Thursday, January 26, 2012


Sitting here in peace (finally) and enjoying fresh, warm banana chocolate chip walnut muffin(s).  Thankful for another perfectly beautiful day.  Thankful for a last minute phone call to adventure to the beach.  Lanelle almost refused to go when I told her that "no, we will not be swimming!"

Neve, the big 1 year old walking girl now, walked on her knees (that bulky marshmallow suit is really hard to walk in) over to her big sister at the swings.  I loved seeing how patient and determined she was to get there by herself.

Love watching her during this stage of so many changes.  Not necessarily enjoying how she is learning to assert her will very loudly.  Or how she is refusing to sleep.  But, the interaction I had with her in her silly mood this afternoon was so much fun.  We played with a ball, which kept her giggling hard.  We read books (wow, she loves to read.)  She played peek-a-boo and "I run away, you chase me".  So much fun!  She's been making a very close bond with Angela and let us know at the school reading program after school today, that she would rather be with Angela and didn't want to leave with me!  I hear her crying again now, and think I may just go drop her off over at her new best friends house!

26.  crawling out of bed to a waiting crockpot with steelcut oats, last minute accepted invite to walk to the beach, warm banana muffin comfort

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

cultivating skiing love, maybe?

 Kellen would rather downhill ski, but that just doesn't work for me and all the kids.  So, when I really needed to get out one afternoon, I loaded up the x-country ski gear.  I yelled until we all managed to get in the truck.  Then I remembered to try make it fun, so they would like it.

Kellen found the maps at the start of the trail.  This was so incredibly exciting, it made the whole trip worthwhile.  He pulled it out of his pocket and referred to it several times so that we wouldn't get lost.  Not that there could be any possibility of such on the 1 km section of trail we managed to cover.

 We barely made it out of sight of the truck when they were begging to stop and have the hot chocolate.  I encouraged us a little, but not much farther.
Despite having to stop every 100m to rearrange something or help someone, my soul was soothed just from being outside on a gorgeous afternoon and taking in the beautiful scenic trail.

 I did a (pretty) good job of letting Kellen have an adventure, instead of worrying about getting very far.  And we played for awhile in the trees and the field beside the parking lot while we waited for Ian to join us after work.

While we waited, I made plans to come the next morning when Kellen was in school.  To see how far I could get without a little skier slowing our train down. 

And was it ever a beautiful morning that we got to enjoy.  We definately got to see more of the trail, but Lanelle decided she should get to ski too.  So, I kept my patience while putting on the skis and taking them off again to resettle her in the chariot (repeat, repeat, repeat...) and remembered I'm hoping to let them grow their love for skiing.  It's, or should I say, I'm, a work in progress.

i'm not failing the joy dare, but since I haven't been here so much, I'm not going back into my handwritten joy list just to type them here, just so you know :)  Just trying to get to my knitting sitting beside me...

24.  gorgeous blue sky, lovely ski swishing sounds on amazingly still morning, older daughter in her own world enjoying making trails through snowy field.
25.  amazing warmth on a January day walk, a boy who wants to capture EVERYTHING on his camera during said walk, churning chaos of kids on lap and couch while trying to read bedtime book (such crazy fun!)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday Neve!

Dear Neve,
So much fun to celebrate your 1st birthday this weekend.  Kellen and Lanelle love to be excited about your new things (like walking!) and they were super excited that you turned 1 year old!  Kellen asked what words you will start saying now.  Whenever he has asked when you will start talking, we tell him you'll talk when your 1.  I think he thought you will magically start talking on your birthday.  You do say a few things:  mama, dada, banananana, nell...and you parrot some words.  Like tonight when I threw you up in the air and you wanted more.  I told you to say "up" and then I would.  You said it perfectly.

You walk like a pro now.  And you LOVE to do the stairs.  You love books, especially Brown Bear.  I love how you giggle when I start to read to you.  You love the old toy phone whose eyes wiggle when you pull it across the floor.  You love carebears, and suck on their noses.  You like bathtime very much.  You head for the bathroom quickly when you hear the water.  You really dislike toques, hats, or hoods.  Oh, they make you so furious.  Getting diaper changes make you pretty mad too.  You like to be where your brother and sister are.  If they are downstairs and you're not, you let me now how mad it makes you by standing at the gate and shaking it hard while howling.  You are so fun when you wake up in the morning and clap, clap, clap, and babble your happy sounds.  I love your smiling face beside me in the morning.

you ate your whole iced pineapple muffin at the birthday party!
You act pretty serious when others are around.  But, when its just us at home, you are just a big goof.  I like your sense of humor already.  Like when I asked you for a kiss, and you turned up your nose and ignored me.  Then, you turned and leaned in with your forehead and bonked my forehead, and you laughed!  You make me laugh when you take food from my hand, and then put it into my mouth - you think its so funny to feed me.  Tonight you were making yourself giggle, sticking out your tongue and playing with it.  You are so cute.

We are so thankful for you and all the joy you bring to our family.  You are so very loved by us all.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Living the trivial

Sometimes when I stop by this space, I am struck by how trival it is here.  But, sometimes I am struck with how vastly deep this simple life of mine, of ours, really is.  As I search for where to start tonight, and that feeling comes over me, I think about inasmuch.  Her words caught me at the right time, when I needed to be reminded that the mothering and homemaking are so far from trivial.  Living in joy and thankfulness and communion is, well, I want to say, powerful.  Pausing and savoring the moments of brother and sister building Legos is beautiful.  And my heart skips beats watching them savor a crazy warm day in January when they take the neighbour's idea to try sail a boat in the moving water.  I know they will remember this afternoon where joy was beaming on their face.

 A trivial joy of mine is seeing this bag sitting in living room.  Perhaps the object could be considered trivial, but I do think its gorgeous!  But what's inside are memories and treasures, to know these knitting needles were held by my Grandma and this little bits of half finished projects and skeins were worked with her hands.  Those dreams to keep my current working project in here, just hasn't happened yet, because it just hasn't seemed right to dump the current contents out.  Some quiet afternoon I'll have to sit with it and move things out of it with thoughtfulness and prepare it to hold some new projects.

I'm growing with this joy dare I've taken.  Things seem somehow calmer.  So, I think I will just keep adding to the list the little trivial things that are really so far from trivial.

7. kisses, forgiveness, smiles
8. moon behind pines, laughter at crazy hair, glimmer of the moon travelling on railway tracks,
9.  connection with friends and sister holding the receiver, him purusing cookbook pictures
10.  sun glowing, baby toy jingling bringing smiles, pen recording,
11.  words that dig, supportive friend hugs, words that build
12.  the promises that keep eyes upward, this house being our HOME, love being shared with smiles
13.  washer humming, sewing machine whirring, music joyfilled

Friday, January 06, 2012

A Joy Dare

Reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where you Are was definately one of the best things for me in 2011.  I sporadically recorded gifts in various journals and bits of paper, but never got in the habit.  I saw yesterday, her Joy Dare and I didn't even have to think about it.  I was doing it, because I know its what I need.  And, recording it here, well that will just make me do it.  So I begin my 2012 gratitude list.  I know its going to be beautiful because they are so many blessings.

1.  for looking, for growing, for loving
2.  ski trails, thriving ivy, figs
3.  "your my best brother ever", "this is the best adventure ever", "I love you"
4.  Grandma's knitting bag gifted, Star Wars Lego, solitude
5.  aholyexperience, Norweigan style knit dress, kids playing outside
6.  knitting needles, leftovers, memories of child stories

As for realizing I can make a lucet cord without a lucet fork but a large bbq fork instead, I'm sure it can make the gratitude list somehow.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Ski Joy

I've written a few posts here, but they've been abandoned, because they end up more negative than I want to be.  I find it a hard place, when I want to be joyful and thankful, but also authentic and real.  And lately, everything thing just felt hard.  Writing it just felt like complaining.

This week I've been x-country skiing.  3 times, 3 days in a row.  I think that is already more than last winter.  Feeling at the end of my rope, I told Ian one night that I WAS going skiing the next afternoon.  The day after my first ski, I got the chance to take Anna from Estonia skiing.  Today, I got to try out my new ski attachment for my Chariot.  Me and the 3 kids managed to go skiing.  Amazing!

I've learned or been reminded of some things.  I REALLY need to make sure I do things I love, to get some sun and fresh air, and exercise.  Like magic, life just don't seem so hard.

And, from this lovely lady, I learned to be a little braver.  To try to do more than is comfortable.  Decide to lose some fear.  I haven't been down the Ermine trail marked with a black diamond since my first year skiing here when I quickly wrote it off as ridiculous.  I told her what it was like and that I don't go there, and the look in her eye let me know she wanted to go.  So, I said, let's do it.  From the top of the valley to the bottom, I travelled laughing out loud while sitting on the back of my skiis, dragging myself to slow down before a corner.  Yes, being crazy brave brings so much fun.

Of course, going down, means you have to get back up.  Thankfully, it was mostly a lot more gradual.  When it did get ridiculously steep, I stopped and said this is when I usually take off my skiis and walk.  But, if you can do it, go ahead and I'll kept my skiis on too.  A challenge she said she wouldn't refuse.  Oh, yes, I like her spirit.  So, we trudged slowly.  Skiis in a big V.  My arms working hard holding myself from sliding backwards.  She stopped once and looked back. "Are you ready to walk?" I asked.  I love her reply.  She doesn't like to give up. 

I thought about how much I've announced to myself lately that I just have to give up for now, on figuring out how to do things I like, on accomplishing more in my day...  And, I felt a changing.  A new spirit emerging.  I think I'll claim her statement and keep it close to my heart.  I've chosen to give up desiring perfection.  But, somewhere along that good journey, it maybe got confused with a switch to giving up.  I felt the load lighter and the sun brighter.  Just because I'm chosing to not focus on the accomplishing and end result, because it always gets in the way of joy, doesn't mean I don't be purposeful about the journey of each day.  With a Not Giving Up attitude and a Joy in Every Moment outlook, I think there is balance in the accomplishing and the flexibility and the fun.  It felt good to have sun shining on face as we reached the top and feel the rhythm of the glide and kick again.

So when my trio and I headed out this morning, and the 2 older were being miserable, I managed to still keep the joy and not give up on it being an amazing morning.  Lately, I would have been losing my cool with their bad attitudes.  Once the ordeal of getting all the equipment loaded and kids buckled in, I even managed to make it back in the house for a thermos of hot chocolate and a bag of snacks.  And my blood pressure still felt normal :)

And once on the trails, they were won over with this idea adventuring, and declared it the best day ever.  I was delighted with how the chariot ski setup works.  Even when Kellen declared himself too tired to continue and I said grab on and make a longer train, it was still fun although a little slow.

So thankful for the joy of skiing and moments of awareness and clarity from the experience.