Sunday, May 30, 2010

 After a very full weekend, my wonderful husband is finally home! Yay!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Phone Calls to Daddy

 Steve is away on a business trip and won't be back until late tomorrow evening.  Even though he's only gone for the weekend, we still miss him.  When he's away, Steve tries to call at bedtime so he can say goodnight to the kids.  The boys were in the tub when he called, so Aris got to talk to him first.  She grabbed the phone away and very excitedly told him how much she loves him and misses him.  After the initial explosion of words, she slowed down and gave him a play-by-play of our day that lasted about fifteen minutes.  Aris and Steve don't always get along, so I was so blessed by this conversation.  Then the boys had their very brief conversations which were also very cute and heartwarming.  Both boys insisted on hugging the phone.  Steve is much loved around here! :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Hat and a View

 Today I bought a beautiful hat.  After finding out what medication I've been taking, the nurse practictioner strongly advised me to buy a big floppy sun hat.  Apparently one of the side effects to my meds is photosensitivity.  This explains why I've been burning so easily recently.  Here I thought I'd imagined my previous "don't burn, don't tan" skin.  Now I do both very easily.  So I took the NP's advice and bought a beautiful bright coloured hat with a large brim.  It's truly lovely!

 Unfortunately, while I was at the mall, I fell and injured both knees.  That part sucks.  But what didn't suck was the reaction of the lovely people in my life.  J took great care of me and came by to check on me later. Veronica fussed over me, and my dad brought me junk food and insisted I ice my knees.  Steve's parents won the award for best taking care of injured Grace though.  They took us to the local conservation area for a picnic.  There in the middle of the city is a beautiful oasis.  I haven't been there in years and was thrilled by the beauty.  I couldn't do much walking, so I just sat on the bench and soaked in the beauty.  There is a small man-made lake with a couple of islands.  When we arrived it was raining and shrouded in mist.  Oh so gorgeous!  I sat and drank in the view and felt so much better. It was amazing!

 Where was my wonderful husband?  The dear man has gone to Ottawa for the weekend, so I am on my own.  It's amazing what disasters happen when he goes away.  Last year it was a car accident.  Hopefully a fall will be the worst of it this year.  So I am extra thankful for all of the caring I have received today.  I would appreciate prayer that I will be able to walk tomorrow.  Good night!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Catching a Glimpse

 Ever had those moments when it seems like there's a bigger story happening around you? I just had one of those.  Today was a rough day.  There's nothing quite like having to explain that my stress levels are elevated due to trauma, and no, my husband doesn't hit me.  Unfortunately, I don't think she believed me as she told me that it's okay to talk about it and that I don't have to pretend. *grr*  Unfortunately the stress has begun to take a physical toll on my body and I will have to have a full blood work-up done.  Later this evening I had a challenging conversation that left me feeling hopeless.  Sometimes I feel like my life is some sort of soap opera for the angels. "Look! Even though last time she obeyed God it turned out a horrible mess, she's going to do it again! Isn't her naivete great? She's just too trusting!" (yes, i did just admit that i think the angels mock me. my pastor says he's going to have to re-read his Bible to find those verses.) I just want healing to start, but instead the damage seems to keep getting worse.

 But then I walked to the library and in perfect timing met up with a wonderful friend who was also going to the library.  On our way back we stopped to visit Veronica(not her real name).  Teresa(also not her real name), Veronica and I just had this amazing conversation that covered everything from wedding plans to challenging children to our faith.  All of the stuff that I've been wading through day came up and in a good way.  In that living room, there was no pretense.   We were just three women struggling to live a life that honours God.  It was real. It was honest.  It was gritty.  But it was also beautiful.  And in that room I realized that although this past year has been brutal, I'm so glad that it's happened.  Without this trauma, I wouldn't have been free to invest in those relationships.  I wouldn't be as honest.  But because I have and I am, we are actively working together to be better people, better friends, better mothers and better wives.  We don't gossip, we don't judge and we don't pretend.  But we do pray and love.  I am blessed.  Ladies, I am better for your presence in my life.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kian and Copper

  My youngest son is scared of animals.  I find this bizarre as the other two have no fear of animals.  They love just about anything out there and will hold/pet/approach anything they're allowed to.  Snakes, frogs, lizards, dogs, horses, sheep, name it, they want to pet it.  But not Kian.  Somehow my boy got the fraidy gene.  He likes animals and wants to see them, just not to close.  Until three or so months ago, he was fine.  But one day we were at a friend's house and he let out this blood-curdling scream. I looked over and it was just a cat walking past. Thus began a new phase in our lives: the fear of animals.

 For awhile I resigned myself to his fears and came up with the best way to help him cope.  At Aris' birthday, he took big steps in petting the sheep.  By the end, he was even approaching them on his own.  But when a close friend mentioned she was getting a dog, I was worried.  We often walk home with her or have playdates together.  How would introducing a pet that scared my child change our friendship?  But I should not have worried.

 Kian loves Copper.  In the beginning, Kian expressed a normal amount of trepidation, but he's been eager to greet Copper every school day.  Last week, Kian was very cautious, but by the end of the week he was trying to pet the puppy on his own.  Today Copper climbed onto Kian, licked his legs, arms and face, and put a paw in Kian's face.  Guess what? No crying, screaming or even pouting!  He giggled instead!  I was in shock(the happy type)!  Kian's fear isn't gone as he freaked out yesterday around my SIL's dog, but he's okay with Copper. Yay! I feel much less stressed. :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Victoria Day BBQ

 Community is a central concept for Steve and I.  We're big on community involvement, connecting with our community and building relationships within our community.  This is a concept and a way of life that we talk about, often in relation to how can we better be involved in our community.   Because of this focus, our children attend the local public school, we walk our kids to school(the better to have conversations with people), we're involved at the school, and we build friendships in our community.  We live in a great little complex that's centered around a courtyard.  We live on the inside of the courtyard and have a nice little yard.  Because our yard was just dirt when we moved in, it's now a very different space then everyone else's.  We've covered the dirt with mulch and added a climber and picnic table. Now our yard is a great place to hang out.

 Today our yard was filled with people.  Earlier this week, another friend suggested that we have a bbq together with another family.  We agreed and suggested inviting yet another family.  All of the invitees accepted the invitation and the great community bbq was on.  The food was amazing and plentiful, the kids were relatively well-behaved and the conversation was great and multi-lingual.  Counting Canada, we represented five different countries: Russia, Bahamas, Israel and the Philippines.  This doesn't include countries that individuals may have lived in for a significant period of time.  If we did that, the list would be even longer.

 Altogether, we hung out for about five hours.  I drifted in and out, as did the other women.  Strangely the men mostly stayed outside and chatted while the women wandered.  It wasn't that we were doing the clean-up either.  Building community can be a daunting task, especially when considered from the vantage point of a Canadian winter.  But today we took the time honoured tradition of the May 2-4 bbq and turned it into something more.  It was good and beautiful and delicious.  It was a taste of community.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Birthday Celebration

 I don't like going out in public anymore.  It's not as bad as earlier this fall, but somedays I really don't want to leave my house.  Some days, the fear of rejection and confrontation is too much.  I used to think that if I just smiled nicely and was polite, people would like me.  I bit my tongue a lot and occaisionally went along with stuff that I wasn't comfortable with(opinions or gossip), because I didn't want to make waves.  Then my world blew up.  Suddenly a lot of people didn't like me anymore, even hated me.  It was hard enough dealing with the friends who confronted me and told me in great detail why they thought I was a bad person.  That was devastating in and of itself.  But what turned out to be worse was the strung-out process of finding who else didn't like me anymore.  It was checking out my Facebook account and discovering which people were no longer my friends.  It was walking into church and noticing that not only were some people now avoiding me, if they did talk to me they were mean.  Months later I'm still finding new people who have defriended me.  This slow, silent rejection has eroded my confidence more than the explosive endings did.  Now I am afraid.  Afraid to make new friends, afraid to show my face in public for fear that someone will yell at me.  It's slightly ridiculous, but also crippling.

 A dear friend turned 30 yesterday and her parents threw her a party. We were invited and decided to attend.  It was a drive, but she's worth it.  However, when I accepted the invitation, I didn't count on the fear.  Suddenly on the way there, I began to be overwhelmed.  What if people showed up who hate me?  What if there isn't anybody I know and the other guests reject me?  It was stressful, but I decided to just celebrate my friend.  Upon arriving, we discovered that no, we didn't know anybody else.  That was slightly awkward at first, but my friend's mother took us under her wing.  She had provided beachballs and bubbles for our kids and was incredibly friendly.  Apparently I had met her before but I couldn't remember where until we left.  She kept bringing up details about our family and I was trying to figure out how she knew them.  It was awkward, but funny. :)

 We had a great chat with her and then began meeting some of the other guests.  The lunch was great.  Our kids behaved, we have fun and it was great to celebrate a truly special woman.  I was so blessed by the kindness of a host.  She treated me like I was special, even when I couldn't remember how she knew me.  Being loved on without knowing why was really healing to my damaged soul today.  Happy birthday to JB, and a big thank you to your mom! :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Abundance of Food and Friends

 Today was packed with both food and friends.  This morning I went to the market with J and then we cleaned the house together.  She is amazing! I have to say that I'm in awe of her mad cleaning skillz and that after tackling my living room she is still my friend.  That girl is wonderful!  Our trip to the market was fantastic with me loading up with local asparagus, spinach, pork chops marinated in roasted garlic, rhubarb, and organic strawberries.  After our shopping, we grabbed coffee and dodged raindrops on our way back to the van.  Even the rain couldn't keep the grin off of my face. :)

 J was helping me clean because we had other friends coming over for lunch.  Both my older children share  classes with the daughters and they are beautiful little girls.  Over the past year we've began building a friendship and sharing meals.  They're Indian so we've had some wonderful food and I was very nervous about reciprocating.  Thankfully the grown-ups loved what I made and we had a nice visit.

 Then this evening Steve and I went on a date.  It was lovely!  As a thank-you for all the hard work Steve does, our church gave us a gift certificate to the Keg.  I love steak which made this a great gift for us.  But the best part was just getting to sit and chat.  We had a great conversation about other careers we could have pursued and what we like about where we are now.  We also talked about church and community involvement.  It was nice to have a deep conversation that wasn't interrupted by or centered on our small children.  Steve holds the position of chief friend in my life, so it's very nice to actually enjoy our friendship.

 On the whole I was so blessed today by great food and friends.  I feel so blessed. :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Day of Blessings

 Today I was blessed with a day without pain, a walk in the quiet evening with a good friend, tea with a good friend, a beautiful walk in the afternoon with a good friend, a family date at the local park complete with Poppa, and an evening party with our friends.  I am feeling very tired and also very spoiled.  But much thanks to the Father of lights, giver of all good gifts. :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bad Night

 Around 2am last night, I woke up in serious pain.  The pain continued for the next four hours leaving me unable to sleep.  It sucked!  So today I am thankful for hot water bottles, painkillers, gravol, bejewelled blitz, and a husband who took the day off work.  Bejewelled blitz may sound a wee bit odd as something to do be thankful for, but concentrating on the game helped me cope with the pain during the wee hours.  I slept most of the day and although I'm slightly dehydrated, I feel much better.  Hopefully I won't have another attack tonight.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


 Butter is a staple in my house.  I love butter so much that we stock both blocks and sticks of butter.  When butter is listed on the grocery list, I always request at least two just so we don't run out.  That's how much I love butter.  Don't get me wrong, we do use margarine but just for things like sandwiches, toast and greasing pans.  Also Aris eats it.  And butter.  She's really an equal-opportunity baking ingredient eater.  But I love butter best.

 I used to like East Side Mario's.  The house salad is fantastic and the garlic homestyle bread was amazing. But then they started getting chinzy with the ingredients.  As if that wasn't bad enough, without any warning ESM switched to using margarine instead of butter. *gasp*  I know, the sheer horror of it all!  After a terrible date night there, we vowed never to go to ESM again.

 Until today I have been successful in keeping that vow.  But today was my sister's birthday and she had a get together at ESM.  While looking at the half-price appetizers menu, I randomly decided on nachos.  I haven't had them in awhile and nachos are yummy.  Am I ever glad I did!  ESM has the most amazing nachos ever! So good!  Maybe I will go there again, but only for the nachos.  :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sweet Potato Burritos

 I'm really not sure what to say about today.  It was an okay day.  My mind was spinning in a thousand directions over yesterday's meeting and not all of them were good.  I ended up playing computer games because my mind just wouldn't stop.  By the time Steve got home I was very much on edge.  But I tried a new recipe that may have broken my blender, but it was still good.  After dinner, the evening went very well.  So I'm thankful for a day that ended well, regardless of how the middle went.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Looking Back

 Tonight I met with my pastoral couple.  We sat in my living room, drinking tea, to discuss forgiveness.  This wasn't a theological discussion or even a theoretical one, rather we were contemplating the logistics and wisdom of my forgiving an "enemy" who has shown very little remorse.  The interesting part of this is that if asked even a month ago about me offering her forgiveness, I would have very quickly and forcefully rejected the notion.  In fact on Sunday when this idea first popped into my head, I scoffed.  But after some interesting conversations I decided that this was worth pursuing.  So tonight we talked and planned.  I'm scared. I don't know if this couple will meet with us, I don't know what will happen if they do.  I don't know what will happen if they don't meet with us.  But I'm so grateful to have moved this far along, to have healed even this little tiny bit to be willing to offer forgiveness first. I think I'm slightly crazy, but then again isn't that what grace is about?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Birthday Dinner

 I'm going to have to type this quickly as my computer is making noise, but I just wanted to say that I am thankful that Aris did so well today.  She often is tired and overwhelmed Sunday evenings which makes for a rough time.  Birthdays are typically worse as she is hyper and needs everything to go her way.  We were really worried about tonight especially as we got her back an hour and a half later than planned.  However we still decided to go to my parents for her family party.  Aris was golden!  I am so impressed(and surprised) by how well she behaved.  As a bonus she didn't have a meltdown at bedtime nor did she get out of bed.  Yay!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Birthday Party Madness

 Tomorrow my little girl turns seven years old.  She had her party this morning at a local farm that specializes in horses.  Aris has been asking for a riding party ever since she attended one two years ago.  I didn't think it was in our budget, but her paternal grandparents decided to help us throw the party.  Although I was incredibly nervous this morning, the party ended up being fantastic.

 This was the first birthday party that I haven't been in charge of.  All I had to do was invite people, provide food and show up.  I was both relieved and stressed all at the same time.  This morning when I was feeling particularly anxious I asked Steve to pray for peace.  Every time I was tempted to stress after that I just told myself to relax and remember that God is in control.  Even though we hit every red light on our way across town, we still managed to arrive on time.  And I wasn't a big ball of stress when we got there.

 There is so much I could say about this morning but I am so tired that my words are escaping me.  The party was lovely.  The kids were well behaved, we had enough of everything, and all the grown-ups got along too.  There was an ewe wandering about the property with two little lambs alternately frolicking and lazing about.  Kian loved the sheep and the lambs.  He's really into identifying family groups right now so he kept pointing at the ram and saying "daddy seep! daddy!"  Kian also enjoyed petting one of the free-range hens.

 Aris was hysterical! She enjoyed herself immensely and was on very good behaviour.  What was funny was how much she likes to be in charge.  She organized the present giving and led the singing of happy birthday.  The best part was that she did it well.  We had one small issue where she started to get upset, but one of her friends came over and wrapped an arm around her shoulders.  Aris calmed down and we proceeded with eating cake.  She was upset because she just couldn't wait another minute to open her presents and yet her very mean mother made her eat cake first.  The nerve!

 Birthday parties can be incredibly nerve-wracking especially in terms of behaviour.  I was so blessed to see Aris respond well and demonstrate her strengths.  She truly is a great leader.  We're working on the being obedient to authorities, respecting others and the art of compromise, but today she led very well.  I was proud of her.  Happy birthday, Miss Aris! :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Little Miss Anthropologist

 My kids are creative.  Also smart but that's another story.  As evidence of her creativity, my almost 7 year old decided to study her brothers at bedtime.  For years I have maintained the position that men are extremely different from women.  Getting married has solidified that belieft.  Sometimes when talking to(or observing) Steve, I feel like we're from alien planets.  Boys sure are different!

 As a member of a minority gender in our house, Aris has decided to study the majority by observing their rituals.  No, really she is!  Earlier this week, she decided that she was curious about their bedtime and floated a proposal that she be allowed to attend boys' bedtime as a silent observer.  Down she went at bedtime with paper and pen to observe.  She took notes and made a full report to me after her observation period.  I'm not exactly sure what she's going to learn from this, but she's having fun being an anthropologist.

 The creativity of my children blows me away.  As a child, this is not something I would have come up with.  As a child, I didn't know how to play and I didn't particularly enjoy playing.  Just hand me a book and I was happy.  But my kids love to play.  They are so creative and come up with all sorts of interesting scenarios.   I love watching and listening to them at play.  I don't know how playing is something they understand when I don't, but I am so thankful that they do.  Their play brings so much joy to my heart! Except of course when that play involves throwing a wooden rod across the room and breaking plates.  That part I don't enjoy so much.  But the rest is amazing. :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


 Kian and I were walking up the stairs today counting.  I said one number and he said the next.  This was rather impressive although there were some numbers he didn't know, but that was okay.  We got to my room and as I placed him on the bed I said twelve.  He didn't respond, so I asked "What comes after twelve?" Enthusiastically he yelled "TAMPOLINE!!!"  So now you know when counting the sequence is eleven, twelve, trampoline, fourteen. :)

 In other news, I manage to survive today.  I think I've figured out a way to help cope with the exhaustion and did much much better today.  I cleaned most of my kitchen, made bread, cleaned up the mess from making bread, made supper and made a fantastic dessert.  Yay! I'm very very thankful for a better day. :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Borrowed Grace

 My biggest bad habit is laziness.  It's not so much being lazy as it is being overwhelmed by the task at hand.  So instead of tackling the task, I get overwhelmed and just don't start.  Over the past year I've been really working on getting work done instead of procrastinating.  Since I was the Queen of Procrastination, I like to think I've made some progress and am now only a Duchess of Procrastination.  Obviously I still have a long way to go.

 Recently I've been extremely tired.  We're currently not sure what's wrong because I'm refusing to go to the doctor.  Yes, I'm a wee bit of an idiot, but I want to control for certain things before I take the time and energy to go to the doctors office.  Typically when I go in, often with all of my kids in tow *shudder*, the doctor listens and then brushes me off.  Right now I don't have the patience to deal with that, so I'm doing my own experiments first.  Unfortunately, this means that it is really hard to get anything done around my house.  Being tired is one thing, being light headed, dizzy and so tired I can't get out a complete sentence is another.   I do what I can around the house, but Steve has to work and I have to have enough energy to cope with three very energetic kids.

 But because my biggest bad habit is laziness and procrastination, I feel so guilty all the time!  It is hard to separate out what is a genuine need to rest and what is just me being lazy again.  Which would tend to explain why I push myself instead of actually resting.  That and the fact that my house is driving me crazy.  The other day I called Steve at work and told him I needed to borrow grace.  He said "huh?" So I explained what was going on and that I was being really hard on myself, but needed him to extend grace to me so I could in turn extend it to myself.  He did and it worked. :)

 Today was another bad day.  I really wanted to cook dinner.  I got some chores done today, but then was a wreck by the time I got the kids home from school.  My wonderful husband had to extend more grace to me and then he made supper for us.  I am so blessed by my wonderful man.  He is such a helpful blessing. (Helpful ranks very highly on the list of good adjectives in our house.  This seems to have come with having children).  Not only did he make dinner, Steve also gave Zane a fauxhawk.  Details and pics to follow(I hope!).

Monday, May 10, 2010

Babies and Sentences

 Recently Kian has entered an argumentative stage.  He doesn't want to do anything I tell him, especially if it involves putting on clothes.  Instead he screams.  I don't like this stage.  As a result, this morning did not start out well.  But then Kian was extremely adorable.

 He's started speaking in sentences.  Some of them aren't complete like "Dora favourite", but it's just so cute!  He's also started saying "Yes, it is" although that one is both cute and annoying since this means Kian is now arguing with me.  I don't remember the other two starting quite this  young.  He also asks "why?"  This morning two of his favourite words were "dangerous" and "favourite".  It was adorable!

 My dear friend V had a baby a week and a half ago.  She lives in my complex and we often walk over to visit.  Kian was very excited to go see his friends, especially the baby.  He had to go over and wave at the baby as soon as we got there.  Since the wee one is so young Kian isn't allowed to hold him yet, but he really wants to.  I had to remind Kian to be gentle a couple of times, but he was mostly really good with the baby.  It's so cute how much he loves babies.

 Although Kian is in a really challenging stage right now, I'm loving watching him grow and develop.  His language skills are developing quickly often in really funny ways.  Kian makes us laugh on a regular basis. It's neat seeing his memory develop as he's starting to remember songs and house rules. I love my KiKi bear very much!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Morning Gifts

 I am not a morning person!  At one point in my life I was, but after many years of sleep deprivation I prefer to sleep for as long as I can.  My husband is wonderful and lets me get up slowly in the morning.  Since my brain doesn't function well in the early hours, he also cooks breakfast.  After watching me attempt to feed people in the morning, he has come to the conclusion that this is safest way to ensure we all are fed.

 Last night I went to bed with a brutal migraine.  It took me quite awhile to get to sleep which meant I was not at all pleased when little boys crawled into bed with me this morning.  Fortunately their daddy shooed them downstairs to feed them.  Then he came back up with my Mother's Day present.  Steve warned me on Friday that he hadn't bought what I requested.  Instead he handed me a little gift bag filled with some of my favourite treats: ginger chews, organic chocolate bars(mint and ginger flavours), and powdered chai mix.  I felt so incredibly loved!

 The rest of the day was interesting.  Zane threw up in the car(in a bag fortunately), my family had a crisis and Aris had an explosive meltdown.  The sermon had some things I needed to hear, my friend came to church and then to lunch with me and we had yummy steak for dinner.  I think my waking gift helped keep the positives from overshadowing the negatives today.  For that I am incredibly thankful.  Happy Mother's Day! :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Snow White and Inspired by Seuss.

  This afternoon we attended Aris' dance recital.  Each year her dance studio puts on an amazing performance.  The first part is a story, the next a collection of pieces around a theme.  Last  year Aris was a hedgehog in Alice in Wonderland while this year she was a jewel in Snow White.  Both years she has danced beautifully. We are very proud of our little dancer.

 Aris joined us at intermission as did her dad and Steve's parents.  We had been sitting in different spots, but as my parents and Terence's parents left at intermission, we had space for everyone who was left to join us.  Aris was thrilled to watch the (mostly) big kids dance.  The show was absolutely amazing.  Aris danced to the Forest Gump suite which sounded very familiar to me during rehearsals.  It turns out that I played that piece in band which would be why it sounded so very familiar.  Steve and I both enjoyed the performance with our favourite piece being a large en-pointe number.  The dancers were wearing bright polka-dotted tutus.  The only problem with the recital was that all the colour and movement was making my headache worse.  But I survived.

 After the recital, the four of us went out for dinner.  Aris had requested King's Buffet with just her parents, so we left the boys with a babysitter.  Our friends had graciously agreed to babysit during the recital, but we were nervous about leaving them during dinner as well.  We called several times, but kept being reassured that both the boys and the parents were fine and to enjoy our dinner.  So we did. Aris' dad came with us and we had a lovely meal the four of us all together.  Recently things have been tense so it was really nice to have such a nice relaxing dinner and great food.  At the end of our meal, an elderly couple came up to us and gave Aris a balloon and paper crown.  It had been the man's birthday and he didn't want to keep his balloon or crown, so he shared with Aris.  She was delighted!

 It was a great afternoon and we had a quiet evening to finish it.  Now I'm going to drink my tea and finish my book.  Life is good. :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Words that sound the same...

 Tonight J and I went grocery shopping.  We had a great time at the grocery store and came home giggling. Our husbands were a little suspicious that we had that much fun shopping, but what can I say?  Doing things together makes life so much better.  :)

 However, J did look at me a little strangely when I thanked her for going grocery shopping with me.  It turns out that in Russian(or maybe it was Ukrainian), the word for money sounds a lot like grocery.  J kept wondering why I was saying that we were going to the money store.  We laughed.   Cross-cultural friendships are great for laughing. :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ghost Rabbit

 Kian is slightly stubborn.  Well, the slightly may be an understatement...anyways, meal times end up being interesting.  Typically I convince him to eat his food by pretending that it is some sort of animal and that he is a large carnivore.  But tonight we were eating a vegetarian meal.  It just isn't as much fun to pretend he's a dinosaur when his food doesn't make squeaking sounds.

 Unfortunately, this presents a problem when he doesn't want to eat his food and it's not meat.  Enter the rabbit.   My mother has problems with rabbits that eat her garden.  So now when we're eating vegetables, he gets to be one of the scary rabbits that eats grammy's garden.   When he started eating his carrots, he put down his fork, covered his eyes and then started trying to eat his carrots.  He was being a ghost rabbit! Needless to say, trying to eat his carrots with his eyes closed didn't work.  Aris stepped in and fed him his carrots so that the ghost rabbit didn't start crying. It was too cute!  Vegetables beware! The ghost rabbit is hungry! :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dancing Jewels

 My daughter dances.  On Saturday she will be participating in her studio's annual dance recital.  This year they are performing "Snow White" and Aris is a jewel.  She looks very beautiful in her costume.  As part of her preparation she had an in-studio dress rehearsal and an in-theatre dress rehearsal.  Tonight was the in-theatre rehearsal.

 Last year I sat with another mom I know and we chatted.  This year I sat with Aris' class.  The kids sat in front and all the parents sat together. We had a nice chat as did our little dancers.  Then finally it was their turn.  I could not stop laughing!  Aris' personality comes through her dancing so clearly.  The girls were so cute and funny with all their little girl mannerisms. I laughed so hard my stomach ached, but oh was it good for my soul! Hopefully this means that I will be able to observe the performance without cackling hysterically. That could be awkward. :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

 Last week was pretty harsh and this week did not begin well.  However, I think that this week may be on the road to redemption.  Yesterday was good.  Today was better.  I was productive this morning and made bread while accomplishing other chores.  Kian had two baths today and each of his siblings was bathed once.  My bathroom has not floated away yet.   We walked home through the woods today and saw many beautiful wild flowers and several colourful butterflies.  The crab apple trees smell fantastic!  On the way to the library I was serenaded with bird song.  The lovely J cooked us dinner tonight and we enjoyed both the fantastic food and company.  Then another friend came by for tea while a former neighbour dropped in to say hi.  It has been a day full of beauty and friends.

 While soothing, the past few days haven't magically erased all the pain and doubts I'm wrestling with.  Rather they've just eased the turmoil enough that I can think a little clearer.  I'm choosing to trust that one day I'll have good answers.  Until then I'm going to continue to enjoy the butterflies, flowers, friends and food.  For these blessings, I am deeply thankful.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cross-cultural Friendship

 In some ways, this is a funny post because although I spent the weekend attending cross-cultural training, this post has absolutely nothing to with that.  As I may have mentioned before, we live in a very multi-cultural area.  My dear neighbours are from Israel/Russia and this post is about them.

 When J. arrived in Canada about 7 weeks ago, she spoke very little in the way of English.  Although she had attended classes in English before arriving in Canada, her language skills were not very strong.  Several years ago, I would have shut down and been unable to build a friendship with her.  But because of all that God has been doing in my life over the past couple of years and because I have an understanding of her culture, we have become close friends. There is still a language barrier, but we are persevering(okay, so I lied. Perseverance is the third step in CQ or cultural intelligence).

 Last night was bad.  This morning was pretty horrible as well.  I had reached the end of my rope and I think my wonderful husband wasn't sure about leaving me to go to work.   I could barely take care of myself and was in such a black place.  I walked out the door only to find J on my patio.  I didn't want to face her or anyone else.  She took one look at me and gave me a big hug.  It's hard to explain how much her hug and concern meant, but it was huge.  By the time we returned from dropping the kids at school, I felt almost normal again.  Later, we spent some time at the mall together before picking up our children.  Because I wasn't quite capable of taking care of myself today, I ended up not eating but taking the bus to the mall with Kian on my back.  This was not a wise idea.  When I became extremely faint because of this, the wonderful J. took care of me.  Her care and friendship were so good for my poor bruised soul today.  She also makes a mean salad.

 The interesting part of all of this was that I didn't want to talk to anyone today.  I haven't felt that I can talk to my friends.  Instead I've increasingly felt that if I'm open with anybody, they'll unfriend me.  In order to hurry that process along and avoid being hurt, I've started being very blunt with people.  There's nothing quite like a very honest answer to "how are you doing?' to scare people off.  If that doesn't work, I pull out the avoidance technique.  Right now, I just wanted to completely withdraw from everybody.  Instead, God sent my wonderful friend who loves me even though my house is a mess, my kids are very loud, and it's obvious that I've been crying.  I didn't have to tell her all about my problems, I'm not sure that would have crossed the language barrier intact.  But I received her love and unconditional acceptance, and through her friendship, so experienced the same from God.  Now that I'm bawling again, I will go to bed.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dancing Church

 Sorry for the break in writing. I've been emotionally and physically exhausted.  To be honest, I still am.  Life has been pretty crazy recently and I'm having difficulty processing.  Tonight is no exception, unfortunately.

 I spent the weekend attending cross-cultural training in Hamilton.  This was a very neat and encouraging experience.  Unfortunately, I ended up missing a birth I was supposed to attend.  This is devastating.  I'm still trying to deal with the ramifications of that.  But on the bright side, we attended a Congolese church this morning. I grew up in a charismatic church, so I feel very much at home in this type of service.  I also enjoyed seeing the bright outfits.  How I wish I was black! Being in this very different service really ministered to my heart.  I don't have the words to describe it right now, but I didn't want to leave.  The fact that we were worshipping in French was also very special as I have been learning the language since I was six.  Worshipping God in my second language was a new and special experience. :)  I was very blessed to attend this lovely little church.