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August 17th, 2014

Full day Friday taking care of E and finishing up the back to school shopping!

Full day yesterday keeping some friends’ awesome kidlets busy.

Full day today with church and then children’s ministry lunching and planning for the year.

Tonight we got the kids cleaned up and into bed at a reasonable time. I hard-boiled some eggs and cut the tags off new lunch bags. I prepared bento-inspired lunch containers, made ready to be filled with exciting lunches for the first away-from-home school lunching that is happening tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the first day of school, and the first day of a new jam-packed year. I will be working on career development through volunteering, and will be keeping the household running smoothly; hopefully getting some home improvement projects completed as well. Jon will be switching careers and jobs and working toward his accounting designation in addition to trumpeting with a symphony and continuing his work on the elementary kids’ school parent council – this year as President. Oh yes, and leading our church’s A/V team.

There will be a bible study group and rock climbing and youth group and fitness and children’s events and another school council and women’s events and men’s events and so much more.

What a full and amazing life we have been given! I’m so excited to watch all the wonderful unfold over the next 10.5 months. :D

Here’s to a new school year! Here we go!!!!

Posted in 2014 |
August 11th, 2014

Today I pulled all of the clothes out of the bags from our vacation and laid them into piles so the kids could put them away.

“I’m never wearing that shirt again,” I heard Daniel say from the couch above me.

“This one?” I asked, as I motioned toward a blue patterned button up dress shirt with a collar and short sleeves.

“Yes, that one,” he replied.

“Why not?”

“Well,” he started, and kind of hesitated for a bit. “When we were at the Y in Winnipeg, there was this boy in the bathroom that was with his friend, and he said, ‘If you had that haircut and those glasses and you wore that shirt, I would call you a nerd.’”

I looked at him with my eyes wide. “He said that to you???”

“Not to me, but behind me.”

“And he was talking about you?”


“What did you say?” I asked eagerly, as this whole scenario has totally caught me off guard.

“Nothing. I washed my hands and I left.”

“How old were these kids?” The questions were swirling, swirling in my head, and my mouth was trying to pick the right ones to allow through.

“My age,” Daniel replied.

I turned to Josh. “Were you there too?”

“Yes,” Josh said quietly.

“Did you say anything?” I prodded, still in shock that kids could be so mean to other kids that they didn’t even know.

“No. But I gave them the death glare on our way out the door.”

Oh, my Josh.

I told Daniel that he can wear that shirt all he wants, and that he should, because he looks great in it. I assured him that kids around here don’t really care about each others’ clothes. I didn’t realize until now though, that he won’t be going to school with “kids around here” anymore.

And how my heart breaks at the realization that he is entering junior high school, and kids are so so mean, and everything matters there. All I can do is pray every day that his experience is nothing like his father’s and better than mine, and that he finds at least one good, close friend there, so they can walk together through all that is to come.

Posted in 2014 |
July 12th, 2014

I am en route to Winnipeg and a random memory just popped into my head. I tried to smile at the thought and dismiss it, but instead of fleeing, it lingered and begged me to play. So, I thought I’d share.

Probably 27 or 28 years ago, I lived with my grandparents in a cute little house next to a beautiful bubbling brook. I rode the school bus to school every day – through the town, up the hill and across the highway.

One day after school, I went out to catch the bus and it had already left. I probably panicked a tiny bit because I figured I’d be in trouble. I cried a little, and then I walked. I walked across the parking lot, down the school’s driveway, and along the road, under the highway bridge. I believe I was halfway through the town before my grandma pulled up beside me and asked what I was doing.

I told her I missed the bus and I was walking home.

She asked me why I didn’t phone her to come pick me up.

I didn’t have an answer. The truth is, calling her had not crossed my mind

I’ve grown up with this attitude about me; “I can do it myself. I can deal with this. Cry a little and then wipe the tears and do what needs to be done.”

I’m still that eight-nine year old girl. In her, I see other girls like her. Her mother, and her grandmother. I love them all.

And it feels like all this happened just last week.

Posted in 2014 |
July 11th, 2014

As we come closer and closer to being in my parents’ home, a feeling of strangeness is rising up in me. Six months ago I left this place full of animals and people who are no longer.

I’m not afraid of the emptiness, but I am. The realization that life is short hits me hard sometimes. The older I get, the less I want to…not because I am afraid of my own mortality, but because I know there are hard times to go through ahead…and I don’t wanna.

Today is another step. One huge step up the staircase of and to the future, clearly placed before my eyes. It’s one of those big steps that scream that time is passing oh so quickly. No gentle whispers from this kind. Generations are moving up, taking their new positions on the staircase.

Sometimes I feel like my legs are still just a little too short.

Posted in 2014 |
July 10th, 2014

I’ve decided that while we are away, each child will have their own chore to stay on top of around the house. I let my kids choose, just by shouting out what came to mind first.

Daniel ended up with garbage duty, which includes gathering all garbages once per week and putting them in the bin and wheeling it up to the highway for pickup. Same with recycling. Then he will have to bring the bins back to the house, up the stairs and onto the deck once they are emptied.

Joshua has pledged to unload the dishwasher.

Claire wants to set the table.

Andrew is on laundry duty.

I’m interested to see how this goes. They’ve all chosen what they like and I think they will do a great job. I’m proud of them for agreeing to this right off the bat, before we’ve even left.

In addition to chores, I have told the children that they will be learning some basics of French this summer. I got a bunch of workbooks and flash cards from Superstore and I plan to lead them through these, with the main goal of giving Daniel a bit of a cushion for school in the fall. I want him to go into French Immersion confidently, as I know that his firstborn perfectionist tendency (I should just start abbreviating this FPT LOL) is to give up when things are hard. I really don’t want him to do that. A bit of a foundation will be good for him.

Now, the kids are not really on board with learning French this summer. Josh thinks the summer is about NOT doing school. Daniel maintains that he needs NO background going into late immersion. Claire and Andrew have not yet voiced their opinions, but I’m sure they will eventually. Wish me luck and patience! I’m sure that I will quickly be reminded why my children are not homeschooled. ;)

Posted in 2014 |
July 9th, 2014

A couple days ago, Jon and I splurged and bought each other exercise bracelets. I’ve been eyeing them for awhile; I wanted something that would track my sleep most of all, but that would give me other information about my day to day fitness as well. A friend recently bought one and was giving it rave reviews, so Jon and I looked into them too. I had some gift cards and store credit for a place that these bands are available, so we went in and purchased two Jawbone UP24 wristbands. It’s only been a couple of days, but so far I am loving mine. I am having so much fun with the sleep info and with competing with Jon to see who can get more steps in in one day (it’s always Jon, who has to walk super far from his car to work since the parking lot is miles away).

It will be fun to keep up the competition while we are provinces apart this summer. One more way to keep in touch…I think this will be the longest period of time that we’ve ever been apart. Maybe even since we started dating. Craziness.

Posted in 2014 |
July 8th, 2014

Yay! Just as I was blogging about the other day, I got to spend yesterday at the beach chatting with my friend while our kids played in the sand and the water. Oh how I loved it. I wish the summer could be exactly this.

It was quite the start to the day though; I decided to attend my exercise class in the morning, which meant I had to rush home and get the kids out the door as soon as I got there. Well, as I was preparing to go, poor Andrew was helping me pack the bag of water and snacks and he dropped a bottle of frozen water on his toe. I was afraid that he had broken it, so I got him set up on the couch to elevate it and put ice on it (ironic?) and gave him some medicine for the pain and to help him relax.

I texted my friend to tell her what was going on and that I was going to be late, and she texted back that her keys were locked in the car and she was just waiting for someone to come get them out. She wondered if these were signs that we should probably not go. I really wanted to see her (we do NOT see each other often enough!) and before I could text that back, she said her keys were out and her kids still REALLY wanted to go, so they were on their way. I changed into my beach clothes, got the van packed and all set up so Andrew could keep his foot up on the way, and off we went.

We arrived at almost the same time, so it ended up working out perfectly. :)

I love Sikome lake. I know a lot of people don’t, but it is such a relaxing place for me. My kids always have a great time, even if they start out not wanting to go, and I always have a great time too; chatting with friends, or just sitting quietly watching all the people around. I hope that I will get another chance to go before it closes for the summer!

Posted in 2014 |
July 7th, 2014

Starting today, and for the next five days, we will be down to five in the house. It is Claire’s turn to do “Grade One Camp”, which includes an all expenses paid week at the Grandma and Grandpa resort, including all you can eat food, all you can eat drinks, and all you can snuggle snuggles because there are no other children to share the attention. :) I love that Jon’s parents do this for all the grandkids and I know that my kids really enjoy the time away that is all about them and not their siblings! I hope Claire has a fabulous week!

Claire chose to attend gymnastics day camp during her stay, and I have to say, I was a little surprised. I seriously hope that she loves it so much that she comes home and asks to do gymnastics all the time. Every fall when I ask Claire what she wants her activity to be, her answer is the same: “Just school.” I want her to say gymnastics or dance or karate or swimming or ANYTHING other than “just school.”

This will be a busy week preparing for our Winnipeg vacation. We leave on Saturday morning. My stepdad will arrive here on Thursday evening to drive back to Winnipeg with us in our new Ariel (who needs to be registered and insured and checked out and get her oil changed before then). Friday we will pick up Claire from gymnastics camp, come home and pack up the van and get to bed early for an early Saturday start. Super exciting!

Posted in 2014 |
July 6th, 2014

This morning I attended my last church service for the summer. It feels strange to be going away for so long and to not see everyone for so long. We’ve been together every Sunday since the fall and in some cases, more often than that, working toward the church that we have today.

While I’m away, a team of people will come up from the US and together with our church, will serve the people of the communities in the northern hills of Calgary. It’s too bad that I’ll have to miss being a part of that – a concentrated effort of love and reaching out and caring for people just brings my heart such joy! Since I can’t physically be part of the Light in the Hills week, I will pray for people to reach out for help, and for others to want to help their neighbours. And when I get home, I’ll reach out to others as I’m able, loving them and caring for them in whatever way I can.

I am so very thankful for this group of believers, for our church and our pastors and all of the others who are using part of their summer to love people they don’t even know. It’s just so amazing. <3

Posted in 2014 |
July 5th, 2014

We have a new van, hooray, hooray!

Jon, Claire and I headed out to Airdrie to check her out today, and then bought her, in my name. For the first time I will have a vehicle, purchased, registered and insured in my name. I feel like such a grown up. LOL

She is silver, though the kids think she’s white. Her name is Ariel, since she was purchased in Airdrie. She has so much cargo room; I am so in love.

I’m sad to say goodbye to Winnie, but the time has come. I hope that Ariel will give us many years of safe driving, starting even when it’s cold, and no weird flickering lights at random times.

Hooray for Ariel! :)

Posted in 2014 |

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