One of the reasons why I love Jason

I actually have something to talk about today and this is surprising when you consider before I went to sleep last night I was bemoaning the fact that today was going to be boring, a cool raining Monday with nowhere to go and two little girls to entertain.  Even the news about Osama Bin Laden late last night didn’t really seem exciting enough to change my mood, although Jason said it’s probably another conspiracy and he’s probably hanging out somewhere now with Elvis and probably Micheal Jackson, yeah probably.     

But in any event,  things weren’t boring at 2:00 when Sarah came in to say that Sophia needed me, poor Sophia who couldn’t even cry she was so raspy, and was having problems breathing.   Thankfully  Jason kept his head while I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and he suggested taking her outside into the cool air in case it was croup, and that did help some.   Tele-health helped even more when they called the ambulance because the nurse didn’t like the sound of her breathing and everyone knows that as soon as you call the ambulance things improve.  Thankfully the paramedics were very kind, took Sophia and I to the hospital just to make sure.  Yup, the doctors said it was croup, gave her a shot of steroids and sent us home.  Phew… it is so wonderful to have access to health care when you need it!  And to be treated with such kindness was another gift, especially when you are worried about coming across as a paranoid crazy mother who trots her child off to the hospital at any sign of a sniffle.  

And then today is the election day here in Canada and everyone knows just how exciting elections are.  Except that this is Canada and we seem to have them rather often, in which case they rather lose their thrill.   But I have been enjoying the commercials, the one’s where they rip the other parties to shreds, or the other ones where they get all emotional and stirring and promise us that their party will FINALLY make a difference or that Canada just won’t reach it’s potential unless THEY are in power, and you know what, in the moment, I actually believe them.  I tend to get caught up in emotionalism.  But again, Jason is right there pointing out the flaws and bringing things into reason. 

And that’s why I appreciate my husband so much, because he doesn’t think like me.  I think I can explain it best by borrowing some thoughts from Debbie Pearl when she says in her book “Created to be his Help Meet” that God designed us women to be sensitive and vulnerable – we are the way because we have little children we must nurture and we have to be quick to hurt, to love and to have compassion.    Whereas God made men different, she pictures them being heavily armored.  His armour is helpful both spiritually and physically – his nature is generally more doubting, skeptical, forceful and pushy.   Men also tend to question first and believe later,  and even when it comes to spiritual issues, men can seem less ‘spiritual’ then us women because of their objectivity and lack of intuitiveness.    She also states that “As a general rule, man is ruled more by his mind than the female, who is governed more by her sensibilities”. 

And I tell you last night was the perfect example, I was getting sucked into those campaign commercials – he could see right through them.   I was ready to believe anything the news told me (not that we don’t believe Osama is dead, I do!)- he questions.  And then when I lost my mind out of fear when Sophia was sick, he was there calmly sorting things through.    How wonderful to have a husband who questions first, believes later, looks at things objectively and can help steer my heart for me when I’m unsure of what to do and in doing this guards and protects me!     And I’m happy in my role as a nurturer (and really, I’m not that gullible)  and I’m glad Jason is my shield and protector and that’s just one of the reason why I love him.

Lost and not found

One thing that rots my socks more than anything is losing something and not being able to find it.   Typically in this house I live by the motto,   ‘A place for everything and everything in its place when I get around to putting it there’, so even though my house might look messy, everything is really just pining for its home.   This means I can typically put my hands on pretty much everything that I need when I need it.

But then there are things that come into this house that don’t ever end up with a home – like the blue-print drawings of a home’s entrance that Jason borrowed and brought home to show me what he would like to do to our house.  And do you suppose I can find these said drawings now that he has to give them back.  No – I cannot.  

Yesterday in my quest, I cleaned out drawers, checked nooks and crannies that apparently haven’t been disturbed in years – moved furniture and discovered a myriad of things that we never even knew were lost, but still no drawings.   And then I discovered that even though my motto says ‘A place for everything’ I didn’t quite realize that meant multiple places for everything.  As in; papers can be stored in the filing cabinet, in a drawer in the hutch, sometimes on top of the fridge, in a pinch on the counter in the laundry room, and other places I obviously no nothing about.    I pride myself on having no paper piles, but now I see it’s because I prefer to have a few pieces here and a few pieces there, rather than stacking them all in one place.

So the plans have still not been found, and at this point I’m not holding out any hope that they will be found, but I have discovered about 50 pieces of Lego that we weren’t missing, about a dozen pens,  and an assortment of odds and ends that are now waiting to be put back in their homes and you know what, now I’m thinking that sometimes I think I prefer things to be lost. 🙂

Confessions of a flibbertigibbet

I should have titled this post, “I’m behind”, because I am desperately behind.  In my housework,  on my blog, outdoor work, you name it.  I think it has something to do with the changing of the seasons.  When snow-suits are co-mingling in the closet with rain boots and the mittens are still out, and the forecast isn’t being too helpful in assuring me that they can all be washed and put away, I get a little over-whelmed.   I hadn’t quite made it to sorting out everyone’s spring clothes when Sunday came along with its 21 degrees and of course we had to scramble for the shorts the boys wanted.   Thankfully they weren’t too hard to find.   I sent Sarah in to put out some spring clothes that I had laid out for her and she came back outside in black corduroys and a long sleeve t-shirt.   Old habits are hard to break.    Not that what she was wearing before was much better.  Doesn’t she look so tough?  

But in truth I have to lay most of the blame on being behind on the fact that I am a flibbertigibbet.  Isn’t that a great word?  I always thought that it was just part of the “What do you do with a problem like Maria” song from the ‘Sound of Music’, but Wikipedia actually recognizes it as  word and gives this explanation. (although I only like the first part).   Our women’s Bible Study has been doing a DVD series by Donna Otto and she called herself one and I could relate.   I like to talk and I don’t like routine.  I’m easily distracted and somewhat scattered, but I also like to think that this has its good points.  I’m not very critical and I tend to only see the good parts and like Maria I am kind.  And I’m very happy to take outdoor pictures of my kids that don’t involve snow-suits.

Just look at concentration.  Something I’m sure I lack.  Apparently for the longest time I didn’t think I was a flibbertigibbet and in my desperate attempt to have my house neat and organized I thought that if I created enough schedules and routines for myself on paper that it would fix my problem.  I had the Flylady’s weekly plan where I was supposed to be doing housework on Mondays,  Paper-work on Tuesday, errands on Wednesdays etc etc… I had even gone as far as creating for myself a time map after reading Julie Morgenstern’s book Time Management from the Inside Out… which was a very enlightening book and very helpful, but even though my time map sectioned off and allocated every hour of my day  things still weren’t getting done.   Probably because I actually never followed my routines.   But they sure looked good on paper!   

Just like this one looks good in a tree.  Just don’t ask him to get out of the tree by himself.

Then on Saturday night I was talking to my sister-in-law Shelly.  She showed me her personality profile that she had done for work,   and she mentioned that she loved creating the routines but hated following them…. wait a minute, that’s ME!!!     How is that I never figured that out before now?      I don’t WANT to do the same thing every day.  I want a whole day with time enough to do the things I want and the things I need without some crazy self-imposed structure.

So this flibbertigibbet is going back to a system I learned last year from Kris Goertzen, (another DVD series we did called Extreme Spiritual Make-over) where each night you take a minute to plan out your next day and list everything that you want to accomplish.  Much better.   I am so relieved that I ripped up my time-map, which by the way felt like a huge weight off my shoulders and now I can just take each day as it comes.  Phew, talk about not knowing yourself, I guess it’s just another symptom of my personality.   🙂    

 But it’s like my mom always says….   the reason why our houses aren’t always the picture of perfection is that we like other things just as much as a clean house, like reading books.   With chocolate preferably.  

So I’m happy to move forward, hopefully I can get caught up and maybe stay in a good place, and even if not, who cares?   Soon my kids will all be grown up and in school and I can get caught up all day long and I’ll be sad.    Just like I’m sad that I don’t have a picture of William from yesterday, but seriously, he was moving way too fast, any picture would just be a blur.

Camera withdrawal…

I miss my camera!   And I’m finding it hard to blog without having pictures to weave my posts together… it’s requiring much more thought and my brain on 6 or so hours of sleep per night is not managing that well.   And it’s not all the kids fault that I’m not getting that much sleep, most of the problem is that  really don’t like going to bed at night.  I like the quiet house and enjoy the time with Jay, and sometimes I’m just TOO tired to put myself to bed.  But the kids aren’t helping.   Sophia has learned the word ‘hungry’, and that’s what she has been at 6:30 this morning and 5:30 the morning before… and to hear her little plaintive voice saying  ‘hun-gee’, ‘hun-gee’, motivates me to crawl out from my warm cozy bed like not much else will.   And then even though I try desperately to resume sleep after, it’s disjointed and restless and so the end result – a very tired mom.   Tonight – tonight is the night that I will get my act together and go to bed early – yes, it’s true, really I mean it, going to bed early, yup, I’m all over it. 

But the kids are good for a laugh even though I can’t take pictures of them.  Like yesterday when  Sarah thought she would help and wash some dishes and solemnly declared that it really is a good idea to take your shirt off when washing dishes so that it doesn’t get wet – and then proceeded to do so.   It’s a good thing she’s four – and it’s a good thing I don’t ever plan on following her advice.   But then she went on to say, WELL ACTUALLY if you really want to do it right, you would put your bathing suit on… which I thought was very resourceful of her, but was thankful it didn’t come to that.  And I’m glad that my dish-washing skills are such that I have never been required to do so myself… bathing suit season year-around… that give me chills.  

In other notes I have an amazing friend who is NOT reading my blog right now because it’s Lent and she’s giving me up… WELL ACTUALLY,  she is limiting her computer time so she can spend more time with her family which I happen to think is wonderful (she’s outlined it here in her blog).   But she willing shared some of her family time with me today and took care of the girls for me for an hour this morning.   And wonder of wonders while I was writing this entry,  she sent me this…

 A Sophia pic that she took this morning!    Thank-you Christa!   How did she know I was in Sophia-pic-withdrawal along with my camera withdrawa?     I have this feeling that a post is never complete without a pic of my littlest sweetie-pie.  

Well I’m hoping that my camera and I will be united soon, I’m also hoping the snow will melt and my house will magically clean itself, but I would settle just for my camera.

What l’ll miss about winter…

As I gaze outside at beautifully falling March snow, I am reminded that it is still winter, no matter how much I wish it were otherwise.  And so, I’m going to embrace it and  just love it and enjoy it.   And so to really honour it I’m going to make a list of all the things that I will miss about winter.  Yes winter.  Things I’ll miss about winter.  

I wrote a similar list when I was pregnant and over-due with Sophia… things that I will miss about being pregnant.   That list had things on it like, ‘I’ll miss all the attention’ and  “I’ll miss little feet and elbows jabbing me in the ribs’ and things like that.  But then a few days later I gave birth and I haven’t thought about that list again until now almost 2 years later.  So this list is different because I really do love winter.  Really I love it, I do.   So without further ado… my list.

I’ll miss…

  • How cute the kids (especially Sophia) look all bundled up in their snow suits
  • How beautiful everything outside looks with a fresh clean blanket of sparkling snow
  • Playing outside with the kids,  tobogganing, snow-ball fights, making forts, making snow men, all of it
  • Making and eating winter comfort foods like shepherd’s pie, chilli etc
  • Being able to concentrate on just my inside house-work
  • Curling up by the fire with a blanket, a book and some chocolate

There – now I know I only came up with 6 things, but this is winter we’re talking about.    Now just to even things up and show that there are two sides to me,  I’m going to list the things that I won’t miss about winter… so here goes….

  • I won’t miss how cute the kids (especially Sophia) look all bundled up in their snow suits.  They were cute, but not cute enough to want to stuff another kid into another snow ever again.  
  • I won’t miss how beautiful everything outside looks with a fresh clean blanket of sparkling snow… my new favourite outdoor colour is GREEN. 
  • I won’t miss playing outside with the kids,  tobogganing, snow-ball fights, making forts, making snow men, because I still will be playing outside with the kids, we’ll be playing soccer, blowing bubbles and swimming in the pool!
  • I won’t miss making and eating winter comfort foods like shepherd’s pie, chilli because honestly, the next time I see a pound of ground beef it better be in the form of a hamburger on the BBQ.
  • I won’t miss being able to concentrate on just my inside house-work because I’m getting SICK OF MY HOUSE.  Can anyone say CABIN FEVER?  Oh dear, I’m yelling, sorry. 
  • Curling up by the fire with a blanket, a book and some chocolate –  well this shouldn’t be on this list, because I really will miss this one.  You just can’t beat it and I will dream about it all summer, well maybe not, but still.  

So winter, stay as long as you want, or maybe just stay until tomorrow.

Being brave

We have a crawl space.  And like anyone who owns them you know that they are a blessing and a curse.    The blessing part comes in the form of a great storage spot.  The curse comes because it’s a storage spot that you have a to bend over to access,  has lousy lighting and is full of dust and mouse poop.   Well the last two might just apply to our crawl space, but still, I often wonder who decided that a crawl space would be a better use of space than digging down another two feet to create another room.  Someone actually choose a crawl space.  Interesting.   

 The  kids have a love-hate relationship with the crawl space as well.  For them it’s a treasure trove of cool things, in the big part that is general house storage and the smaller part that we keep their excess toys in.   But on the other hand, it’s kinda scary too with its shadows and the furnace and pipes… great fodder for the imagination. In fact Sarah scared the living day-lights out of me a year or so ago when she was in the crawl space with me and pointed off to over the furnace and kept asking me, “Who’s that guy mom?”   EKKKK – let’s just say I got out of there quick.   Here, quick Sophy pic to break the tension…

Don’t you just love her socks?    So yesterday when my plans got changed and I realized I was stuck at home, I girded up my loins and decided that it was a good of time as any to tidy up the playroom and reorganize the toy crawl space.    So off I bravely went in body even though in spirit I was sitting on the couch reading a novel and eating chocolate.       Sarah was looking at all the toys in the crawl space and decided she wanted her doll house, except I didn’t want any more toys out until I was done tidying up the playroom.   So she and William were standing in the doorway of the crawl space looking in longingly and William being the bigger, stronger older brother told Sarah he would get the dollhouse for her to which Sarah replied, “Oh William, you aren’t brave enough!”  in a really concerned, but proud sort of way.  It reminded me of an old movie where the heroine was clutching the hero’s arm as he vowed to save her.   William  was brave enough, got the doll-house and the rest was history, as in they played beautifully together and fought beautifully together the rest of the afternoon.

So my point?   Opps, I don’t really have one,  I just wanted to let you know that I am being a little productive this March, even though it is cold and spring won’t officially arrive for 19 more days and I really don’t feel like doing anything.  March should be a great time to do spring cleaning, but I would rather just nap.   And I wanted to point out that  William is brave.  

Here’s another Sophy pic…

I think her lunch yesterday may have have been a little too boring…  maybe something like this post. 🙂

What do you do with a kid…

–  Who is so smart, but will do almost anything to NOT to have to go to school

–  Who thinks that taking apart an old tape-player is the best way to spend a Saturday morning (ME – “Erik, can you think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning?”  ERIK “Mom, there is no better way.) 

–  Who after missing the bus home for the second time in a row and facing my wrath says, “Mom, I’m just as upset about this as you are.”

– Who thinks the worst part about school is recess (yes, I know, it’s bewildering)

–  Who when he is home sick, plays school and teaches his siblings about ‘matter‘ (By the way, I wouldn’t know the first thing about describing matter to someone else – unless I googled it first)

– Who is so concerned about the kid in his class with a peanut allergy that I can barely convince him to take a granola bar to school for his own snack that ‘might contain nuts’.

–  Who when he does go back to school on Tuesday after being sick on the weekend tries to talk the school secretary into calling me so he can come home because he might be ‘contagious’

–  Who thinks it’s a travesty if I throw away a cardboard box before he can make something with it. 

– Who was just a little digusted with Western’s Engineering camp that he attended last summer because they took time away from making things to play.  I mean good grief, he didn’t go there to PLAY!

– Who when Jason even mentions a project that he wants to do in the house, Erik has his tools ready and badgers Jason until he starts and then is in there like a dirty shirt 

–  Who still loves to be cuddled before bed (Thank-goodness!)

–  Who when I bring him to the bus stop in the morning will come back for just another kiss 10 times if he can

–  Whose freckles on his nose look just like brown sugar and are twice as sweet

Any ideas?    Well after some careful thought and consideration I’ve decided to just keep on loving him to bits, and teaching him and caring for him, this precious gift from God,  even though I do have this uncomfortable vague feeling that at 7 he’s already smarter than I am.   I love you Erik!

I made myself cry…

For the past while I’ve been trying to find my old journals from after I was married, but before kids.  I want to find them because for the life of me, I can’t remember what being married was like with no kids around.   And I even had five years like that so I’m surprised I can’t remember.   Anyhow, all my journals are together in a box, but I didn’t believe in labelling them by year,  so keep picking up the wrong journals, but then once I start reading I can’t put them down.   Like yesterday I found a journal of the years right before I met Jason and they are – how shall I say dramatic to the 100th degree?    I would have been better off using the pen and ink to write about the weather and what I wore and what I ate rather than to commit to paper every excruciating thought that I had about the other sex.    “Do I like him?   Does he like me… he did look at me like that for 1/2 a minute and he told a friend who told another friend who told another friend that he thinks there might be potential for us”   It’s like reading a really bad romance novel and it’s kinda embarrassing too.  So then I think, what do I do with these journals?  Do I destroy them?  Do I wait until I die and have my kids read them and realize how crazy their mother was ?  I honestly don’t know, but let me continue…

What made me shed a few tears was my journal entries from when I found out I was pregnant the first time and my subsequent miscarriage (jumping ahead a few years of course.)    If I probe the memory of that episode now in my mind I have no bad feelings about it – praise the Lord – but obviously at the time I was in quite a bit of pain.   The only blessing to that experience was that it happened on the way home from a trip to Florida and we stopped a hospital in Horse Cave Kentucky and the staff were very kind – and Jason’s grandfather provided some distraction as he was having some dementia and chased Jason’s mother around the hospital.  Oh yes – it was quite the trip.

But what I did find that actually encouraged me (after I dried my tears) was a quote that I had written into my journal from John Piper – it goes like this…

“the suffering of sickness and the suffering of persecution have this in common: they are both intended by Satan for the destruction of our faith, and governed by God for the purification of our faith.”

It really puts a new perspective on the things we go though – and as I read back in my journal, I was encouraged by the faith that I had during that time in God, knowing that He would get me through and provide for me in whatever way that was… and now from where I am today, I know He was VERY faithful and look how He’s blessed me!    I kept using this quote – but I don’t know who it’s from, sorry!

“Faith is not about the absence of trouble, but the presence of grace.”    Fabulous.

So I still can’t remember what life was like before kids, and until I find that journal I probably won’t, but it was neat to take a trip down memory lane and find some encouragement in Christ instead.

We’re sick

There are currently four of us home with fevers today.  William has strep throat, Sarah has a low-grade fever from who knows what and Sophia has a fairly high fever and I have a low-grade fever.  I think I have the typical flu – influenza that is –  with a sore throat, runny nose, cough and swollen glands and fever.  Yuck.  I haven’t had the flu in years!  I’m afraid Sophy might have it too and I feel the worst for her.  The poor little monkey has been sleeping most of the day and when she’s awake wants to be cuddled and she just doesn’t seem comfortable.   William is fine on Advil and as soon as I can get some antibiotics in him he will be great I’m sure.  And Sarah is acting fairly normally so I’m grateful for that.

On the bright side, its cold, it’s February, we have nowhere to go and so we’re just hunkered down, watching TV and cuddling.  I’ve been giving everyone extra doses of vitamin D and hopefully we get through this quickly!  Erik is perfectly healthy and mad as a hopper that he’s not sick… all he wants to do is stay home from school and in his mind it’s just not fair that everyone else is sick and not him.  And I feel for him because he probably will get sick this weekend and then he will miss Valentine’s Day at school and his skating field trip on Tuesday.  I hope not poor kid!

Here’s another silver lining in my sickness cloud…

My geranium is blooming again!  I brought this plant in in the fall from my summer pots and it bloomed until after Christmas, then stopped.  I fertilized it and have been watching it closely as I saw new blooms developing and finally, they popped!   It’s so cheerful and it makes me happy when I look at it, and I just envision it on the pool deck again soon.     Spring will come, HAS to come and we’ll all get better soon, I just know it.