Thursday, October 31, 2013


This was in the school bulletin. I have to say that I have never read such an inspirational school newsletter before!

"Halloween is here. The word hallow is another word for a saint, a holy person. So
the night before All Saints’ Day is called All Hallows Eve, or Halloween. For Halloween, some
of the rules of life change a bit. Instead of ordinary clothes, we wear costumes. We can play
the part of saints or heroes or people with special talents. We can play funny tricks and ask
neighbors for treats. We also change the rules of fear. We laugh at things that scare us: spooks, skeletons and slimy things that go “boo!” They cannot separate us from Jesus and
the joy of His resurrection"

So enjoy your All Hallows Eve. Laugh in the face of death because it has no power now, Love has truly won.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Thank-You For a Thankless Job

As parents, our job is mostly a thankless one. We get up in the morning, make breakfast, do the dishes, makes lunches, pack the back packs, kiss the ouchies, wipe the noses, clean the smelly diapers, do the laundry, clean the house, make money to then spend it all on groceries, make dinners that mostly get eaten, brush teeth, and sing the lullabies. Most days we hear nothing back, on a bad day we hear "yuck", "no", and "that is not what I wanted" accompanied with eye-roles or tiers.

But every once and a while we will get something that make up for it all. Last night while sitting down to help with home work after supper I was given this note. (I have left the spelling as is)

To: Mom

I love you! You are so nice. I love it when you knit stuff for people. You are awesum. You are so good at helping me at stuff (espspcely kniting.) I don't know why I am writing this note I just feel like writing.

Yours truly,


I don't know if I will ever receive any thing this meaningful every again.

Monday, October 21, 2013

We got a second hand backyard fire pit for some new friends of ours. The great gift that these people have been to us is another post all together, but the fire pit would have been amazing even if it had not come from such a wonderful family.

In some ways this fires pit is symbolic of all that I love about where we live.  We got it because people here are friendly enough to talk to you after mass, invite you over for a BBQ and then let you take their old fire pit. Prairie people really are friendlier then any other people I have met. Ryan says it is because the weather can kill you so every one has to look out for each other. Hopefully I will not find out if that is true.
We now have to space to use a backyard fire pit. We could never have had a backyard to put it on the west coast. 

Plus it was actually cool enough to make sense to use it but it was not raining! The reality of winter without 40 days of rain (in a row) is truly amazing. Yes it snowed again last night but it was not grey and wet all day. And sitting outside after dinner it was beautiful.

The wood for the fire was brought over last night by Ryan's brother. It was wood that they no longer needed and were happy to bring over. The double blessing of this was getting to hangout with our family. That is the major reason we are here. I love having them over for dinner, for a quick hello, seeing them at mass, or any of other chances we get to see them. I love that my kids are getting to grow up with family so close. 

And the part that I really love. Sitting around the fire, with my kids, cocoa in hand, telling stories, singing songs and roasting things on sticks. It was magical to just be a family. A normal family that loves each other and has fun together. It may not sound like magic to you, but I saw four happy kids who are here because some cute guy loved me enough to start a life together. They were laughing and loving the nature that the Creator made for them, just so He could see them enjoy it. I felt the heat of the fire and the heat of the love that surrounds me every day. The love of my husband, children, family, friends and over and through it all the love of my maker. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Snow today

Let the records show October 20 was the first snow of 2013/14. Not much. The locals did not seem to even notice but we did!

The kids made some important discoveries.
1: Snow is cold. 
2: If you want to pick snow up it is better to ware mitts on.
3: If snow sticks to the bottom of your boots they slip like skates.
4: Mom may not look cool but she stays warm
5: Jumping on the trampoline in snow is just as much fun as it is with water. 

Deep Thoughts Big Red Chair

We have met Jacinta. We met her parents this weekend at a do.

In an age flooded with yuck-sharing, this YouTube Channel absolutely blows us away with goodness, joy, laughter, hope.... and just enough reflection on goodness to see the grace in the moment.

Refreshing, delightful, fun, real.

God's word said out of the mouths of children you have found perfect praise.

God's Son said do not prevent the little ones from coming to me.

The meek are getting ready.

Check this out and like and share, should you feel urged.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

All Stocked Up

This is what my fridge looks like after a trip to Costco. You should see the pantry!

Miscarriage Workshop

A few weeks ago we had a chance to go to a workshop on miscarriage and loss hosted by the Diocese. It was a blessed chance to hear other families stories, join in prayer with and for our children in heaven, and hear from a local psychologist who works with grieving parents.

It was very healing, and gave us a rare opportunity to talk as a couple about what were experiencing. One of the most helpful pieces of information was about grieving styles. There are two main grieving styles, Intuitive and Instrumental. They are both healthy and helpful. The problems start when we try to make ourselves or other grieve in a style that does not fit.

A person who is more intuitive experiences grief as waves of feelings, their emotions are mostly clear and it helps for them to express their feelings by talking about them. Others can help them by validating their emotions and simply listening to them.

The other style, Instrumental, grieve by doing, they mostly experience grief cognitively, and it helps when they have something to do. For example, planting a tree, planing a service, making a memorial box.

This was one of only many things that I learned, experienced and took away from this wonderful workshop. I wish I could write about all of this but in stead I am including some of resource list they gave us. You might find something helpful it them.


Grieving the Child I Never Knew (2001). Kathe Wunnenberg
When Hello Means Goodbye (2012). Paul Kirk and Pat Schwiebert
Something Happened: A book for children and parents who have experienced pregnancy loss(2008) Cathy Blanford and Phyllis Childres.
A Guide for Fathers :When a Baby Dies (2007) Tim Nelson.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


The following prayer was included in my kids school bulletin this week. It sums up all that I have been feeling and thinking this season.

"This Thanksgiving season, let those of us who have much and those who have
little gather at the welcoming table of the Lord and share this wish for our loved
May you have enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
May you have enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
May you have enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
May you have enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger
May you have enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
May you have enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
Loving God, who created and sustains the universe, who loved us all into being,
And who gives us every good thing; we thank you for the blessings that you bring
into our lives. Increase our gratitude this Thanksgiving season, and help us to
recognize all the good things that we have, both large and small"

Many mornings as I walk on this beautiful land, looking at the endless sky I have been filled with questions. Can I be thankful that we had Hilary, even if his time with us was so painfully short? Can I be thankful for this beautiful home even if it meant leaving so many people I deeply love and miss? Can the pain of today really be transformed by Christ?

A month and a half ago, as I sat in the ultrasound room waiting for the radiologist, I knew something was wrong with the baby but I did not yet know what. In those few moments I had an image of a gift wrapped in pretty paper. I had a choice. I could take the gift thankfully, graciously, even if I did not know what was in it. I could say thank-you even if I did not really like the present. Or I could bout and complain as a spoilt brat at Christmas who got socks when they wanted a computer game. I chose to be thankful.

Somehow it seemed easier that day then it does today. Today I feel sad and lonely. I am full of questions. But again I choose to be thankful. And I have to believe that even the gifts we don't understand are beautiful, even the sad days are worth living, and feeling pain is better then feeling nothing.

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving, may you bless all your blessings even the ones in disguise.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Gearing up for Winter

Getting winter kids cloths for a west coast mama is an intimidating venture. I do understand the basics, like what a toque is and that they will all need mitts. But other things are way beyond me. How cold is it really?  How much should a kids winter coat cost? I send out a plea of help to some of my new friends here. Their advice was a great help.

I also needed to find the winter stuff that we brought with us and go through it. What fit, what is useless here but made sense on the west coast. In this project the children were very helpful. They had a blast trying on all the hats, mitts and coats! 

I also discovered some important things. Like no one had a winter coat that fit but we have lots of hats! That gum boots are not winter boots. And a $200 down coat for a 2 year old is a bit of over kill! So with what we had in the moving boxes, the advice of some lovely local mamas and a trip to Sears I think we will survive the winter with no frost bite.