miss. A lot of my childhood memories are of spending time at their house, and going for walks with Opa to find the cows, and playing in the hay (I found out later that we weren't supposed to do that as it was dangerous. You never know where there could be holes in the hay piles, dropping you down a story, or catching  your foot and breaking an ankle. Kids don't pay attention or think of these things.) or building forts with the cousins (at that time there was only 9 cousins, but now there are 23!) or playing the kittens (there are always kittys on a farm. Unfortunately, there are a lot of inbred kittys on a farm too. gross.)  I remember my Oma waking us up early in the morning, at 6am, so that we could watch old reruns of The Little Rascals (yes, the old black and white show. So funny!) while eating homemade oatmeal and drinking tea, whenever we stayed overnight!  That farm played a big part of my childhood. So much so that I am in love with farms and desire one of my own. If only it weren't so expensive to live out here! To own farmland in our affordable price range, we'd have to move to another province or far up north; neither of which are high on my list of things to do yet.

In May, my Oma & Opa visited for three weeks, staying at my parents' house. They hadn't been out here since when Rhys was just 4 months old, so this was such a nice surprise!

Oma & Opa with five of their 21 great-grandchildren!

One of the first things that my Opa said to me when we saw eachother was "are you still scared of cows?"  Haha. Very funny, Opa!  (so I was frightened of his cows when I was a kid...aren't most children? ...just to clarify, I think I am okay with cows now!)

Oma & Opa are my Mom's parents. Do you possibly see a resemblance?

Abi practiced her clarinet for them.

It was an enjoyable visit with them here, but I was so surprised at how fast three weeks went by. I couldn't help but wonder when the next time I would see them would be. They are getting older, and aren't as mobile. They managed to travel across Canada on the train, but I don't know if they'd be able to do that again in a few years. My Oma nows uses a walker, which was completely different than what we were used to seeing for her.  One day I hope to travel back to Ontario with my family to show them where I grew up and to meet all of my relatives. (we are the only ones who live out west. The rest of the relatives on both sides are east.)

I am so grateful for them. For what they gave up and for what they did to make their family what it is now. We know about Jesus because of them, for teaching it to their children and from them teaching it on further, and that is impressive. We live in Canada because they gave up their own homes in the Netherlands, something that I am grateful for. They are incredible and I am so blessed to have them.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Just a few things to be thankful for this week. 

1. Ice Cream trips to celebrate birthdays

It's becoming a bit of a habit that we go out on Eden's actual birthday for ice cream. We've done it two times now. But that's enough for Bryn to point it out that we've been doing this for all of her life!

2.  BBQs and Baptisms

Our church, Jericho Ridge, had their annual BBQ and Baptism at Derby Reach again recently. Last year, I was a bundle of nerves at having so many kids to watch playing so close to the Fraser River, but this year was much different. It helps that they have grown. I can handle having them at the water now! In fact, the Olders were often running off doing their own thing with friends anyways! I had to keep a closer eye on Eden though, as she was always walking off on her own. It was hard keeping the Youngers away from the water, they just wanted to throw rocks into the river all day.

I mentioned Infant Dedications and Baptisms recently; this is our event for adult baptisms. These events always make me teary! I love it when people choose to dedicate their life to the Lord, and my spirit is moved when it is done publicly. I was baptised when I was 14 in my church baptism tank...the idea of being dunked in the Fraser sounds cold! Good for those who decide to do this bravely!

3. Neighbourhood friends

We are so thankful that our kids have neighbours that they can play with. We have lived here for 11 years now and all of the kids have grown up together. (we moved in when I was pregnant with Kai and our neighbour was pregnant with their second child as well) There are two boys to the right of us the ages of the Olders and two kids on the other side of us the ages of the Youngers, so it works out great! Six boys and three girls! The kids are often out at eachother's houses, on the trampolines,  riding bikes out front, or even walking to the park together. 

I love summer for the times they can play! I enjoyed watching the kids pull their bikes out and do tricks jumping over a piece of wood the other night.

They were even patient and let Eden attempt to go over the piece! She would push her tricycle up to the wood and then pick it up and carry it over and then keep riding! So clever!

Rhys didn't have his bike, but a bouncy ball and a robber costume, which he raced Eden home on when it was time to go inside.


Now We Are Six

When I was one,
I had just begun.
When I was two,
I was nearly new.
When I was three,
I was hardly me.
When I was four,
I was not much more.
When I was five,
I was just alive.
But now I am six,
I'm as clever as clever.
So I think I'll be six
now and forever.

Rhys, you are full of excitement and happiness and silliness, and you really do make me laugh. Yay for turning six! It is going to be a fun year for you.

You are so kind and I am amazed at what you take upon yourself to do. When we were at Julie's church, I was visiting with family after the service and I look over and here you were helping out! You were gathering up the welcome papers off of the chairs and handing them out to people (haha) and then you started to pull plugs and collect electrical cords, following behind the curtain to help put them away. (this is a new start up church and it meets in a school gymnasium for now. Jericho started out that way too. We're now in the Langley Events Centre, so there is still take down to do though) Then you started to fold up chairs and hand them over to be stacked!  This wasn't even our church and we didn't even know the set up people! But that didn't stop you! I love watching your kindness in action. 

You hold doors out for people, and you give random hugs. You are giggly and happy. You are my sweetheart and I loves you!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

just to let you know (a handy PSA)

Just to let you know...A public service announcement.

If you ever get the urge to make yourself some crayons by melting old existing crayons and you are thinking of just grabbing your ice cube tray, the new one that your sister just picked you up from Ikea so that you could use it specifically to prepare and plan for your son's upcoming birthday party, and thinking it will be great to melt them in the oven....

just in case you decided to check online first, to make sure that your silicone ice cube tray is safe in the oven, and you found sites that said it was just fine, it worked for them, and a few that said no, don't risk it, but you are thinking there are more people saying that it is good to do....

if you are wondering if you should try that one project you saw on Pinterest, I am here to help you out!

The PLASTIS ice cube tray from IKEA does not handle oven heat well.

It is synthetic rubber, not silicone. With a name like Plastis, it should've been more obvious. Oops.

Now you know.

You are welcome.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

moving up

We had two big celebrations this past week: Rhys has graduated from preschool, and Kai has graduated from grade five. Well, all of the school kids graduated from their grade, really (although, we like to tease Abi that it's up for debate since we haven't received her report card yet!), but these two are "bigger" because they both signify that they are moving on up to a new school. (well, new building) And that's pretty exciting!

Rhys is going to start kindergarten in the fall! It is so exciting to be at this part finally! I think he is ready. Yes, he must be ready. He most likely is ready. I ready? *smile*

For the other kids, there was a preschool graduation ceremony, which I always scoffed at when they first mention it, but then I get all melty inside when I attend it and see the pictures. How cute are little kids dressed up in tiny black graduation caps? Seriously cute!  But I always have that voice in the back of my head that says, "it's *just* preschool! are we going to throw big events for every small step of growth?"  Yes, I'm one of those party-pooper-type moms, I guess!  I was a bit relieved, but maybe a bit underwhelmed, when Rhys' class didn't have some capped ceremony, but instead we had a picnic with games to celebrate the end of the year.

We arrived an hour late, and almost missed the bouncy castle (some child decided to play with my keys and then promptly forgot where he put them down, just as we were trying to leave. I was slightly ticked off at him for that.) but we made it for a few games and the singing. (I couldn't quite hear all the words, but I did get teary at the one song about attending preschool and learning their letters and numbers and now being ready for kindergarten, hooray!)

I get so amazed at how much he has grown and changed and learned in just one year of preschool. He has learned to count to thirteen. (he can count to twenty, but he forgets fourteen and sometimes seventeen) and he can sing the alphabet (although he jumbles up the middle. Instead of L-M-N-O-P, it comes out as ell-o-mo-pee! and he forgets to add J and K sometimes. It's so cute to hear him sing it) and he knows the sight of some of them. And he can tell you what some of the numbers are by sight too. And he knows most of his colours now. (I finally got him to remember his favourite colour by really emphasizing and repeating at every stop light, "Guh-guh-guh Green for guh-guh-guh Go!". However now he calls it "guh-guh-guh green"! haha) It is so wonderful to see! And a relief that he is starting to retain some of that by memory. He is at the stage that most kids are at for entering kindergarten, and that is so good to know!

As one is entering the elementary school, another child is leaving it! Kai has graduated and is moving on up to the Middle School! He is so excited! I am feeling mixed. I am excited that he is growing up and is starting to show signs of maturing, but middle school is so much bigger and older than elementary! *sniff*sniff*

They held a special chapel and all of the grade five classes (three in total) got to cross the stage to receive a certificate of achievement and there was a year-in-review video played (that is always so neat to see. I think we should do something like that at the end of every year. We need to be reminded visually of the events and the good things that occurred that year; sometimes it's hard to remember how much things have changed, or how much good you actually had.)  It was a wonderful morning.

More change to come this upcoming school year for my boys!  But now on to summer!!! woohoo!

Monday, June 23, 2014

it's not pink but red

Abi had Crazy Hair Day at her school, so she wanted to do something, well, crazy. We decided on this cute bun-hawk, but then to make it even better, we would colour it. However, finding hair colour on short notice (because we tend to sometimes leave things for too long and find out that we've run out of time and the stores have closed. Oops.) was hard, so Abi had to settle for what was available at WalMart.  She found Splat Luscious Raspberries, which made her happy, and we got to work!

I was slightly nervous about it after I opened up the box. It wasn't just a simple hair dye in a box that I was used to. I'd have to bleach her hair first! Eek! (although, I just read now that we could've coloured it without the bleaching and it would've worked as well. It just wouldn't have lasted as long or been as bright. But it was an option I didn't know about. I'm sure we would've decided to bleach in the end had we known that earlier anyways.)  After I applied the bleach, it was supposed to be covered, so we found a plastic bag and I attempted to enclose her hair in it! (she decided that she wanted to keep her bangs her original brown)

45 minutes later...

eek, it's so blonde!!! You can see some of the brown underneath, but we both thought it turned out great considering this was our first experiment! I now know that I could go closer to the roots and mixed better. But hey, it's all good.

After seeing the bleached blonde hair, she decided to keep just the first part of it at the top of her head and make the rest of it the raspberry. That dye job was familiar to me at least! Then we needed to bag it as well for 45 minutes.

The end result: looking bright red and so neat! What will her Daddy say? 

The next morning, she had fun playing around with it and creating her Crazy Hair Day design.  She especially enjoyed surprising all of her classmates!  We laughed that if she didn't win first place for craziest hair it would be a shock. After all, look at how much effort was put into it: she took 3 hours the night before to semi-permanently colour her hair!!! (some of the blonde parts ended up pink hued from when I was trying to wash out the dye with her head over the tub. That was a messy job! The red went where I wanted to and many things were coloured as a result: a few shirts, some towels...)

She ended up winning for all of the grade seven classes! (out of 75 students) She shocked quite a few people! A few of her friends took a while to get over it, although every one who talks to her tells her that it "suits" her! Many have mentioned that they would like to do that (dye their hair a crazy colour) but wouldn't be brave enough to do it, but for some reason it just fits Abi's personality! Abi is not afraid of much. She doesn't mind doing something to fit her bold personality, since she truly does not care what others think of her! I am so proud of her for that attitude and hope she never loses that.

After a week and a half, her hair isn't looking as bright as it first was, and I made the mistake of telling her that it was looking pink. That offended her! Oops, I didn't realize that she felt so adverse to the colour pink. (I have to admit that I did as well when I was a teen! I was NOT girly in the Princess-y Girly way and was offended whenever someone acted as though I should be!) She was adament that it was RED, NOT PINK!  Silly me. I can remind her that it is actually "Luscious Raspberry"!

Last week, Abi was asked by some grade eight girls if that was her "real hair' (and not a wig) and Abi said that it was dyed, to which one of them responded, "oh, you're "The  Peters' kid!" Haha.  Hopefully that isn't a bad thing. I do find it funny that my girl has a reputation! I am hoping that means that she is known for being brave and fun and different...but different in a good way!   I wanted to dye my hair that colour when I was a teen as well, but never did. Bright coloured hair like that was only done by the "alternative crowd", I explained to her; the skaters, the slackers. Things that I wasn't. I didn't necessarily follow the crowd, but I did have to fit in with my friends, so I didn't do magenta but stuck to a semi-normal red for my hair! It's funny how things like this is more acceptable to do by anyone now. You don't have to fit in with a particular group to have piercings or hair dye as a teen. That's a good thing, I think. But, oh dear, she is only 12 1/2, what is she going to do when she gets older?


It can not be three years since I struggled with the stress of a high-risk pregnancy; with hypertension and the fear of pre-eclampsia. It can not be three years since she arrived in the midst of fear, confusion, and overwhelming pain. (I handled this pregnancy and labour/delivery much harder than the others. It was just different all around.)  But here she is, and she is definitely three!

Oh, dear Eden.  Your name means  Delight or Pleasure. And in a lot of ways, you have fulfilled that. You are such a strong girl, so full of personality.

These are the top three things I love about you:

Your Determination.  You will do something, no matter what, if it is something that you want to do. You work hard at it and you don't give up easily. I love that spunk in you, and that attitude to keep working and  fighting through something. Don't lose that!

Your Independence.  This also goes with your determination. You love being in control of the situation and you will exert your independent nature. You don't wait for anyone to validate you; you are going to do what you want even if no one else agrees! This is great when it comes to being your own person. I love that you are strong and have the personality that makes you want to get out there and do your own thing. Don't let anyone take that from you!

 Your fun-loving spirit.  Some would call you a Little Spitfire, a Firecracker, maybe a bit Stubborn, and very much Spirited, and they would all be right! But you are such a bright girl and so full of imagination, and brimming with laughter and girliness and cuddles and sweet gestures and bounciness and silliness and song singing and squeezy hugs and helpfulness and so much goodness. I love it that your happiness spills out in so many ways. You love to sing and dance and give hugs and giggle and really, what else could be better than that?

Okay, so those first two are questionable. After all, did we mention that you are only Three?  These personality traits seem to work great for Beyonce, but sometimes they are combative and non-bending and frustrating in a toddler! However, as much as they are a complete struggle for your father and I to work with, these also remain things that I love about you.  They will be an asset one day, even if they can seem to be something of a burden now (you are always fighting someone or something for your 'rights').

You can easily be a handful and then just as quick be a complete sweetheart. You are definitely a Pleasure and Delight to our family!  I am so happy that you are now three. What a fun year this will be for you! God has given you such a wonderful personality and I am excited to see how it unfolds as you grow! And, in the words of Bob and Larry, "God made you special and He loves you very much!"

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thankful Thursday

I've decided to start a new segment on here. Maybe I'll actually post every week too! *smile*  I came across this idea from the blog: Talk Nerdy To Me. (Louise was a classmate of my friends' in highschool, so I know her name, so that's my claim to fame. She just recently was listed one of Vancouver's Top 30 Mom Bloggers, so that's pretty cool too.) I think we could all be just a little bit more thankful, so here is my list for the week:

1. Our School

With the Teacher's Strike happening right now, I have been reminded just yet again what a wonderful community we have and what an opportunity our kids have by attending their school. Through the support of my parents, we are able to send the kids to the Christian school. We have been going there since Abi was in kindergarten, and we have not regretted it once. We love the teachers and the school!

I have been struggling, honestly, with knowing which "side" I am on for the strike. I am frustrated that the teachers ended the school year for the kids in public school, not just because they lose out on their fun end-of-the-year parties, trips, and Fun Days (because those are disappointing to miss out on, but they aren't going to ruin the year) but that some kids really do lose out by not getting their final grades (that has to effect the graduating classes who are trying to enter into universities, and/or applying for scholarships, etc.  I was so thankful that my niece's grade 12 graduation ceremony wasn't cancelled due to the strike though, since at-the-time, the rotating strike didn't fall on that day. phew. That would've been horrible!) And I am so frustrated at the Provincial Government who has disregarded what the Supreme Court has ruled on. If they had just done as they were told, this mess would've been avoided. Shame on them!

I am thankful that my kids are able to attend their school and that their year wasn't affected by Labour Negotiations. I wonder if the public school sector could learn something about how contracts are done in the private schools? (I honestly don't know...I don't pay too much attention to things like that!)

2. Father's Day

I am so thankful for my Hunny. He is a good Daddy to our children. I love how he teaches them things and gives them many experiences that I never got to share with my Dad. He takes them out and tries to spend time with each child individually. He directs, leads and disciplines and I am so thankful for the strong role he plays in our family.

Eden loves her Daddy so much! She definitely is more attached to him than the other kids have been , which is so wonderful to see!  I didn't have the best relationship with my own Dad growing up. We are too much alike and it seemed we were always butting heads. I am so thankful that after Abi was born, he mellowed out and became an awesome Grandpa, and that as I got older, I also began to understand things better. I am so grateful that we have another year to celebrate and live together. My Dad had a heart attack almost two years ago, while helping with renos at our house, and it really changed a lot for all of us. Life is very fragile, indeed. We are very thankful for the many "second chances" we get in life!

3. Ducks

Seriously. Ducks make me happy. I don't know what it is about them. The way they waddle? The way they quack? The shiney colours of their feathers? That they bob upside-down in the water to grab food? I don't know. But they make me happy.

Imagine my happiness, and surprise, when I saw a mother duck waddling out past the school this week, with three babies in tow! She squawked at a stalking crow, and lunged at it when it got too close, which I applauded; I was about to hop out of my van and chase that crow if he got any closer to the little family!

Eden and I watched the Mama and her ducklings waddle through the trees, cross the parking lot and go to the forest next to the school.

4. Hypo Mom

I found Hypothyroid Mom on FB and wow!

I have been diagnosed as Hypothyroid in 2005, when I was experiencing post-partum depression two years after Kai was born! (haha) Turns out my thyroid was all crazy. And I really was depressed too. (I remember when they wanted to check my thyroid and my sister and I laughed and wished that I had Hyperthyroidism, just because it meant that you would lose weight faster. hahaha. Darn!) *after I was diagnosed, I found out that my great-aunt also has this, as well as two cousins (siblings) who were diagnosed as teens. So I guess this runs in the family. *Hypo is when you have an underactive thyroid, and Hyper is when your thyroid is working overtime.

I have mentioned my struggles with Hypo a few times on here; my frustration with fatigue (I was starting to fall asleep while driving, which is why Hunny had to take over driving the kids to school in the mornings) and how my doctor changes my medications (or doesn't, when I feel she should). When I found Hypo Mom, I was elated! It was so nice to find a group of others who completely understood! Wow. Support with those who also have this condition is key to keeping your sanity, because honestly, it is hard to get others to understand how serious your symptoms are sometimes.

I had No idea on so many of these symptoms though! Check out the list of 300+ Hypothyroidism Symptoms ......   How many do you have?  There are so many on here I did not know about...they could explain a lot of things!

5.This Song

I heard this on Praise and I am hoping they will play it more.

My Heart is Yours - Passion Ft. Kristian Stanfill

Baby Dedications

My favouritest Sister and her husband decided to dedicate their boys over the Father's Day weekend. That was a wonderful surprise! I only found out two days prior (apparently, she mentioned it at our family bbq a week earlier, but I obviously missed that announcement) I was so depressed when I learned that we'd have to miss it due to obligations at our own church. (Hunny was teaching his pre-teen Sunday School class, and I was helping in the Age Two class.) I felt horrible! 

On a whim, I thought I'd see who could take my place in the class, and the coordinator said that it was okay, I could skip out since there haven't been many kids in that class lately. (I think there are only 3 or 4 kids in that age group right now. So some Sundays, there may only be Eden and another child, and the Leaders outnumber the kids. Which I guess is better than the kids outnumbering the adults, but sometimes it can feel awfully quiet in that room!) Hunny still had to miss out, but at least I got to go and support the family!

(( My picture isn't the best, but my camera is old and it sucks, and my cell is still broken, so I make do with what I have. Julie & Andy are beside their pastor with their two boys Gavin (almost 2) and Micah (4 months old), along with another couple (with two girls) also dedicating their children. ))

My early childhood was spent attending a Christian Reformed church with my family and relatives, where I was baptized as an infant. When we moved out to BC, we started to attend an Alliance church when I was in my early teens, and where I was baptized again.  As a young adult, my Hunny and I attended a Baptist church, where he was baptized. And now we attend a Mennonite Brethren church! (To be honest, the denomination doesn't really matter to me as long as the pastor is speaking absolute truth from the Bible, but Hunny wanted to investigate different churches on their theology before committing to which one we'd attend. Both ways are just as good for making a choice on a home church.)  We have never baptized or dedicated our children, and I can't quite explain why yet.  I was always for the idea of infant baptism just for it's symbolic nature. The whole getting dressed in a beautiful christening gown and having a pastor sprinkle water in a symbol of the blessing of life that He gives.  I recognize that this does not mean that this child will grow up and make a decision to follow Christ, and it does not automatically mean that they are in the family of Christ, just that we recognize that it is important that this child will be raised to know, understand and hopefully love the Lord as we do.  I know of some friends who think that the idea of "baptizing" an infant is a bad tradition that takes away from the importance of baptism as an adult.  I can understand what they mean, but I like the symbol of it. The outward act. However, none of the churches we have attended do them. Instead, it is done as an Infant Dedication. You and your child(ren) go to the front of the church, introduce everyone, and explain why you wanted to do this, and you make a verbal commitment to raise your child in a Christian home, to teach your child the way the Lord intends. The church usually gets a chance to verbally agree to support and encourage and help the family in this task as well. (at least at our church we do)  The same as an infant baptism, without the symbolic water! 

I got to watch my sister and brother in law do that and it was wonderful! I brought along Abi, Eden and Rhys. We joined my parents, who also came to celebrate, and with friends and with other family members.  It was beautiful and it made my heart happy. Any time someone makes a public choice to follow God makes my heart happyMaybe one day my whole family will do something like this too. it too late when your oldest is already 12?

My Girl's Got Talent

Abi went and did something totally brave and not at all like her parents! This must be from her Aunts' genetic input. (both my sister and my sister in law were into drama in highschool. I liked the idea, but not the performing.)  She participated in this year's Got Talent program in her middle school!

I was so nervous for her! I don't mind standing out at times, but I don't like a lot of attention. It's funny how both my Hunny and I actually feel embarrassed for those who do go and put themselves out on display! haha. (Hunny had to leave his work party early one year just because of karaoke!  We ended up staying for it the next year and found out it wasn't too bad after all. He actually enjoyed it more after he drank a few beer as well, and realized it wasn't all that mortifying!  Still couldn't get him to sing though!)  I told Abi that if she was going to sign up for this, she had to practice. She couldn't leave this for the last minute. She had to decide right away what she was going to do and we would make her practice it every day, that way when it came to the performance she wasn't freaking out over feeling unprepared!  I was so worried she'd put it off!

She completely impressed me! She and her friend decided to choreograph an original dance to a song together! And they practiced almost every recess break and after school for two weeks. At their audition, the teacher judges gave a few pointers (and convinced them to lip sync to the song as well, since they already were anyways!) and they were accepted! By the time of the actual performance, they were ready! (although a bit nervous!)

It was a lot of fun! Hunny was off work that day, so he came with Rhys, Eden and I to watch and cheer the girls on! I made him stay for the whole show too! *big grin*  I was impressed by it all. Some of those kids are really talented. Some not so much. But I was impressed with the fact that they all wanted to go up there and perform something (there were a bunch of singers and some instrumentalists, mostly piano, as well as some comedic acts.) in front of their peers! That was so not something I would have done in school! (or now, even!)  I was also pleased that every act was applauded and cheered. Even those who failed. (one boy started to sing...and he wasn't that good...and he lost his confidence and so he stopped the song partway through the first verse and ended his act.)  No one had to feel like they made a fool of themselves. There were no rude remarks or boos or hisses or anything, just support. I would expect that with the school my kids attend, but sometimes it's nice to be surprised when you see kindness in action!

I wasn't able to get any photos of the actual dance, but Hunny video'd it on his phone. Sorry, I can't play it for you. Abi didn't want it on youtube or anywhere. Which I totally respect and understand. It was a great dance that she and Bethany did for their school and they don't need any remarks from strangers. They were proud of themselves! (me too!)

They danced to Stereo Hearts by Gym Class Heroes. (Abi played the role of Adam Levine!) under the stage name "Stereo and Radio". (click on link to hear the song. To be honest, I was happy the show was over because I was getting tired of hearing the song being played and sung so much as she practiced at home! haha.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My little Hug Monster...and ST update

Rhys has been attending Speech Therapy through the Development Centre this year (yes, finally something worked in our favour from our pediatrician!) and the ST has finally finished up her testing. As she was doing the last of the questions, I realized that what she was asking from her book weren't necessarily speech related. (Such as: listen to my instructions then follow, point to the cat, then point to the dog....or point to the bear that is beside the cat....or out of these three pictures, an apple, an orange and a ball, which two are the most alike and why?) I thought that was curious. I wasn't bothered because I figure the more testing that is done for him, the better! (if you remember me mentioning them before, the Centre for Child Development is a huge organization that deals with children of all types of special needs. We tried to get Rhys into their preschool, but it never worked out, and our pediatrician got him in for ST this year, so this is a good group to be connected with while we learn about Rhys' delayment) 

At the end of our session, she said that she will go over his results and then call us and we can find out "which area he is weak in" (her words.) I already told her that he has always struggled with being able to follow two or three instructions (ie: go to your room and get your shoes and bring them here. He gets lost after the first instruction.)   I am curious to the results, because I wouldn't have thought those to be "speech" type questions, as much as they are problem solving ones. But I did have a friend tell me that it is a part of language comprehension and they were standard assessment questions, so that does make me feel a little less confused. We'll see what she says!  We are running out of time though. We had to miss two months of ST due to either Rina or myself, or both of us, being sick. (stomach bugs were running around for a long time earlier this Spring. It was horrible!) and once Rhys starts kindergarten in the fall, once again, he will be phased out of the program! *sigh*

Another thing that she mentioned made me a bit sad though. She wants me to go over with him his hugging. Rhys is extremely affectionate! He loves to give hugs to people he knows and will give multiple ones! (he hugged the ST a good 3 or 4 times today, lol) She wants him to learn to NOT do that, but to give high fives or handshakes instead, which of course made me sad. I understand WHY she thinks this needs to be really pushed (he needs to learn social boundaries and personal space, etc) but I was also sad, thinking that this is part of his enthusiastic personality. Funny thing is that she was reading my mind because she added, "we don't want to stop him from being "him" and change his personality, but he needs to learn boundaries." Rhys loves to give hugs and kisses! His preschool teachers and Sunday School teachers and our friends don't mind, but I guess eventually we will meet people outside of those places who won't like it as much. (the ST mentioned how some kids in kindergarten may not like it as much....but I was thinking that he doesn't actually hug other children, lol!)

So yeah. There's that. It's a bit sad that it has come to this. My affectionate child needs to be less excited when seeing people! I'm hoping that I can convince him that teachers would rather be high-fived or even fist-bumped instead!!!So far, he remembers sometimes to stop and ask, but mostly it is done randomly and so quickly that I can't catch it in time.

Once, we were walking into the high school to pick up the boys (they hang out in the library after school with their friend, since his mom is the librarian and they can play on the computers) and Rhys was running on ahead, giggling. There are some kids sitting outside at the front doors, two girls in particular that I notice, and I just KNOW what is going to happen.  Rhys pauses for a moment, spins on his feet, and runs over the closest girl and flings his arms around her! This of course, makes her jump as she wasn't even looking in his direction! It made me laugh, to be honest, knowing how huggy and sweet he is, but I also felt bad that I didn't get to warn her first! I tried to call out "random hugger!" to the next girl, but it caught her by surprise too! After he was finished hugging these girls, he ran away just as fast and kept on going into the school!

This boy makes me smile!  So far, no one has been upset with his hugs. (although, one day he was going around and hugging all of Abi's friends after school and one, who is not much of an outwardly affectionate person apparently, refused to respond to his open armed invitation to a hug. He waited, standing there with a cute grin, arms outstretched. But eventually moved on, unphased. Some progress!)  I can't help but think, "Who wouldn't want a hug from this kid? He is just so sweet and enthousiastic!"  But I guess eventually we will find someone who really doesn't like it. And, as much as it makes me sad to think about it, I need him to learn personal boundaries now. Hugs are cute from a preschooler, but not so much from a grade three'er or a grade seven'er.  Okay, let me rephrase that: hugs are great from everyone, no matter the age. They just are awkward when it is one sided and abrupt and from strangers. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fatigue and more mysteries

My heart is all jumpy right now and my body is weary.  I hate it when it gets this way.  Despite being exhausted, I am still unable to fall asleep before 1am all week, which really sucks. You know that your life needs a huge change when your preschooler asks you, "why are you always tired, Mom?"  *sigh*  I wish I knew.  But I am getting my bloodwork checked again this weekend. Surely it must be my thyroid. Please let it be my thyroid. Then my doctor can change my medications and I can hopefully, maybe, feel the slightest bit more energetic. (and when I say "energetic", I mean not having to take a nap or two or three a day.)

I saw my doctor this past week, but she is still suggesting that my pain and fatigue are from having "so many children" and the stress that brings.  I am willing to admit that I have some things happening in my life that could be considered stress. But I am not going to say that mine is more than anyone else'. Don't we all worry about finances and the house being a mess and having to plan three birthdays, a baby shower, teacher's gifts, father's day, and end-of-the-school-year events in two weeks? Oh, maybe not. Well, this month is a bit more crazier than typical, I guess! June starts our busy family time and it carries on until September. Tons of birthdays and things to plan and figure out!

As for having many children. To be honest, I've said this before and I will say it again, once you have three children it really isn't that much of a change adding another. By the time you have five, you start to get into a rhythm of things. Yes, our house is loud, and yes it is messy, and yes it can get busy, but it really isn't that hard. But it's one of those things that you have to be in to understand. There are many things that I don't "get" and couldn't imagine living through, but if it's your life, it's what you do and you somehow manage. I have a friend who is a single mom to two girls. How does she do it? I can't imagine being that patient all.of.the.time, or never getting a break (I love it when my Hunny can come and help take over when I need a breather or two, because I often need those. I'm not that patient after all.). And having to carry the weight of the finances? Wow. Now, that is stressful in my mind! Don't talk to me about how my fatigue is due to many kids....there are so many out there with it harder than me! (although, my friend may not think it is a big deal since she is used to doing it all alone for a few years now.)

My doctor says that I "need to find a week of nothing to do."  I asked her how do I do that. She suggested a "Staycation."  Are you kidding me? I'm a stay-at-home-mom. I"m not too sure how staying home (something I already do) would reach those parameters of "finding nothing to do." There is always something to do in this house! (I just may not do it sometimes, haha, looking at the state of my house right now)

My chest aches and my body is weary and I can hardly stay awake and my heart is racing and jumping around like a fish.  I am starting to see how it could all be related, though. The more tired my body is, the more my heart will feel 'jumpy" and the more likely I am to get chest pains. I just don't know what is causing that fatigue. Just when I think I have found a possible solution, I find it just adds to the list in the end. It turns out that fatigue can be a symptom of many different things!

Remember me having to see the Cardiologist in December? He had booked me in for a Stress Test and an Echocardiogram, just to make me feel better.  The Stress Test went okay, and the Echo was booked for January but I had to cancel it since it fell on the same day that I was going away for the weekend. The idea of making a drive all the way in to Vancouver General Hospital that afternoon and then driving all the way in the opposite direction to Harrison Hot Springs didn't appeal to me!  I got a new date for that appointment for May. 

 In the end, the Echocardiogram was easier than I anticipated! I had seen Kai have them done yearly for 8 years, so I knew what to expect, but I was a bit self conscious. As much as I tell myself that these specialists have seen several breasts, that they don't actually pay attention to them at all, I still felt nervous being disrobed in front of a stranger. (in the end, the radiologist had me covered up with a towel and didn't even look at me! He stared at his screen the whole time and was very professional. Silly me and my worries!)

My follow up appointment with the Cardiologist was to be expected. He said that my Stress test was Normal. My 24 Hour Holter was Normal. My Echo was Normal. Everything is good and fine. But oh, the Echo discovered that I have  Mitral Valve Prolapse.

What? How is that "normal"?

According to the Echo, the Prolapse is tiny and hardly noticeable. The doctor said that he wouldn't know I have one if it didn't say so on the report, since he can't hear it on the stethoscope. So I guess that's a good thing.  He wasn't concerned about it and said that I shouldn't either, so I chose to believe him!  I go back in a year for another Echo to see if there is any change.

Of course, when I got home, I suddenly had questions (why do I never think of them in his office?) and I had to Google what a Prolapse was!  I found out some interesting stuff. Such as this, from the Mayoclinic website:

When signs and symptoms do occur, it may be because blood is leaking backward through the valve (regurgitation). Mitral valve prolapse symptoms can vary widely from one person to another. They tend to be mild and develop gradually. Symptoms may include:

  • A racing or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, often when lying flat or during physical activity
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain that's not caused by a heart attack or coronary artery disease

It blew my mind! Are you kidding me? This could totally explain so much! I was actually giddy at the idea and I felt that I had my answers! Hooray.

Except when my own doctor said that my "leaky valve" is so insignificant that I wouldn't even feel any symptoms.  Oh. Well, that's good, I suppose. But I liked having some answers!

So we're back to "stress of having many children."

Please let it be my thyroid.

***another interesting thing that I was reminded of when I was telling my mom of my cardiologist appointment. My Opa has MVP. He has had it for years and had the valve replaced at the age of 70 with a pig's valve. They usually only last for 10 years, but his has been going for 15!  
***The cardiologist said that I likely had this since birth. Well, THAT would explain a LOT of things too in my life.  If only it could....

Monday, June 9, 2014

Inner Ninja

I forgot that Rhys was to have his turn at Show & Tell in preschool the other day, so we didn't bring in anything. I felt bad.  I had even written it on my calendar to remind myself! *sigh*

At the end of class, his one teacher, Mrs. Nikki, told me that since were studying the letter "U", they decided to try to find something to show off the word "Under". And Under his snack section in his lunchkit is a spot for his juice container. So they unzip it and they pull out the thermos to show the children. On the thermos (and lunchkit...we bought them separately and without realizing they were a matching pair!) is a picture of a ninja, so Rhys starts to do these kicks and jumps and ninja moves! They kids were just cracking up laughing! One boy is literally rolling on the floor in laughter, Nikki told me!

Dayton (a classmate) says, "Oh, Rhys, you are so funny!"

Rhys stops and says, "I am?"  So they all burst out laughing again.

My boy, the comic genius, with his inner ninja moves!  It made me smile.

And, on that note, I must share with you the song Inner Ninja by fellow Canadian, Classified! It's a fun one!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

lost and found money

Abi was selling chocolates in the beginning of the year for a school fundraiser. My family has been waiting for this one to pop up since September, and I was starting to feel like a fraud when it didn't happen over Christmas. (she sold dumb poinsettias instead. pfft.) But finally they released a bunch of cases of chocolates and there was much rejoicing. See, these aren't just any kind of chocolates. Nay. These are World's Finest Chocolates. If you haven't tried them, you are missing out of, seriously, the World's Finest Chocolates.

It helps that this company is from a small town where my father grew up in, and that our family has a bit of an obsession with it. We are kind of chocolate snobs, to be honest. My Dad wouldn't buy some little girl's chocolates that she was selling at his door a few years ago when he found out they weren't World's Finest. *snicker. Horrible.

So there was much happiness when we finally got to sell these. Abi did a quick walk around the block once, sold a few, but then sold the rest to her extended family. 6 cases in all! $300 in total, to be exact! Nice! Except that when we gave the cheque for the amount to the school, they never cashed it. We waited for over a month. Do you know how stressful it is to have money in the bank that you know you can't touch because it is earmarked for a removal due to cheque? It was painful for my Hunny! We asked the school about it, to be told that they deposited all of the cheques. H'mm...that's strange. Did they not notice they were short $300? We didn't hear anything back from them, after they said they'd look into it, but finally two weeks later, it was suddenly deposited and all is fine again.  (To be honest, I was really hoping they had lost the cheque and had decided that we didn't need to owe them any money at all, that it had all been miraculously been covered. Oh well.)

Meanwhile, Abi was finding money!  She had received an art easel for Christmas from her Grandma Lynn that had came all shrink wrapped in a black bag. She has used the easel and has painted a few times, but the bag had hung on her door handle for a few months already when she looked through it one night. And pulled out a folded 100 bill! What? Sadly, neither her father nor I were missing any money, and it didn't come from her Grandma being sneaky with money, so where did it come from? The black canvas bag that the easel came in was shrink wrapped as well, so couldn't have been just randomly placed there. It was a neatly folded bill too. It was a bizarre find!

We held on to it for a while, trying to decide what to do with it, when in the end we thought that since Abi found it in her possessions that the money was hers! Nice!  She really wanted a new camera, although her father really didn't like the idea. He wanted her to upgrade her phone, that has an upgraded camera, but she just doesn't even use her phone! She is never on it! (she has a Blackberry, which is crapping out on the battery, of course, so it's flakey.) She doesn't have any friends that she texts with, even though most of them all have their own phones. The only time she is on it is to check out youtube videos for her favourite songs. (one of the rules to her having her own phone with wifi access is that we are allowed to inspect it at any time, for any reason. The good news is that Abi is pretty boring and really doesn't do anything on her phone, so her history isn't anything to worry about!) She wanted a camera. This camera to be exact. But Hunny was so against the idea! He thought she would be wasting her money! I reminded him that she is only 12, and sometimes wasting money just happens at this age. Yes, we could advise her on purchases and investments and spending wisely, but in the end, she is the one that will have to make the final decision. And sometimes you just have to buy something fun!  In the end, she (and I) won! She got her camera!

I am excited for her. I remember my own Polaroid camera that took sticker pictures. It was so much fun! (and so much smaller than her camera. I was so surprised at how bulky hers is!) I still have those photos in an old wallet. (a few taken of Abi as a baby, even! so it wasn't that long ago. But it's too bad that they don't make film for it anymore. Or do they? If you know of any being sold, let me know! I still have that camera hanging around somewhere. The kids love to play with it!)   **It was the Polaroid i-Zone. I just found out that it is still available on Amazon! Sweet!

So far, she likes to take selfies (haha), but come summer time and more fun activities, she will have more opportunities to play around with it. I am glad that she was able to buy something "silly"!

She started a paper route a few months ago, and we already have got her putting some money aside for long term savings (such as university or car or whatever), short-term savings (such as a new camera, lol, or an iPod), for tithing (giving to our church or to an organization she feels led to support), and for spending. So far, some of her spending has to go to her brothers for helping her with her route on busy days. but it's a start! I never had money management training from my parents, and in a lot of ways I feel like Hunny and I are the worst ones to learn from as well, but we need to teach our own children to take care of what they are given. It's so easy for them to just assume that the bank card holds unlimited amounts of money. If I tell them that I don't have any more to spend, they think that I should just be able to go to the bank for more. Oh, how I wish I could do that too! So we are trying to teach them. Eventually they will get it. Hopefully before they are out of school and into the world!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Top Ten List of Random Updates

I can't believe that there are only weeks left of school for this year! Our winter went by so slowly; it was such a struggle and now, hello June! Sheesh, once Spring Break hit, the weeks seemed to go by much faster!

In January, I was reflecting over 2013 and thinking about how the stress of the unknown and finding some sort of diagnosis for Rhys really weighed over me. I decided that I didn't want to spend 2014 focused on that. I didn't want all of my thoughts, all of my posts, all of my top concerns to be about him. So that meant that I stepped back from blogging and from doing searches and from all of my thinking and just took a break. I needed to just enjoy who he was without looking too deeply.

But now half a year has gone by! It's crazy to think of!  So, just to catch up a bit, here is my Top Ten List of Random Updates:

1. We had our share of events as well as sicknesses. Full of illnesses. Oh, the illnesses. *sigh*  The Strep Throat that Abi caught in December returned in January and spread. In fact, for one week, Abi, Kai and myself all had it! Except that it turned into Scarlet Fever for both the kids.  Then in February, Strep Throat hit Bryn, which also turned into Scarlet Fever! What are the chances of that happening to three children in the family? (Since it comes about from the way your body reacts to a toxin created by Strep, that is, and not everyone will get it)

2.  We got ourselves a new computer for Christmas. (a gift from Hunny's grandma)  Our old one is slower than molasses and keeps telling me that it's memory is full. BOO! So Hunny came home with a funky tv/dvd/computer all in one. It's apparently the way to go! This one has Netflix already installed (nice) and access to cable and the internet, so the kids are happy. However, it also has Windows 8 installed on it! Oh good grief, what a terrible system that is! It is *not* user friendly at all! In fact, it is one of the main reasons why us adults still hardly use the new computer! (go figure)  We now have Firefox installed, but it still feels "different" to use. Maybe it's the huge screen, or the way the keyboard feels so....jelly and flexy.  I don't know. I"m sure we'll get over it...because eventually the old computer really will die on us.

3.  I have been without a cell phone for three weeks now. *sigh*  I know. #firstworldproblems eh?  I can't help it, we live in an area where cell phones just are used all.the.time. I dropped my cell and it cracked on the back, but no big deal. A week later, I dropped it again and it cracked the screen a bit at the bottom. That sucked because some of the letters wouldn't work anymore, so I had to do a lot of flipping my phone in different directions just to get my texts written. It made texting very slow. (and I pride myself on being darn fast! lol) A week after that, my kids dropped my phone and it cracked across the whole screen! It looks scary! It is so bad that I can't swipe to unlock my phone now! The kids felt bad. I felt bad. It's sucks all around. What doesn't help is that we can't afford a solution right now. We just got these phones in the fall, so we can't afford to pay out the $300 for a new contract to get a new phone (since our warranty doesn't cover the break. Hunny covered that on his, since he works with heavy machinary. Well, now he knows that children are just as bad as machines!) and we can't do the $180 (or whatever) it will cost to have the screen fixed yet. *sigh*  It is painful.

Out of everything, I miss most not being able to text people. It's as if my social life took a hit! No one really emails anymore, and calling people at home never seems convenient anymore, so I have to wait for any news to come through on FB Messages!  I also really miss my Bible Study! I was doing a few of them through YouVersion and it would send me reminders every day to do my next devotional; it was great. I don't find it as convenient at all to go online on the home computer and check it out! I somehow never remember! So that is disappointing. I feel like I was really getting somewhere with these devotions, too. *sigh* But maybe this just shows how complacent and lazy I (or we, really, since many can relate I'm sure) have become. It's too much work to call someone and have a live conversation?  I can't do devotionals on the PC? How sad.  ...I'm still finding not having a cell phone really sad still though.

 4. This song makes me Happy. It seriously does. How can it not make you want to dance? It always makes me smile.

 It's no Happy Happy Joy Joy, but it still makes my heart happy. And it makes me want to dance. No wonder the song is huge all over the world!

5. My Hunny finally got his knee surgery! He had been on the wait list for about 6 years when he gets a phone call from the doctor asking if he had the surgery yet and if he still wanted it! (they were cleaning up the list, I guess, and had to go through everyone. I guess they didn't realize it had taken so long)  He went in for a day surgery on his torn meniscus. They cleaned up his knee, fixed the muscle, removed some floating around cartilage, stuff like that.  {shudder}  He came home on crutches, used a cane for the next day or two, then worked on putting pressure on it for the rest of the week.

He was hoping to be only off of work for two days, but it ended up taking a week. And then on top of that week, he was struggling to return to work since he has to stand on concrete floors all day, working with machines, so that added stress and pressure. It was a rough time. He stayed downstairs for that week too, in the spare bedroom and on the couch watching Netflix. I wasn't bothered about it at first. I figured it would be like when he is gone for his hunting trips, no big deal. Except it hit me that it wasn't like that after all! I'd have to be nursing on him as well as the kids. Bringing his meals downstairs, getting him coffees, checking if he needed anything, stuff like that. And when I realized that, suddenly I felt very stressed. It was a long week. But I am happy to say that he is doing great! No more knee popping out when he climbs stairs or turns or tries to crouch. Hooray!

6. After seven years of being with  Stampin Up!, I let my demonstrator-ship lapse. It was so tough. To be honest, if I didn't have to, I wouldn't have. In fact, I'd sign up again right now (since there is a special deal on joining) if I could. But it just isn't something I can do right now. Suddenly, all of my past customers went into different life phases: money wasn't available for crafting, or their interests changed, or they moved.  It was disappointing. I still love the company though, and I do love to create and make cards, so I'm still doing those things; I'm just not holding classes or making money at it. And that sucks.  I guess there is a reason for it, and maybe something better will come up for me, but right now it is just disappointing to not have this to share with others. I loved teaching others how to create! I loved having friends (and people I didn't know become friends) over and being crafty with them! It was so enjoyable to get together and just make something. *wistful sigh*

7. We had talked about cancelling our cable for three years before Hunny finally agreed to it. We weren't really watching it. The only shows that we did watch were on the specialty channels, and even our watching was sporadic!  We loved a few tv shows, but were never serious or faithful viewers that had to watch every episode. (we also don't have a PVR so we weren't recording shows to watch later either) Really, we were watching Netflix, and the kids were watching Treehouse or Teletoon. So we cut our cable for a whole year.

And then the cable company called us and offered great promo deals to Hunny. He had always been able to tell them a firm, "no thanks!" but not this time. They offered HGTV and a few other specialty cable shows for $5/month! He couldn't pass it up! So we have been engrossed with Income Property (man, that Scott McGillivray is sure pretty! Look at his white teeth and his perfect locks!) and Leave it to Brian, and now Decked Out and Sarah makes me think that maybe, just maybe, we can reno our house too! Hunny is a great handyman and he has done so many great upgrades to it since we moved in 12 years ago (such as a complete gutting of the kitchen when we moved in, and a new bathroom, wood flooring in almost the whole upstairs, etc) but we just needed a push to start again. Watching all of these shows have inspired us again! So I can handle that he signed up for cable again.

8. I discovered two things the other night: our organics bin that sits out of our deck (before it gets emptied every Thursday for pick up the next morning) really is critter proof when it is latched properly, and two, we have raccoons at our house!  I was hearing a 'scratch scratch scratch" and looked out the window to see this large raccoon stare up at me from atop the bin!  He slowly jumped off and sauntered away. So sneaky and casual and over confident!  (I have also recently found out that if you don't latch that bin properly, it isn't critter-proof and your organic waste gets spread across your deck in the night. It's not always fun to clean up. ugh)

9. To celebrate my Mom's birthday, my sister purchased tickets for us three to go see Stars on Ice! It was such a blast!  We got to see Kurt Browning (who has always been my favourite), Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (who was a crowd, they are beautiful. I took a picture of them introducing the second half of the show by telling us that we would all be getting some Lindt chocolates at the end! Sweet!) Joannie Rochette, and Patrick Chan to name a few. What a fun evening! We are already talking about pre-purchasing tickets for next year's 25th Anniversary tour!  My Mom has always been a huge ice skating fan, and I remember always watching the competitions with her on tv, but I haven't paid too much attention to it in the past few years. (other distractions in my family) It was a fun way to spend our evening together!

10.  I saw the dentist again. I don't like the dentist. At. All.  I will do all that I can to avoid going to the dentist for a cleaning/work, even if I need it done.  It occurred to me one day that I don't just "not like" the dentist, because there are a lot of normal people out there who don't like the inconvenience of going to one, but they get over it and get it done (like my husband). But me, I have a fear of it. There is something about the dentist that makes me feel cornered and frightened and full of anxiety. (probably due to them always finding something that needs to be done at every visit. I am not blessed with great strong teeth. I take after my Dad and his sweet tooth. Too bad, because my Mom has great teeth.)  I will sit in the chair and I will be all tense, I ball my hands into fists and I hold my breath without realizing; I have often left the office with sore legs from tightening up my muscles!

There is a new hygienist in the office now though. I saw her and it was 100% better! I have never had a visit like that before in all my 30-something years!  She was so wonderful and fun and nice and gentle. We had a great conversation! I realized halfway through it that I wasn't holding my breath or keeping my legs all tense! I was breathing just fine and felt relaxed! What a change! By the end of it all, I wanted to invite this girl out for coffee and a shopping date!  I just may never cancel an appointment again!...except that the dentist says that all of the fillings that we did last year may need to be exchanged with crowns "soon".  What? *sigh* Way to ruin the moment, Mrs. Dentist!

So there you go. A few random things to update you!

Powered by Blogger.