Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I'm a drenched girl writing.

 We had a meeting scheduled for 2pm this afternoon with the elders from our commending church.  Over some very good coffee, they prayed for us and released us to a new church, the one we've been attending since October.  Although parts were stressful, the meeting went very well. Then off Steve went to pick up the kids while I hurried across town to a counselling appointment.

 During the appointment, I found myself struggling.  Although the meeting itself had not been unpleasant, the ongoing situation has been highly stressful and wounding.  Arriving home I was in a funk.  My wonderful husband made dinner while I self-medicated with a book.  Reading and eating helped, especially as we ate beside the forest, while the girls grilled leaves on the bbq.  Eight year olds are very entertaining!

 After dinner, I walked over to see if my friend wanted to go for a walk.  I got sidetracked and ended up talking to another friend, inviting her on the walk as well.  As we were chatting, other tenants appeared.  We don't know them well, but they must be cool people as they run the new game store.  So we struck up a conversation with them.  Quickly it became obvious that we could continue talking for a very long time.  My little boys needed to go to bed, so I invited them to come to Starbucks with us.  She agreed, we set a time, and off I went.

 Some time later, six of us set off to Starbucks.  We walked in groups of three, quickly discovering commonalities.  Getting stopped by the Mormon missionary actually helped, as I learned that my new friends are Bahai.  We began to talk about being women of faith in an increasingly secular/nominal world.  Thus began a theme that wound through our conversation.  It was a very good night.  We laughed, talked, shared stories both as a large group and as a small one.  Then, realizing how late it was, we quickly headed out.

 Sheet lightening lit up the sky.  It wasn't raining yet, but there was a definite possibility.  I decided to keep walking and we'd call for a ride if necessary.  No one disagreed, so we started walking.  Soon the rain started falling gently.  Unfortunately, that didn't last for long.  As we reached the final turn, rain was coming down so heavily that I couldn't see through my glasses.  My flip-flops were threatening to spill me, so I slipped them off, walking barefoot through the puddles. It was fantastic.  We were drenched completely and could not stop giggling.  It has been far too long since I walked in a warm downpour.

 Our new friends ran ahead and disappeared inside.  The rest of us shared a group hug before dissipating into our respective homes.  My husband was relieved to see me home safe, but also not willing to give me a hug.  That was probably a wise idea as I was dripping on the mat.  Still laughing, I dried off, hanging my sopping wet clothing up to dry.   The rain and evening out refreshed me in ways I would not have thought possible earlier this evening. My funk has vanished, leaving hope and joy behind.  *happy sigh*

Sharing my drenched self with Em and the rest;

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

He's home!!!

After an absence of five days, my wonderful husband has returned home.  I didn't cope as well as some years, so he returned to a slightly messy house, but we're all still alive and well.  The kids did reasonably well, as did I.  A good friend of mine dropped in for a visit for lunch.  We enjoyed shawarma and a good, although interrupted conversation.  I was definitely encouraged by her visit and it made a long day shorter.

 Next up, a meeting with the elders tomorrow.  Prayer is always appreciated!

 I am so glad to have Steve back!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Multitude Mondays 53-70

 My man has been away four days now, coming home tomorrow.  I don't need to tell you that this has been hard.  He goes away every year for at least five days.  Each year springs new challenges.  One year there was a car accident while he was away, another I fell injuring my knees.  The second year he went, both our littles had the chicken pox.  This year has seemed an exception with no major challenges.  However there has been much wearing at my soul, making it harder to be a good parent solo.

 Today has seen its share of ups and downs.  We started off with good snuggles this morning, but quickly encountered trouble as I dropped off a tearstained child at school.  The day continued in the same pattern.  I am thankful for the storms because without them I dismiss the good times lightly.  The sleeping child is taken for granted rather than gazed on with great thankfulness of heart.  Although today has been harder than I would like and I am not coping as well as I might want, I choose to give thanks.

53.  A good night's sleep.
54. Skype conversations with my beloved before bed.
55.  Wifi, iPhones, webcams, skype, internet, all the technology that enables communication.
56. My mother arriving safely in North Carolina.
57. Helpful airline staff. Such an answer to prayer!
58. A good group of children on the field trip.
59. Butterflies, birds, turtles, insects and fish.
60. Getting to know some of the other parents better.
61. My big camera.
62. MIL watching my youngest even though he screams like a banshee when I leave.
63. That she keeps babysitting him.
64. Quality time with Zane, something that rarely happens.
65. A sleeping Kian, cuddled up next to me.
66. Friends that help, pray and support.
67.  A friend that swept my floor and let me hold her toddler(and share my food with him).
68. Picking up a much happier child from school than the one I dropped off.
69. Adult conversation.
70. That my husband will return tomorrow.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Peony Spider

The house is finally quiet.  The boys are sleeping, after a long hard fight to get the youngest to sleep.  Aris is tucked in her bed, watching a nature show on her iPod before she goes to bed.  Or at least that's what she's supposed to be doing.  After Kian's screaming session, I can't hear much.

 My wonderful husband has been away for three days and will be gone for two more.  His absence is getting easier as the kids sleep through the night now and are almost all potty-trained.  Yes, you read that right.  Kian has been using the potty successfully for several weeks now.  He's had a couple of accidents, but he's wearing underwear fulltime.  It's very exciting!  But even though the kids are less labour-intensive, it's still challenging when my husband is gone.  I think it's mostly the absence of a buffer when I'm at the end of my patience.  Clearly I need to pray for a compassionate heart towards my children.

 Even though today has been hard, we've had a great weekend.  Yesterday we went exploring with my parents.  During our explorations we saw a hummingbird, dragonflies the size of small birds, redwing blackbirds, Canadian geese with goslings,  caterpillars(my mom loved the caterpillars since she is many years removed from having little children bring them into her house on a daily basis), wild irises, minnows, frogs, dehydrated carp, fish, deer flies, huge bumblebees and three turtles.  We also found a really cool spider in my parents peonies.

 I must go tuck in the oldest child who just finished watching her show.  However, I've been delinquent in posting, so wanted to get back into the habit. Isn't my spider pretty?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Every Day-Five Minute Friday

Certain things are a given each day. Every morning, my youngest will crawl into my bed. With sad little eyes and in his saddest voice he will say "I haven't had any nursies yet today".  As he has typically been awake for all of five minutes by this point, I don't have much sympathy.   Later he will turn to me saying "I haven't pwayed any video games today."  It is a given that he will utter those two phrases each and every day.

 Every day my daughter will throw a fit about something and stomp upstairs.  Every day my older son will tell me that he doesn't like the meal I made.  There will be some complaining, arguing and just general annoyances from my children each and every day.

 Every day, I have a choice to make.  I'm pretty sure I make bad choices every single day, but I mostly am able to redeem them.  Although the current behavioural problems we're facing are both annoying and challenging, there is a blessing in the repetition.  For each day that I'm faced with the same challenge that I met yesterday, the day before and the day before that, I know that I am also given the opportunity to make improvements.  Each day I learn something new, am given a chance to respond better today, to build on what I learned and put into practice yesterday.  Slowly, slowly, slowly I'm moving forward.

 Every new day brings with it challenges, not all of them new.  But each new day also brings with it growth and victory.  I like that. :)

 Linking with the Gypsy Mama and her Five Minute Fridays

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Taking a Risk

 Soft grey sky hangs over a lake greyer still.  It is mid-morning, still and quiet on this grey morning.  Even the bugs are stilled or at least discouraged a bit by the gently falling rain.  Such a light drizzle softening the edges of the tree-covered cliffs rather than obscuring them.   And in the middle of the lake, a bright red canoe glides slowly, almost soundlessly through the glass-like water.

 We had gone to camp for a work weekend, leaving our children behind.  It was to be a weekend of work and relaxation, an island of calm in the middle of craziness.  Sunday dawned wet and overcast.  After two days of using our gifts in different areas, we finally had a couple of hours to spend together.  The rack of canoes had caught our attention earlier, but now it was raining.

 Back and forth we went, deciding first to go and then changing our minds again.  Was it wise to get chilled before a long drive back?  I made up my mind, determined that we would head out into the wet slightly chilly world in just our bathing suits.  My husband was less than enthusiastic, especially while wading in the icy water.  I almost changed  my mind as I waded out to enter the canoe.  Swimming was definitely out!

 Soon we were out on the lake, gliding through the grayness.  It wasn't sad or somber, like some grey days  are.  Rather it was a place of peace.  Looking down, I noticed a flash of white, a shell on the bottom.  We paddled slowly, Steve giving his novice canoer paddling tips.  There was such peace out in the middle of the lake with rain falling like mist.

 As we began to head back to camp, something magical happened.  Out of the mist, a loon appeared.  Paddles lifted, we rested while watching the black and white bird up close.  Neither of us were sure if we'd seen a loon before in the wild, certainly not that close.  All too soon, it dove.  We thought perhaps that we had lost it.  Long moments passed before the loon reappeared and in the direction we were heading.  Quietly and slowly, we began to shadow the loon.  He would surface, pause for a minute or two and then dive again.  Each time resurfacing in the direction we were heading.  We followed the magnificent bird until finally our courses diverged.  As we waved farewell,  I noticed the loon's mate on our other side gliding serenely on.  Words fail to describe how perfectly peaceful those moments were.

 Reaching the camp, we docked the canoe and headed in slightly cold and wet, but oh so joyful.  The memory of our canoe ride stayed with us as we dried off, packed up and then headed south again.  Canoeing in the rain was well worth the chilled feet that stayed with me the rest of the day.

 After a brief hiatus, rejoining the Imperfect Prose community: