Saturday, April 30, 2011


 And it's weekend again! After the long weekend, the week seemed to fly by.  Suddenly we're back on Saturday again.  No complaining here! Today was the kick-off to our community barbeques.  During the summer, we try to have one at least once a month.  It's a great time of hanging out with our neighbours.  Less people were able to stay than usual, but we had great weather for it.  I was excited that a new friend came and stayed to hang out.  We were also celebrating Veronica's son's birthday.  I can't believe it's already been a year since I attended cross-cultural training!

  Just now, I got sidetracked and started reading some of my old posts.  I think I may have been a better writer back then.  Reading through my archives brought back some great memories, some of which I had forgotten.  Apparently Kian was a ghost rabbit.  My children do so many interesting things that I forget many of them.  I try to tell their stories so that I don't forget as much.  The older children ask often to hear stories from when they were babies.  A particular favourite is the crocodile story.

 One day when Aris was two years old, we were at my parent's house.  Aris had been pretending to be a crocodile for about 4 months at this point.  She liked to use her arms as jaws and chomped just about everything, including the toilet.  When we were out in public, she would crawl along the floor because she was a crocodile.  (My youngest has decided that he is a doggy.  We get him to do things by bribing him with imaginary doggy treats.  It works!)

 While hanging out with my parents, Aris suddenly bit me on the behind.  As I was not expecting to be bitten on my bottom, I screamed.  Then I put Aris in time-out.  She sobbed pitifully which I attributed to being disciplined.  After a minute or so, she apologized.  Her apology broke my heart.  Sniffling, with her little lisp, she said " Mommy, I sowwy for tending to be a cwocodile." With a great big hug, I forgave her.  After the hug, we had a talk about not actually biting people while pretending to be crocodile.  Such is life in my house!

 My little crocodile will soon be eight years old.  I can't believe it! She's moved on from chomping things to gardening.  She moved some plants from the forest to a patch on the edge of the forest that she has christened her garden.  Aris waters them, gives them dirt and worm friends.  Today she moved some of the mulch from the main garden over to her little garden.  She also moved over the planter of flowers that my mom gave me.  Her garden did look very pretty that way, but someone(I suspect my husband)  moved it back to my garden.

 I've struggled this week.  But after an evening out and some reflection back, I have much more peace.  My children are such crazy little blessings.  Their antics add much texture and richness to my life, even though I don't always see it immediately.  Perhaps my goal ought to be purposely choosing to see those blessings, rather than getting bogged down in the details(like the child running around naked outside).

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cloudy Moon

 I was going to write about memorizing Scripture.  But I'm tired.  The words just won't come. So instead I'll share these pictures of the moon.

 I don't often like clouds, especially not the metaphorical ones.  But I must admit that clouds lend themselves to very good pictures.

 And that is the end of my deep thoughts. Good night all!

I'm linking with Imperfect Prose.  Dear ones, please pray for my Mommy?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Skill!

 I learned a new skill yesterday.  Well, I've been informed that I can't expect to be accomplished yet, so perhaps it is more accurate to say that I began to learn a new skill yesterday.  Kate was up for the weekend. We had fun attending a Good Friday youth service, going to see a movie, and just hanging out.  I'm not sure why, but I mentioned that I had a sewing machine. Oh, I think we talked about going to a craft store so I could get different thread for darning socks. Somehow it came out that I had a sewing machine that I don't know how to use.

 Our plans suddenly changed from visiting the craft store to playing with my newly-inherited sewing machine.  As it turns out, this is a very nice machine.  Kate was drooling.  We started working through my mending pile, Kate teaching me skills as we mended.  This worked out very well.  She understands what stresses me, and thus was able to teach me without my head exploding.  I don't do very well with learning things like sewing. Machines scare me because I'm good at breaking them.

 But I didn't break this one! I currently feel rather victorious as I have started to learn to sew and my mending pile is quite a bit smaller. Yay!

 Now all I need is a best friend to teach me how to make caramel properly. *hint hint*

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Random, disjointed happenings

It's late. I should be in bed, or at least on my way. But I have been too silent in this space recently. As my physical voice threatens to disappear, I wanted to be heard here more regularly. I just wish I had more to say.

In between church services yesterday, I made chocolate covered cream eggs. This turned into a bit of a family affair.  My older children helped mix the cream flavours, Aris mixed strawberry while Zane did peanut butter, his favourite.  Kian was supposed to help with the coconut, but I had to remove it as all he was interested in doing was eating the sugary dough. *sigh*  Both Aris and Zane started to help shape the dough, but soon gave up.  Instead my wonderful husband was dragged into helping.  He shaped eggs, stirred chocolate and dipped eggs.  Aris also dipped eggs and topped them so we could identify the flavours.  This was a first for me, as I normally just make people guess. I feel so proud of myself for being this organized! *grins*

 Today I made hot cross buns.  This was much less of a family affair, although my eldest did dreg the fruit in flour and she stirred for me as well.  Thankfully my littlest was too busy playing outside or he would have helped me "knead" the dough..which in Kian-speak means eat the dough while Mommy is trying to knead it.  He is very "helpful".  Thankfully he's also really cute! This recipe calls for piped dough crosses.  I'm quite enjoying the end result, but found piping too hard on my hands.  Once again, my wonderful husband was called in to help.  Not only did he help relatively cheerfully, he also found the most efficient way to pipe said dough crosses.  I always learn a lot when my husband helps out.  He's pretty clever. :)

 One of my BFFs is in town.  I enjoy her visits so much.  Last night we went to a youth service.  I know were not exactly youth anymore, but I still praise God best to loud music.  Tonight we went to see "Soul Surfer".  It was good, although slightly cheesy.  Not exactly cheesy, just more Hollywood tends to depict faith rather awkwardly.  I didn't expect to cry that much, not sure why.  But it was a beautiful movie.  I think I'm going to try to get the book out of the library.

 Speaking of books, Lent is almost over! I've fudged a bit today on eating, but passed on cheesecake after the movie.  That should count, right? I have however been very good about not reading fiction.  My library book is due on the 26th, so I will probably read it either tomorrow or Monday.  Yay for reading fiction again!

 The flowers in my woods are starting to bloom. I didn't have time to take pictures today, but I shall head out with my camera soon.  It looks like the first blooms in my garden in appearing.  Unfortunately, it also appears that little feet stepped on said blooms.  I will admire them anyways.  I keep reciting "People are more important than plants. People are more important than plants."  Usually it works.

 A dear friend emailed me to share very encouraging, uplifting words about my husband.  I haven't yet emailed her back, but those words meant a lot to both of us.  I value my husband very highly, thinking him a man of great character, integrity and wisdom.  It has been hard to see him so very frustrated and discouraged.  Although the situation is not yet fully resolved, these words from our friends encouraged us both greatly.

 This week held my third and final practice birth.  Now I can begin completing the rest of the certification requirements.  I hope to have everything done before my birthday, if not sooner.  Tonight my husband registered a domain for my business.  He also began to design a logo for me.  I'm scared and  excited as well as very thankful for Steve.

 He just yelled down the stairs, inquiring if I'm coming to bed. I guess that's my cue. Good night, all!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I've been quiet recently, a most unusual state of being for me.  Typically I have more words that I know what to do with.  Often excess words will spill out while I sleep to keep my brain from exploding.  I'm not a quiet person. Yet I have found myself somewhat stilled recently, especially in this space.

 I think I'm waiting. We've been waiting for awhile, trapped in this in-between state, having left our home church and yet still walking through reconciliation.  It's a strange place to be. But the end seems near(I'm not getting my hopes up!), hopefully coming with the spring weather.  I'm not getting my hopes up for that either after Sunday's snowstorm.  I know I live in Canada, but this is ridiculous!

 Until yesterday, I was waiting for a baby.  It's a bit odd living on-call, waiting for a baby to make up his mind. I never know what my day will look like, how the next call or text will change my plans.  And even once the baby is definitely coming, I don't know what each labour will hold either.

 Yesterday summed up this winter well.  There was concern at 34 weeks over premature labour, but the baby did not come.  Then again later, we thought he was coming.  And again.  It was more nerve-wracking for the mother than for me.  She went past her due-date and yesterday, the OB decided to induce. We thought it would be quick and dirty, hard and fast. But it wasn't.  We waited and waited, labouring together for 8 hours.  Nothing much had really changed except the pain.  Suddenly, her body went into high gear and that baby flew out.  It was fast, unexpected and absolutely beautiful. (My nose is pricking, tears welling up as I remember).

 Waiting has been hard this year. Sometimes, it has felt like nothing has changed, no matter what we've tried.  We've been waiting for reconciliation, restoration, healing.  It's been painfully frustrating.  Healing has been coming, ever so slowly.  But now as I reflect, I wonder if I am on the cusp of seeing this spiritual baby born?  Perhaps, much like yesterday's birth, events are about to spring into motion, unfolding in an unexpectedly quick fashion.

 As with any labour, I don't know how this will progress and what the outcome will be.  But for now, I wait, preparing my heart for whatever will come.

Linking with Imperfect Prose:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Magical Moment

 I wrote this post last week and have been silent since.  As I still have very little words, I'm offering this up for Imperfect Prose. 

 Thursday has become my visiting day.  Every Thursday morning, I drop my oldest and the neighbour boy off at school, take my middle boy to dance class, after which I have tea with a friend.  Some days I lunch with my grandmother after the tea/playdate.  Today was one of the fuller Thursdays, one in which something magical occurred.

 My grandmother lives with one of her sons, the only one who never married.  Uncle Dennis and my father are only 13 months apart in age.  Growing up, they did everything together. My dad was even held back a grade so he could be with his brother and keep him in line.  Most of my dad's stories from when he was little start with "One time, me and Dennis..."  They were like peas in a pod.

 As they grew older, their paths diverged.  Responsibility seems bred into my dad. He quit school at 16 to work in a factory, worked hard on the family farm, and parented his youngest brother.  My uncle went a different way, falling in with a crowd that did drugs.  Family legend offers up several different versions of what happened next, but when he was 18 my uncle took(or was forcibly given) a massive overdose.  He should have died.  He didn't, but was left severely damaged.  I'm not sure if he's actually schizophrenic or if that's just the easiest way to describe it.  All of this happened long before my birth, so I have never known my uncle whole.

 Consequently, my uncle was never someone I or any of the cousins warmed up to.  But as an adult, I have been trying to be kind, to have a conversation with him while I'm there, even sometimes to offer a hug.  Lately my goal has been to make him smile even once during each visit.  Reminiscing about his adventures with my dad typically brings a smile to his face.  Something else did today.

 At dinner, my uncle sat next to my youngest.  During the meal, Kian would turn to my uncle and smile at him.  Kian put his feet on Dennis' legs or made faces at him.  At those times, I would see my uncle offer up a shy smile.  Then, just as we were leaving, I asked Kian if he would like to give my uncle a hug.  Without hesitation, Kian wrapped his arms around Dennis' legs.  Unexpectedly, Dennis reached down and swooped Kian up into his arms.  As he held my little boy, he had the biggest smile I have ever seen on his face. I can't even type this without crying as it was such a beautiful special moment.  My uncle has one of the most beautiful smiles I've ever seen, much like my father's.  He has so little reason to smile that when he does it is even more precious.

 I don't know how to finish this post. I'm bad at summing up.  But I must say that today's encounter causes me to yearn for Heaven because there my uncle will be whole.  His brain will be healed, he won't be scary anymore and he will have much to smile about.  It's easy to get wrapped up in this existence to the point that the thought of Jesus returning fills us with dread because we have so much to accomplish.  I've been asking God to make me hunger for my heavenly home(or I've been thinking I should ask-I can't remember which).  After today, I am a wee bit more homesick for heaven and filled with a desire to see my uncle, to see all of us, healed and perfect, the way we were originally meant to be.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


 As I pondered my offering for Imperfect Prose this week, I didn't want to write anything heavy. No, I wanted to break out of my angsty, storm-ridden posts to share instead something light and frothy like the eggs whites I was beating this afternoon.  However, the more I thought about this, it became clear that light and frothy was not in my nature. Strangely, all I could think about was food.  Next I thought about the deliciousness of curry.

 Although I am slightly different and yet somewhat normal, like poutine* with butter chicken instead of brown gravy(deliciousness I tell you, sheer deliciousness!), I am sad to note that I am just not exotic enough to be curry.  This saddens my heart greatly as curry is one of the best things in life.  Dear curry(and other Indian food), I love you.  Yes, I made beef korma with spiced basmati rice for dinner. Yes, it was delicious.

 Chocolate is also one of my great loves.  And the more I thought of it, the more I seem to resemble dark chocolate.  I can be a little bitter, a little dark at time.  I'm not always what is expected.  I like my chocolate paired with interesting things, like chili peppers, rose peppercorns or salt. (At this point I got distracted and started drooling over these. Unfortunately my husband had already left work so I couldn't ask him to buy cream so I could make them. There is always tomorrow. *grins*) Dark chocolate is best enjoyed in small doses as am I, as sometimes I can be a bit much.  It melts easily, and adds flavour to many dishes from sweet(aforementioned brownies) to savoury(mole sauce).

 For many years, I was not a fan of dark chocolate.  But I was curious so I tried it.  I wasn't immediately convinced, but the more I tried it, the more I liked it.  Now, I'd almost rather have dark chocolate than milk unless it is milk chocolate with hot masala.  If I had to choose, that would be a very close call.

  My relationship with my husband began much the same.  He wasn't interested in me, at least not romantically.  But he was curious about this young single mom attending Bible study with a baby on her hip.  He started talking to me(well, to the baby at first).  We became friends and well, he wasn't always sure what to think.  The more time passed, the more he decided that he really liked me and that just like dark chocolate is now my favourite, so that young lady became his favourite. He still likes me. :)

 My life is not unicorns, butterflies and soft kitty cats although it is filled with "Soft Kitty" sing-alongs.  Some parts are dark and bitter, others are sweet or just different, but my life, is filled with deep richness even in the harder, darker times just like dark chocolate. And that, I think, is okay.

 Hoping I didn't make you too hungry, I join with Imperfect Prose

Note: Poutine, originally a Quebec dish, in its most basic form consists of fries, cheese curds and gravy. If you haven't tried it, you should. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sore, Tired and Happy

 As I sit here with aching quads and a sensitive bottom, all I can think is that today was awesome!

 My body aches because for the first time in at least 15 years, I rode a bike.  Last year my dad offered to fix up my old bike for my birthday present, but I declined in favour of something else.  However, I asked him to fix it up for this birthday, just early so I could actually start riding in the spring.  When he pulled my bike out of the shed, he discovered that it was in horrible condition.  As this bike was my dreaded nemesis and the reason I stopped biking, I shed no tears for its demise.  Instead, I skipped(figuratively) happily to Canadian Tire, Daddy in tow.  After a few minutes of browsing, I found what seemed to be the perfect bike.  It was even the right size as I'm on the smaller side.  But my dad wouldn't let me buy the first bike I looked at.  Home we went with the intent of checking out a bicycle store today.

 Today just happened to be the 46th Annual Elmira Maple Syrup Festival which is a bit of a tradition in our family.  My sister even came home from Ottawa to attend.  My parents and sisters went together while Steve and I took our own sweet time with the boys.  The weather was beautiful this year, with no rain, snow or sleet and we had a great time.  I even made some very healthy food choices.  Turning down the cotton candy, profusion of maple flavoured goods, multiple deep fried options, I instead chose a mostly healthy samosa and Indian lentil soup from a booth run by my second favourite Indian restaurant. I was very proud of myself.  Steve was shocked as I'm typically the deep-fried and sugar addict.  He couldn't believe his eyes when I didn't eat the cotton candy. :)

 While walking to the festival from where we had parked, we noticed that someone had tapped the trees in their front yard.  Opening the lids, I showed my children the sap and gave them a brief lesson in maple syrup production.  On the way back to the car, we peaked again.  My kids were fascinated.  Zane had been complaining of a sore tummy due to too much cotton candy consumption, but soon recovered after we began contemplating tapping our own trees.  We live next to a mostly maple forest, aptly named the Sugarbush Park. This discussion led to a hunt for sugaring supplies.  After a hint led us in the wrong direction, we ended up getting the buckets from the family farm. It was a treat to visit even briefly the farm I spent so much time at as a child.  After getting the buckets, we headed home to start tapping the trees.

 My dad was tired out from his time at the fair, so he was more than happy to get me the first bike.  By this time, my husband had accessed the flyers online and checked out my selection.  He approved.  So off to the store we went.  I am now the very proud owner of a bike.  After arriving back home, I took my bike out for a spin.  Did I mention that I haven't biked in at least 15 years?  My ride lasted all of about 7 minutes and was I ever sore at the end of it!  It took about 45 minutes for my lungs to stop aching. I guess I'm really out of shape.  I have a lot of work to do before the 10K I'm going to bike in October with Aris.

 Even though I'm sore, I'm very excited.  We've been boiling down sap on our stove today, I have a new bike and I've been organizing our cupboards.  It's been a very good day!  Hopefully with the help of some Tylenol, I will have a good sleep in preparation for a day of Sabbath renewal tomorrow.