Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Eve

The plan was to wake up and quickly get off for the Muirhead farm.  Ian was in a hurry to get there for the last day of bird hunting.  But, Kellen crawled into my bed with a complaint of being hot and his body hurting.  So, we change plans, only Daddy & Lanelle head out the door and the rest of us are having a quiet day at home.  That is, a day of movie watching for him with advil, and a clinging fussy teething baby on me.  This is my New Years Eve.  A couple of times Kellen has declared it the best day ever, because I made him an applesauce dessert with yogurt and cinnamon after a leftover chicken mustard sandwich and because we made a blueberry smoothie for snack.  And, he said cause it's special that its just us.

I also am enjoying the slow, quiet day.  Catching up on the laundry that seemed never ending, cause I hadn't seen the laundry room without at least a few piles of laundry.  I only have one more load to go, to be able to declare I'm laundry free, though it will likely only be for a few hours.  Getting the lucet cord done, finally, for Neve's wool pants that I made ages ago.  If I can get the few things on my priority cleaning list done and perhaps pull out the felting kit I purchased in PEI, I think my New Years Eve will be the best.  Does that make me pitiful?  Sometimes the way I crave solitude makes me feel, well, weird I guess.  I have to remind myself of the article I read a bit ago, which said moms with young children need the most time alone because of the craziness of the stage of life.  It really refreshes me, to have moments of solitude, so although it might be strange to be alone tonight, I'm going to just enjoy.

My feelings are a little mixed right now, as I feel so blessed, but heavy-hearted for others.  Almost guilt.  Why does Kristal have to bring in the new year in a hospital bed waiting for surgery and her infant son in a cast in another city, while she has to worry about her mom?  Why do first time new parents have to crash into confusion, worry, and sadness when their newborn baby has a stroke?  I am thankful for tonight, yet so aware of this fallen world we live in with pain and sadness.  Praying God blesses these 2 families with health and healing this New Year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Oh, dear.

I'm reminded tonight of how much we take for granted.  Safety while we travel.  Our life as it is.  Our time with each other.  While I am so thankful my dear friend and her family are all alive, my heart hurts for her.  My heart aches for a mother who can't be with her baby.  A baby now with a broken leg.  A mother who waits for surgery and has a long road ahead to recovery.  The worry for her own mother who has not yet woken up. 

It's late and I am just piddling around.  Not feeling soul settled at all.  Everything is not all right.  Yet there is nothing I can "do".  So, my wandering brings me here.  I pray for her and for blessings of peace and comfort. 

I am reminded to treasure our moments.  Life, and life as we know it, are fragile.  I'll do what I do here, I'll treasure moments.
 A great jewel hunt with friends and neighbours.
 A father's help
 Cousins together.
 Aunties and babies.
 Children & their Christmas excitement!
 Boys who believe there can never be too many Legos!
 Father and son farmers who love combines.
 Family togetherness.
 Silly meat loving girl.
 Crisp air and sun on the face.
 More jewel fun.
Proud builders.

So many little memories that fill my heart full.  So many moments where I know I smiled.

Counting happy moments doesn't feel right when I think of my friend.  I hear though that she is counting her blessings.  I know her journey is rough right now, so if you pray, will you say a prayer for her?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Solstice Light

Those are my winter solstice candles.  Not a day we've thought much of or marked other years, but we are starting new traditions here.  I wanted to know more about what it means and how people celebrate or mark this event.  Interest proded with the hearing of knitted solstice sweaters for a mother's crew.  Wow, lots of history and cultural traditions around this time.  But, I simplify.  Find what meaning or truths winter solstice brings into my life.  So I tell the kids simply it is the shortest day of the year.  Now we can celebrate as the days will start getting longer from this point.

We've taken time for the usual seasonal traditions.  We laughed about the little tree Ian came home with.  Just being cheap.  Defending his choice as if he chose special for the kids so they could reach the top.  There was excitement over which decorations were remembered from last year.  I remembered the sesame street ones we had growing up, and knowing every year they were the most special. Hmm, I wonder if Mom still has those?

We got to pet the reindeer and chose a few crafts to do at the school's reindeer festival.  We were parents encountering our first of many Christmas concerts as we have entered the school world.

It was cute, letter songs and toque hokey pokeys.  It was a great night because we got to share it with family and friends.  And we crashed a party after, and there was pie, mmm.

But there was something about the night that we shared chili together around our table with just the candle light.  It was brought all together and made it all more special.  The light highlighting the little bit of green from the outdoors.  Brought in to remind that even at the darkest, cold days, life continues. 

Although the boy declared it weird to have a fire outside, it was just the right thing to do.  To be mesmerized by the dancing lights while we stayed close enjoying the warm. 

I read some people like to take time to mark the solstice with silence in the dark.  To honor the dark for what it is.  A quietening time before rebirth.  The laughing and fun that overwhelms the fire time makes me smile.  My eyes move to the garden sitting so still and the longing for spring came quickly.  The snow forms mountains over the herbs that remain.  I'm thankful for the summer we had, thankful for my silence-lacking season of life, moving to choosing soul quietness.
Thoughts move to the promise of hot chocolate, popcorn, and apples.  The kids declare this the absolute best day ever.  They perhaps think of it so for many reasons.  For me, I am just thankful for the time. For the marking.  For chosing to be still.  For chosing light. For traditions, because the days do change quickly and their shadows make them look so big.  The thoughts I try to bring of dark and light just mix together.  I don't need to share more with them, there will be time.  More concerts, more sharing, more soul quieting, more fun, more solstice marking times and changes.

I haven't been able to answer yes to the question.  You know, the one of readiness.  Things aren't ready for Christmas in my life.  But, after this, our best night, I am, because there is so much to celebrate.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Where would you hide if you were a camera cord?

Isn't it wonderful to know you are just where you are suppose to be?

What has happened to this month of December?

Aren't friends who offer a helping hand the best?

Can't there be enough snow for some cross-country skiing already?

What happens when a kid swallows their tooth?

Is Christmas really only 6 sleeps away?

I'm not done buying gifts yet, am I?

Can a calm spirit make up for holiday unreadiness?

Will I ever get over this sleep deprivation?

Can I remember that memories are in the moments?

Can I just remember to be present for the moments?

Will any of our friends join our Jewel Hunt at the park for some holiday memories?

Is it weird that I got choked up the Christmas Concert when I sensed community togetherness?

Will I find lots of knitting moments?

Can I just close my eyes and go to sleep?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Looking Forward

Having a coffee this evening, I'm thinking ahead to the week.  I looked at the calendar to prepare.  It doesn't really excite me to think about what events are on the agenda, which days are Kindergarten days, which days we'll take in the music program, skating times, library time, or which days we'll try to make at home days and let Neve have her naps (okay, actually that last one does excite me a little.)

But when I thought about what little everyday moments I can look forward to, I felt much more excited about the week.  Will we have a walk again, in which a little babe falls asleep and a big sister wants to kiss the sweetness?
Will we have crazy giggly moments with some friends?  Moments where we are truly there, not thinking or worrying about anything else.  When we can just be our silly, carefree, quirky selves.
Will the boy build more Lego creations which he will want to make a video of the explanation of it all?  Oh, yes, I am sure we will have some of that.  And, I will giggle again about how he mimicks the language he has heard on other kids lego videos.  "And, you'll see over here..." "And, moving along..." "And what makes this so special and unique, is..."
Perhaps we will get caught up on our Tinsel Time crafts, or maybe we won't.  But, I'm sure we'll enjoy doing some.

I know I will also see Neve express more of her personality and likes.  She is changing and growing so fast these days.  She has some favorite things now.  We lost her first stuffie she attached herself to.  A cute little pink carebear that would make her cuddle in and go to sleep without me!  I was so sad when we lost it.  But, she replaced it, digging through the basket of stuffed animals one morning, she found another carebear I forgot we had.  So amazing to me that she found it, and although it wasn't the same, she had some memory or recognition of it (after more than a week had gone by), and carried it around all morning.

She's also fallen in love with the MP3 player that the older kids had tired of.  Ian says its the only thing that makes her happy when she's missing me if I'm out for a bit.  She screeches in between songs, thinking its quit, until the next song begins.  Oh, Nevey! Have some patience! 

And she's going to take off walking any day now.  Yesterday morning, she was standing up on the bed in between us and letting go, clapping for herself as she balanced.  She looked so strong and stable, we agreed it wouldn't be long now.  Then, with Kellen & I out at the movie night she decided to stand up and take 3 and 4 steps several times by herself.  Ian missed it and I had no camera to capture the amazing firsts!

So many little memories that make me smile from last week.  I know we'll make many more this week.  And, I'm glad I took the time tonight to remember to not get caught up in the agenda.  I'm preparing for the week differently tonight, by reminding myself to slow down, look for, enjoy, and be thankful for all the little precious moments of our days.

Friday, December 09, 2011

{this moment}

Inspired by SouleMama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Lunch recipe

I've visited with more than one person about healthy quick lunch ideas.  Found one I liked today and thought I would share.  It came from one of my favorite nutrition sources, the Nutrition Action Health Letter.  I think my nutriton professor recommended this in about my first week of grad school.  They give quick, clear advice from well done studies, have great recipes, and do a great break down and comparison of food products out there to help people make better choices.  Anyhow, just thought I'd throw that recommendation out there :)

Roasted Butternut Squash and Lentils
Cook 1 cup lentils for approximately 20 minutes.
Cube butternut squash and drizzle with olive oil.  Roast at 375 for 20 minutes.
Mix together 2 T olive oil, 2 T dijon mustard, 1 T red wine vinegar, 2 T minced red onion, 1 tsp honey, salt and pepper.
Combine cooked lentils, squash and dressing.  Top with walnuts.

Yummy, healthy, and quick lunch!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A heart lesson.

Ian was annoying me.  Kind of.  Nothing serious.  But, the kids were whinning, I was trying to get the tortillas rolled out and in the pan. Lunch was a little late. Instead of helping, he had to stand there and talk about, for no apparant reason, some deals he got on some hunting clothes in the last while.  I just wasn't into it.  I thought it was pretty clear.  But, then this is Ian I am talking about.  And, just when I was going to say something, I saw in front of me a heart.  yep, that tortilla had suddenly turned into a heart.  I tried rolling it the other way.  I flipped it over and tried again.  Shoot, that heart shape wouldn't disappear.  I think the heart shape became even more perfectly defined as I light heartedly scowled at it and willed it to go away.  Okay, I will just love.  Frustration disappeared.  Annoyance melted away.  I chose not to share my annoyance with him (although some day he will read this.  Sorry, honey.  But some life lessons should just be shared.  And remembered.)  When we remember love, when we focus on it, there's no room in our hearts for ugly frustruations or thoughts, is there?

oh, and the tortillas.  The Best Ever. 
Mix together: 4 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp baking powder.  Add 2 Tbsp lard (yes, I used lard) and crumble it all up with your fingers. Pour in 1 cup water and mix.  Will probably need to add up to another 1/2 cup more to get a nice dough.  Roll out into about 15 (?) circles.  Bake in a dry pan on medium heat for about 30 seconds.  It will begin to bubble.  Flip and finish the other side for 30 seconds.

I will never buy tortillas again.  (Well, I won't want to anyhow, but I suppose I might find myself in a hurry at some point...)

Monday, November 28, 2011

hello, sanity?

Feeling a little insane around here lately.  I suppose that's not so strange at this stage of life.  But, I would really appreciate a little more calmness and a little less chaos.  I really don't enjoy always feeling behind on all the things I'd like to accomplish or have time for.  I realized last night that finding sanity isn't necessarily in managing to check something off the to-do list.  Because the laundry still needed to be done, the floors desparately needed a cleaning, and the supper dishes were still sitting dirty at the table.  But, I felt more sane after sitting and doing a puzzle with Lanelle.  We had fun.  We laughed.  We praised each other.  She told me several times when I suggested a piece and she discovered that it fit - "Yes, you were definately right."  And she was trying so hard to use a big word fluidly in her little cartoon voice.  Oh, she made me smile.

And I'm glad I just remembered that lesson.  Because I googled the phrase "how to get rid of chaos".  I thought it would be interesting to see what came up.  Even though I pretty much knew what to expect.  Although I expected it, I still almost got sucked into the list of 74 things to do to simplify and take control of you life.  They did look like great ideas. I think they should have stopped at #1.  Write down the 4 more important things in your life.  If I tried to accomplish all their tasks, I would not have time for the 4 most important things in my life.

Yea for skipping over the long list of organizational tasks.  Because if I attempted it, I might really be insane.  Perhaps as was discussed at knitting club the other morning, I should start writing "Already Done Lists."  I'm sure I'd feel much better about my day.  Today would include:  taking the kids skating (which took up the whole morning and did not involve a whole lot of sanity), making the best creamy tomato spinach pasta, washing the floor, doing a puzzle, reading Geronimo Stilton (for the boys reading interest), cleaning up play-doh and puzzles, folding and putting away 2 loads of laundry, making a supper stirfry, dancing with a baby and her music box...  Yes, I'm feeling better now.

Appreciating precious moments, making already done lists, and taking the time to reframe things.  I'm feeling more joyful than when I sat down here.

And late at night by myself I might remember to appreciate simple gifts in life, like how beautiful a clean kitchen is and how lovely some stiches are.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Winter Picture Story

This mama forgot we like being outside in the winter.  We were starting to go crazy inside too much.  It seemed to hard with a babe that takes off mitts and toques within seconds.  Not very Saskatchewanian of you, I tell her.  But, we dug through the storage room and found some warmer items that she can't remove.  We found the blue baby sled.  And we went out to the park!
She stopped screaming after she was moving in the sled.  We played musical sleds on our way.

Somebody wants a ride, somebody wants to pull, somebody wants to OTHER sled.
But we made it to the park.  The big kids found the biggest hill among the small choices of the park.
This unsure babe, changed her mind about being bundled up.  Hmm, it is nice to be outside, eh babe?  Especially when there is a fun big brother and sister to giggle at.

So the next time everyone seems a little grouchy, I order us outside to go sledding at the big hill.  Kellen says no, it's no fun.  I say we are going, so go.  He says fine, but if its not fun, then you can't be on your computer for a whole week.  Oh, really, I say.
Hmm, looks like fun to me (and I am on my computer after all.)

I couldn't get a picture of lanelle sledding.  She decided she wouldn't go down the BIG hill without mom.  Kind of glad she decided that, because I had so much fun!  Neve did end up protesting a lot about being left alone (or so I thought that was the problem).  I'd sprint back up while the big kids slowly made their way up.  Soon though, I realized , as she tried desperately to move her super bundled body over to the sled, that she was mad because she wanted to go.  So, I took her, and she LOVED it!  Oh, Neve, are you a thrill seeker already?