Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bunnies and owls at the farmers' market!

Catherine and Carlo got their faces painted at possibly the funnest farmers market. Wild boar sausage, by toutatis!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Singing in the rain

The weather yesterday is what I am now coming to know as a normal Prairie summer day. And it followed Carlo's mood with the same ever changing nature. It started out cloudless and beautiful. After a slow start to the morning we headed to the local park/school ground. There were lots of other kids there to play with but my kids where all still pretty unsure about going up to strange kids and asking to play. Carlo and Francis went off in their own separate directions to entreating themselves while Teresa sat with me. The sun was hot and my snacks and water ran out pretty fast. After about an hour or so of playing Carlo was running through the grass and something hurt him. I have no idea what but this sent him into a screaming, cry ball of furry. He just screamed at me, his siblings and anyone else who looked at him. It was time to go home!

After a drink of water and some lunch Carlos felt much better. We decided to head off to a wadding pool/playground down town. It was also filled with kids, but this time my kids jumped right into playing and swimming. They where having a blast and then the clouds came, fast. Just like Carlo mood the weather changes fast here! The sky turned black and the rain started. Every one in the park ran for cover and headed home except Carlo! He was having so much fun in the pool he did not get out. He played in the poring rain, full of live and joy. The poor live guard had to stand at the edge of the pool in a rain slicker for 20 minutes for only him. The rest of us sat under the cover of the change room roof soaking in his joy.
Until the thunder came! Then a live guard made him get out and he is still mad that the ruined his fun.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Whew! Having no stuff takes the stuffing out of you!

This is Week Two in Saskatoon Shines (TM) - I got 4 1/2 kids here in 5 days, and it's now day 13 since our departure and our stuff is... in Calgary. Yes, our worldly possessions have yet to catch up with us, and so we still occupy a (to us) gargantuan house that is mostly empty space. This has taught us a few lessons:

  1. No matter how loud we think our children are, they are louder in an echo-y cavernous room. We also have these neat little 7/8ths walls that don't go up to the ceiling - very bright, very airy, very loud even when you send the kids into the other room.
  2. Saskatchewan people are amazingly friendly. Our neighbours, met on day 1 and 2 of our arrival, have lent us:
    • portable DVD player and a stack of kids' movies
    • soccer ball
    • puzzle, game, books, colouring
    • lawn mower with a full can of gas
    • amazing bran muffins "we were just making anyway...once we borrowed flour..."
    • lawn chairs (a substantial portion of our current furniture stock)
    • the offer of a two-inch hose and submersible pump to empty our hot tub
    • a folding plastic table I use as a desk
  3. Having no stuff, rather than being simple, is actually quite complicated. You can cook meals with one pot, one pan and a baking sheet. But not an enormous variety of meals. You can sleep on an air mattress, even if you're pregnant, and even if you are sharing with 3 other siblings, but a week and a half of it does not result in greater restfulness. And just sitting down for a change was nice after a few days of zero chairs. This makes dining on the floor a continual occurrence. We packed clothes for a 4-day trip. It's now two weeks of living out of backpacks, and I used my shirt to mop the floor today. We went to the pool, with 3 towels for 6 people. Our current furniture line up:
    • two queen-size air mattresses (floor)
    • two folding lawn chairs, two folding 'church hall' chairs
    • a love seat and easy chair (red velour) passed down for free
    • a plywood student's desk made by my grandfather for my brother twenty years ago
    • a deep freeze purchase by my parents before I was born
    • I suppose I should include the 4 deck chairs lent to us
  4. Even having minimal stuff is even more complicated! Monique has figured out how to care for the hot tub - we never thought we'd have a luxury like that. We have had to figure out central vac, care for hardwood floors, care for stainless steel appliances, automatic sprinkler systems, and trampoline assembly - another luxury Monique and I were happy to provide our children with today. We are painting the kids' rooms colours the kids have chosen - this intense forest green for the girls, and a very cool icy-blue-white for the boys. Keep the floors clean! 
It's weird. We don't really need stuff, but in this new transplanted experience, the lack of stuff has definitely taken its toll. Sometimes we are bored, tripping over each other - it feels the kids have not much to do. On the other hand, we often get in each other's way as the summer gets rolling, and we need to consciously choose a routine to sort ourselves out and make sense of the freedom of summer. We also are forced to entertain each other, get out of the house, try new things, pray for patience, appreciate what we have, trust God with our stuff... and my hunch is that this time without stuff is helping us invest emotionally in the newness of this space, before all the familiar stuff shows up. Maybe as we unpack we will see 'stuff' we no longer need, or we will see old stuff in a new light. Or maybe we'll just unwrap every spoon and pair of socks like it is Christmas all over again, and God can give us all our worldly possessions in a way that we can receive them with grateful hearts, that is, with fuller knowledge of the love with which God gives us stuff. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Where are we?

Hello, everyone. We apologize for the delay in communicating... we have made it! We arrived safely in town this week, moved into our beautiful home and have been settling in. It's rather spartan at the moment - our moving truck was delayed by a breakdown and we expect to get all our stuff early next week. So we have a great big home with almost nothing in it! The neighbours and my family have been great with lending us a few items... and until our phone/internet is set up, we can only blog from other places with WiFi - thank goodness we have a chromebook! (Really, it's Monique's but I've been monopolizing it.)

There is so much to write about, I don't know where to start... but I wanted to at least post with how we are doing. I will send an email with our new contact info; if you don't get it send us an email or leave a comment and we'll try to get you.

Video coming, soon, too, so you can see the start of our new chapter.

Thanks for the love and prayers!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

On your Marks, Get Set,


Yes, we are on our way. If slow housing markets, glacial movement of bank managers, stomach flu, moving truck mechanical break downs, and vicious sugar ants can't stop us, nothing can!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

One Day to Go

I am having a hard time believing that this is really happening. We are moving tomorrow! For a year now we have been thinking, praying, and planing and now it is all here.
This last week has been very busy. Packing, and organizing. Calling utilities here and there. Meetings with the bank, and lawyers. But mostly saying goodbye.
This has been really hard. I knew that I had good friends here and so did my kids, but the depth of their love has been made abundantly clear. I have been overwhelmed by their love and good wishes, and even their tears. I know that we will make friends in our new home but we can never replace what/who we have here. I will miss them all more then I thought possible.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


I have always struggled with the idea of mortification. Why would I do something on purpose to make life harder? Well, never fear. God gave me the perfect opportunity for mortification with out me even trying.

My kids have wanted to go to the swimming pool for ever. I have always had a reason why it would not work. Chiefly that I can not take them on my own because you need one adult for every 2 kids. Well, on Canada day my husband said that we could go all together. Great! The kids were over the moon.

I got all the gear together, towels, goggles, snacks, and suits. SUITS! My baby belly has grown to a healthy but also generous size. My regular swim suit was not going to fit no matter what. My last maternity swim suite has long since left this world for the great pool in the sky. The only suit I have that will fit is a hand-me-down for one of my sisters. I have no idea what my sister was thinking when she bought this suit or what I was thinking when I kept it.

I was going to post a picture but they would have to change my rating! Let me describe it. It is a bubble gum pink one piece. It is high cut on the leg and low cut at the chest. Actually it is so low cut that it almost came down to my navel. To add to the fashion it has a tortoise shell clasp about 3 or 4 inches down the chest bringing the two sided together. This makes the suite have a chest the is low cut, closes and then open again even lower! It was hideous! And on my soft (read chubby) pregnant body it was down right scary!

But in order for all my kids to go into the pool, I went out into public in this suite. I think I have filled my mortification quota for awhile.