Thursday, May 28, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Welcome back to Thankful Thursday, a feature started by Louise at Talk Nerdy to Me, where we look back over our week and remember our blessings.  It is so good to see all that has happened, especially if you have had a particularly tough week. Being grateful is good for the soul. Here are just a few things that I am thankful for...

1. Talent and Bravery

This past week was the LCS Middle School Got Talent show. Last year, Abi and a friend made up their own dance to a song and performed it. This year, she and a few of her friends sang the song "Hey Soul Sister" by Train.  They did good, despite a few hiccups (such as some of the mics not working) and I was impressed!  

I love watching some of these students go up in front of their peers and show off a talent or interest. There were some solo acts and group acts in dance, song, instruments, and even comedy acts!  I love the confidence some of them have...and absolutely love the bravery it takes for some to go through with it!

2. Bowling Party

I was dropping Abi off at a birthday party at the bowling alley with R and E and they were so upset and angry with me that they didn't get to stay! I told that them "maybe one day" we will go bowling, since they had never gone. When we get home, there was an emailed invitation for Rhys to go to a bowling birthday party! Haha! Perfect timing! He was so excited!

3. sidewalk chalk

 I am so thankful for neighbours that play!  

4. Surprise gifts

I was surprised to find a gift for me from a teacher friend after school, and then I LOL'd to find it was black jellybeans! Haha. She gave me a box of black jellybeans for Valentine's after she posted on FB the gifts she was making for her students and I commented how I loved the black ones. She just throws them away! Now she shares them!

It was a nice surprise and I got to share them with a few others at the playground too. It really made my Monday better!

5.  Teddy Bear Picnic

Rhys and his kindergarten class had a Teddy Bear picnic this week to end their unit on Bees. (bees..honey...bears...see the connection?)  It was a fun, but very humid, afternoon!

6. new living room

I mentioned before that I have a friend who is moving soon so she is selling and giving away a lot of stuff that has been piling up in her home for the past 7 years. She already gave my kids a bunch of toys already (things that her kids had outgrown, now that they are teenagers) but this week we picked up the big items: a whole new living room set!  We have a new couch/love seat, end tables, coffee table and area rug! WOW!!! And she just gave them to us!!!!  How awesome is that?  I am so thankful for new (to us) furniture. Our living room looks so nice.  Well, actually it looks really crowded since we have to get rid of the old couches still. But that aside, it looks so nice with new stuff in it! What a blessing!  We got a needed face-lift for the house, and she got rid of a lot of furniture that she didn't want/need anymore. (she is downsizing and plans on getting something new) Win-Win all around!

Sorry, no pictures of my crowded living room. I'll have to post one after it's all neatly put back together!

7. Coffee interview

I had an interview this week. Not for a paid position anywhere, but volunteer. It's quite an exciting, yet surprising, change for me!  I will tell you more about it when it is finalized and I've actually started in September.  I am just so thankful for this opportunity to do something like this and to grow and stretch out my faith. 

8.  Chutes and Ladders

One of the toys that the kids received from my friend (refer to #6) was the game of Chutes and Ladders Dora version!  So far, every game we've had for the Youngers has ended up spread all around the house with missing pieces. It drives me nuts! It doesn't take long for me to just toss them all out into the recycling!  But so far, this one has lasted pretty good.  I make sure that it gets cleaned up when we're done and it goes back away.

Eden and Bryn had some time before we left for school to play a game. (toddler games aren't very long at least)  I am thankful for free games and for siblings that play together.

9.  Encouraging messages

A friend sent me this message this week.

It really meant a lot to me. We don't talk a lot (not nearly enough) so for her to out-of-the-blue send this to me, saying she thought of me when she saw it, really touched me. I am so thankful for friends who can encourage even in something as simple as a FB message, and for a God who prompts friends to do things like that because He knows how much I need it.

10.  Provisions

Some months we are really living just week-to-week, some are more day-by-day, in stretching out our budget. Some months are just fine (although it's been a while since it's felt like that) But right now we are in the first two. I have spent time in prayer, reminding God of what we need and asking Him for faith and patience in waiting for Him, and for wisdom in how I work with what I have. I am so thankful that He is a faithful God. He has truly never left us and He really does care. We always make it to our next pay day without any major crisis!  He has blessed us in so many ways. Sometimes it's by a friend or family member giving us stuff that we need, sometimes it's just in making days go by where we don't need to spend any money on anything, and sometimes it's in miracles by us somehow finding money in our account for the things we need!  He is good, and I am so grateful.

So that's my week in a nutshell. How has your week been?  I'd love to celebrate your Thankful list with you: share it in the comments!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Teddy Bear Picnic

Rhys and his kindergarten class has been studying bees the past few weeks, and they ended their unit with a Teddy Bear Picnic this week.  You know, bees...honey...bears...see the connection?  It is a fun event for the kindergartens. They bring in their favourite stuffies (that is, stuffed animal: That's what I grew up calling them. But now they are known as "stuffies") the day before and at the end of the class, they get tucked into "bed" in the loft playhouse and the kids all say goodnight to them.

Of course, the kids all come into class the next morning to see that their stuffed animals had a party!  There was popcorn every where and books and garbage all over the room!  Plus, the stuffies were hiding!  Oh, those naughty bears!

In the afternoon (and after the stuffies have a time out!), they all go outside for a picnic. Parents and younger siblings get to come (we got a fun invitation; Edn brought along her own Pooh Bear) and we spread out a blanket in the back field of the school and eat our lunch before playing some games.

If I had known just how much of a rainforest it is back there, I would've worn shorts! WOW!  The grass feels damp (even though it isn't) and it was so humid. It doesn't help that the back field has forest on three sides and a building on the last, so the air just gets stuck back there. It felt heavy with no breeze!  After an hour of playing (I became the Official Under-Duck Pusher to a group of girls on the swings!) I felt sweaty and gross. Ugh!

The kids threw beanbags (they were supposed to try to knock over their stuffies, but it soon became a free-for-all-throw with all of those boys in the class!) 

We pulled out the parachute. That is always the funnest part of school, isn't it?

The kids had fun tossing around those bears!

Afterwards, we came inside and they measured their bears to practice their counting and writing.

 {Cowie is 6 blocks tall}

For the rest of the afternoon, the kids played at the Centres. Which meant that Eden was in the play kitchen making drinks and snacks for me, and Rhys was in the loft playing with his LEGO.

I love fun events like this. I can't believe that Rhys' kindergarten year is almost over!  Just three and half more weeks left in this year! We have the kindergarten trip to the Zoo, and the other kids have end-of-the-year class trips and Sports Day coming up and then it will all be over!  I hate the busyness of this season, but I love all of the different things going on. 

Grateful Snoopy (Wordless Wednesday)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Welcome back to Thankful Thursday, a feature started by Louise at Talk Nerdy to Me, where we look back over our week and remember our blessings.  It is so good to see all that has happened, especially if you have had a particularly tough week. Being grateful is good for the soul. Here are just a few things that I am thankful for...

1. Surprises in the mail

I got a fun surprise in the mail this week, to "help me cheer for the Ducks": a playoff towel from my friend in California! Haha!  I've never been a big Anaheim Mighty Ducks fan, but I suppose I can cheer for them.  

They play against Chicago next though, and well, I've been more of a Blackhawks fan!  It will be an interesting series!  I"m mostly cheering for Montreal! Got to cheer for the Canadiens left in the Stanley Cup playoffs!

2. Nat

I love this woman!  She really is such a blessing in my life!  I am so thankful that she offered to babysit Eden for me so that I could attend my last BSF meeting. There was no childcare that day so that everyone could be involved in Sharing Day. It really meant a lot to me to be able to be a part of this last "class".

3. Long Weekends

Yay for Long Weekends, and sunshine and Queen Victoria's birthday so that we Canadians could have the day off!

4. Tree Climbing

There is a tree that sits in the front of my parents' yard that the kids have taken to climbing. It's neat to see how they get bigger and can climb with ease...and how much smaller that tree gets!

5. Water table fun

I got to babysit my sweet nephews this week; it feels like it's been so long since I've been there!  They had just got a water table on their deck, which was perfect for this week's weather!  The cousins had fun playing at it for a while. (until they got too cold and it was time for lunch!)

6. Paintball

Kai's best friend, David, celebrated his birthday this past weekend with a few paintball games. This is something that my Hunny did as a teenager too (and he still has a few of his gear!) so he came along and played with the boys and David's father!  It seemed like a fun afternoon! (Kai managed to not even get hit either! Since they all played on each other's team, they didn't get to gang up on eachother....that's a good/bad thing! It's fun to attack your friends, but nice to know that certain friends aren't going to corner you and pelt you with paint!)

7. old music

I found an old cd that I borrowed off of my brother years ago (*snicker*) and had a good time listening to it again. It's not so much a #tbt, but I did remember listening to this many times and hearing my brother drum to it. I miss his drumming! I miss my teen years too!

8. Little Friends

Now that Eden has discovered Joey next door, the two girls always have to play together!  Eden went over in her Princess dress, which got Joey all excited, so she put hers on too! It was  a perfect photo op!

They are so adorable!

9. Healing

My Mom has been sick with strep throat and bronchitis this past week (I know, right! Isn't that terrible? When your immune system is down...ugh!)  so we didn't get to visit her for Mother's Day. Finally, she was feeling well enough for guests, so we popped over for a bbq dinner over the long weekend; what a relief to see that she is looking and sounding better than she had earlier in the week! I was able to give her a gift that I made as well.

Her children arise and call her blessed. Proverbs 31:28

10. Afternoons and Conversations on the Playground

I am thankful that it has been such beautiful sunshine this week. The kids have been able to play after school on the playground, and I have had good chats with a friend that I am getting to know better. It is good to connect with other moms. And it is so important to share each other's lives so that we can encourage each other. I'm not the best at meeting other parents and developing deeper relationships; it's something I need to work on. I don't like small talk; I find it awkward and sometimes superficial. I don't want to have pretend conversations with people who don't actually care. But jumping into deeper talks takes time. I am so grateful for those who put themselves out there, ask questions, dig deeper and open up their own lives to me. What a blessing it is to find someone like that!

So that's my week at a glance.  What about yours? What are you thankful for? Taking time to look back over the week and remember the blessings is so good! Consider making your own list up...and then share it with me. I'd love to hear about your Thankful list too!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hello little Lady

Eden and I were in the front yard one morning --- she was attempting to ride her older brother's scooter, and I was attempted to clean up my garden. (*someone* forgot to rake the leaves in the fall, and surprisingly they didn't compost or disappear over winter, and so they need to go now that it is spring-almost-summer!) As we were met in the middle, we came across a ladybug walking around on a leaf.

Hello Little Lady!

Does anyone else think of the movie A Bug's Life, where the ladybug is a man and he gets upset whenever other bugs tease him about being called a lady?  

No one? H'mm...

Moving on...

We had fun inspecting him, wondering where he was walking to. Was he lost? Trying to find his family? Why didn't he fly? Did he know where he was going? How did he get there?  Little three-year-olds have a lot of questions and many opinions!

It was a nice surprise!  I've heard that finding a lady bug is supposed to be "lucky". I'll let you know if our luck changes anytime soon! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

someone slap a label on that kid!

It's funny how you spend so much effort as a teenager making sure no one labels you (unless if you were in the 'Popular' crowd, then maybe you liked that label) When you head into parenthood, you try to do everything right for your child so that no labels stick on them either. Labels are a bad thing, after all. They often identify you to a group, and most of the time, we want to blend in, and not stand out as being associated in a crowd.

I spent my teens hot headed (shall I say a bit Fiery?) and stubborn; disassociating from certain groups. I wasn't Popular or Athletic, nor was I a Skater. I wore the label Weird with pride, sometimes with indifference. I wasn't loud, but I was confident. I had enthusiasm and hyperactivity, yet was quiet enough to be a compassionate friend and listener. I didn't fit the stereotypical teenager seen in movies or on tv, or in books or on the news. And I was proud of that. Although I sometimes felt the need to fit in somewhere; a desire to be a part of a recognized group.  (As an adult, I now see that my small knit friends was the perfect group all on its own; we didn't fit the typical labels.  I see how there were more of Us in that average-but-awesome group than Them with the groups!)

We always seem to fight labels as if they are a negative thing, but I'm entering into a new territory that makes me question the aversion.  Especially with World Autism Awareness Day last month (April 2) and our own searches for an answer to Rhys' delayment.  Autism is one of the most recognized disorder out there right now and effects 1 in 68 children, according to online searches. (I came across a magazine article written in 2011 that said the stats were 1 in 100 children. Wow. Quite the change in 3 years!) It is not contained to a certain geographic region or race and effects so many lives that the UN has declared a National day of recognition for it.

I think it's great that there is so much going into support to help families deal with the complex issues they face with Autism. And it's great to see walks and fundraisers for more research so that the help is there.  But it is on a day like that day that it makes me wish Rhys was Austistic.

Now, dont get me wrong. I do not wish any type of disease or imparement or illness or stigma on any of my children. But I do wish I had an answer for him. And autism would be an "easy" one.  It would mean knowing how to deal. It would mean having a plan. It would mean getting the support he needs. It would be a start to the next phase of life, but at least that phase has a huge community of doctors, supporters, therapists, and even celebrities all who understand and deal with the same things you deal with. And that label gets you in the door.

I have looked into the  Austism Spectrum but Rhys just doesn't fit that many criteria; and I keep looking every few months. I do those at-home tests online, but it doesn't all add up. And I've had his preschood teacher and his doctor and pediatrician all say that he doesn't fit the label. Which is a good thing. But also a frustrating thing.

Currently, he is a label-less boy who is falling through the cracks.

As I wait for something to pop up for him, I find my other son seeking a label as well.  I was talking to my friend about the teacher thinking that Kai may have ADHD, and my surprise at him fitting some of the symptoms. She looked concerned and replied with a shake of her head, "Oh, you don't want to put him on medication!"

I understood her thinking. It can seem that doctors and teachers want to medicate and subdue our children. Especially our boys. And it's not something that I want to do either, but after talking with the school SEA Co-ordinator, and seeing how Kai is at home, I can't help but feel that I'd accept medicating him if it will help!

If slapping a label on him gets him the help he needs, then I'm all for it! Please, give us a name! I am learning that without a name, schools can't seem to do anything, and doctor's don't know what to do. We need that label to move forward.  I'll take an "easy" and friendly, well-known one (like Austism and ADHD). I'll even go for a complex one that is misunderstood. I just want something.

And to think that one day I would be desiring a label for my child! We don't want to let a name hold him back, but use it as a way to understand and learn. And to move forward. 

It helps get you through the door.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Blameless (Music Monday)

I came across this song on The Valley Stream, an online Christian radio station that is local (it's based out of Abbotsford.)  And wow, what a blessing!  It has touched me so much. So I have to share it with you!

Blameless by Dara Maclean

What manner of love is this
That You would lay down Your life
You paid the price, the sacrifice for redemption
Now I am determined to know
Christ and Him crucified
Now alive and the power in me is You, now

Blameless, You call me holy
I’ve been forgiven, You call me righteous
I’m free
Now spotless, You call me worthy
I am Your child, You call me chosen
I’m Yours, I am Yours

I will boldly come
Running straight to the One
Singing over me
Your songs of salvation
No one can take this from me
I’m a child that You name free
Nothing will separate us
I’m held by You
Oh I know, yes I know I’m


I am Yours, I am Yours, I am Yours, I am Yours
I am Yours, I am Yours, I am Yours, I am Yours


Blameless, You call me holy
I’ve been forgiven, You call me righteous
I’m free
Now spotless, You call me worthy
I am Your child, You call me chosen
I’m Yours, I am Yours

I am Yours
I am Yours

I pray that you may have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know that this love that surpasses knowledge...that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:18, 19)  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)  What love!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mother's Day Campfire

It has been a rough week. Too many late nights, sick family members, stress, fatigue, constant has felt like the longest week ever!  By Wednesday, I thought for sure it was Friday!  What was so different about this week though? I'm not the only one who felt that way; who felt that it was Friday, or should be Friday, all week!  It really throws off your days too. I was in a bit of a daze.

To counter those frustrating days this week, I am going to remember our fun weekend instead.

We were invited to an evening at the river with the extended family. It's not your typical Mother's Day celebration, but it worked for us!  We met at the day camp tables at Derby Reach Provincial Park in Walnut Grove and made ourselves a campfire and just relaxed!  I actually missed the smell of campfire and can't wait to go camping again in the summer; and with our hot weekend, it really made me anticipate our family trips. Hopefully there won't be a campfire ban when we go up this year! (I'm being hopeful. There's one every year)

The kids threw rocks into the Fraser, of course. 

{feeding geese}

  We roasted hot dogs and made s'mores.

{must roast all of the weinies!} 

 {such sweet siblings. I love their relationship.}


 {that's one way to roast multiple marshmallows!}

 {s'mores are messy business!}

Abi decided to get creative and wanted to roast a cantaloupe. Apparently that didn't turn out so yummy!  But we roasted pineapple, which is exciting. It's always been known as "Death Fruit" in this family due to it actually being able to cause death, or serious illness, in one family member. But after four years of blood transfusions, my SIL can now eat pineapple!!! It's quite amazing! I've been in this family for 18 years and have never known her to be able to eat the fruit, so this is quite the feat. We're hoping that her latex allergy will be gone by the fall too; how neat would that be? 

 {this is how we get the little girl off the waters' edge so we can go home!}

It was such a relaxing evening! We definitely need to do this more often!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Welcome back to Thankful Thursday, a feature started by Louise at Talk Nerdy to Me, where we look back over our week and remember our blessings.  It is so good to see all that has happened, especially if you have had a particularly tough week. Being grateful is good for the soul. Here are just a few things that I am thankful for...

1. BSF Blessings

Our Bible Study Fellowship classes ended this week. I'm so sad! :(  I started off wondering how we'd ever fit the whole story of Moses in a whole year. I mean, it's not that long of a story, is it? I've seen the movie!  But now that it's been 8 months and we ended with the Moses' death at the end of Deuteronomy and I'm wishing there was more!  I have learned so much! But more imporant than the education is that my faith has deepened and I am astounded by the incredible love of our God and Creator!

 I am so thankful for this group, and I am so thankful for the teachers in the preschool program that played with and taught Eden this year.  To say good-bye and thanks to them, we decorated little tins and gave them flowers.  (I cut down a frozen juice container) Eden loved giving them out to her teachers.  She ended up with one extra flower, so I told her she could give it to whomever she wanted. I would've directed her to give it another BSF Leader, but I thought I'd let her decide. She spotted two women talking near us and went over and gave the last one away. I don't know if it was just because she was the closest or because Eden thought she looked the "prettiest" with her skirt or looked like a grandma or what, but I know that it was intentional in God's eyes. I am so thankful that she could bless another with a simple act!

2. New Toys

We have a friend who is moving, so as she is decluttering and packing up stuff, she is coming across many things that she does not need anymore. Like Disney Princess clocks and a Dora case! (her daughter is 13 and I think has outgrown those items!) So she passed them on to us!  The kids were very excited to find the Dora case, some marbles and colourful Mega Blocks in the morning.

Eden had to bring them to school on Friday for our Stay-and-Play in KE! Rhys played with the Lego and we gave away some of the marbles to his classmates. 

I am thankful that they got new toys that excite them, and I am glad that they also were able to share with others.

3. Derby Reach

The extended family met together over the weekend at Derby Reach for a campfire dinner and some resting and relaxing by the river! I'd say it was a successful evening!  It was a lot of fun roasting hotdogs and marshmallows and throwing rocks into the Fraser.  We need to do this more often!

 4. Rainbow Hair!

Abi got her hair coloured again this week along with a trim. It looks so bright! 

5. Mothers

6. Sibling Love

Eden and Rhys were playing with the new Lego, telling eachother that they will be Best Friends Forever and Ever if they don't touch each other's Lego!  That, my friends, is true sibling love!

7.Snuggle Brothers

I caught the boys all snuggled together on the top bunk at bedtime! So I had to snap some pictures!

8. Tea for Free!

I won some tea this week! Woohoo!  A woman I know from my church is a Steeped Tea Consultant and she offered a free 25g bag of tea, along with a clip-on mini infuser, to celebrate her birthday month! You just had to respond on her FB page what your favourite birthday gift was.  I had to think about that one for a bit. I can recall fun birthdays, but gifts...hmm...which was my favourite gift?  Then I looked down and remembered: my promise ring!  My then-boyfriend gave it to me for my 20th birthday! He was sick with mono, so his mom had to drop it off for me, but it was so special.  He's now my Hunny!  

My entry won and so I got to choose some Apple Crumble Black Tea!  I'm hoping this will taste good as an iced-tea type of summer drink.  I'm so excited!

9. bedtime stories

I love it when brothers read to their younger siblings!

10.  Social Lives

Last Friday was another one of those busy days, where I started out in Rhys' K class for Stay-and-Play, and then we ended the day with a playdate with another mom with her preschool-bound son (Eden and Zac will be in class together in the fall!). After school, I sent Kai off to a friend's to celebrate a birthday at the pool, and then I picked up Abi from a class party, and dropped off Bryn at their cousins' house for a movie night at her school!  I am thankful for fun events and friendships.

That was my week in a nutshell.  How was yours? What are you thankful for?
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