Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Why Aren Likes the Library...

When Hallie started Kindergarten I got the bright idea that I was going to start taking Aren to the library on a regular basis. He absolutely loves it. Why? He gets to take his Tonka book bag empty and bring it home full of books. He gets to run around looking at all the really cool posters the ladies have on their desks...horses, Winnie the Pooh... He carefully and intensely picks out the books he will be taking home for the week. In fact at times it is down right frustrating. Last week he would take a book, inspect the cover, put it back, grab another, inspect that cover, put it on the floor, flip through the pages every so often while still looking at books. He will finally find one worthy to bring home which he will then, finally put in his book bag and continue leafing through the one on the floor while finding more books to take. Once done this book, Aren then puts it back on the shelf. We then half to go look through the books that you aren't allowed to take home...the huge ones that you just leaf through at the table they sit at. He also loves the library because you can bet that he won't be the only little kid there and...that means he has someone to play with and, if it is a girl, bat his eyelashes at.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Never Take For Granted...

Never take for granted that things are going to work out perfectly just because that is how you think it should be. A young girl that I know, in fact she used to be Billy's girlfriend, got pregnant, married her boyfriend and was due a week or so ago expecting a picture perfect life for her new, young family. Yesterday she went to the hospital as she was having pains; they did a stress test on her and sent her home. While at home later in the night, she was still feeling terrible and called her mom to see what they should do. They decided to go to the hospital and get things checked out again...another stress test proved that the baby's heart rate had dropped to 60 (all my kids were at about 142), an emergency c-section later and this poor baby was barely clinging to life, in fact, he had no heart rate at all at birth. They worked hard and revived him. He had to be hooked up to machines to get him breathing and he wasn't a small baby...9 lbs 3 oz. He was rushed to Saskatoon, with mom only having been able to see him for a minute, and stabilized, meaning he was breathing with the machine instead of it breathing for him. He was even responding to his dad's voice a bit and things looked up. Then, this morning, the dear baby had seizures. I can't imagine watching a child having a seizure, especially a newborn one. It was hard enough when I was working in the nursing home and one of our patients was having a seizure. The mere thought of it fills me with shivers and leaves me feeling sick and empty.

No one knows why this baby seized or had such terrible complications prior to birth and right now no one knows what his life will be like but I do know that we have a God who can heal him, if that is his plan. Sometimes things happen for reasons outside our scope of reasoning and we never fully understand why or we see part of the picture a little later in life. I also believe that we can plead with God on behalf of this young life. I believe that our prayers can change His mind if He so lets it and if our walk with Him is in order (worded a bit wrong but I think you understand what I mean).

I am using this space right now to beg each and every one of you to pray for little Nicholas and his mom, dad and extended family. They are having such a hard time right now. If you believe in God, believe in something but don't really know yet what He is, heck even if you don't believe at all, a prayer is still a prayer and He hears you whether you think He's real or not. Please, please remember these guys in our prayers.

Update: I just finished reading some of the blogs I read daily and my friend Dixie wrote a little something about this as well. Take a look here.
I know I find it hard thinking about little Nicholas and his mom and dad. I have so many connections to them. His mom used to spend so much time at our house or talking to us on the phone. I used to work with her husband, 2 of his sisters and his mom and I am friends with her mom, aunties and uncles and know a lot of her extended family through church.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

No Go...oooo!!!

Today Aren wasn't dressed or ready to get dressed when it was time for Rush and Hallie to leave for school. Instead of forcing the issue I decided that today we would just let them walk to school themselves. I was not prepared for what was to follow. Hallie cried a broken hearted cry from the very depths of her soul and begged for me to take her; there was no time to get Aren ready and them to school on time so it just wasn't possible today. As the girls were getting their jackets and shoes on, Aren realized that we weren't going with them and he broke down, threw himself at the girls and began to cry the same heartwrenching cry as Hallie had just moments before. "No goooooo!!!!! No goooooo!!!!!!", he cried as he tried to wrap his arms and legs around them to prevent them from leaving. He even resorted to blocking the door with his body so they had to step around him until I got him off the step.

Tomorrow we will be walking with them to school. No questions asked.

For now, Aren has calmed down enough to sit on the couch and finish watching "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" which we borrowed from the library yesterday.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Happy Birthday!!!

I know a cute guy with a birthday today. He is one of the most handsome guys I have ever seen in my life (one of them). He has gorgeous blue eyes that make your heart melt and any sort of a bad day melt away. He has a smile that makes you smile yourself however, he also has a smile that says "you had better figure out what I am up to and fast". He is 2 years old today. He's turning into a little man and I rarely get to see him. I need to get my "crap in a pile" or whatever or these neices and nephews of mine will be all grown up and I will have missed out.

I am so thankful for weekends off now. Things will work out soon.

Anyway, Happy Birthday to a special dude from Auntie, Uncle and a whole whack of cousins.
I keep on thinking 'remember when..."

Remember when he looked like this...?

Hurricane Katrina

Billy just sent me the link to an amazing, amazing song that our dear friend, Pastor Steve Gray of World Revival Church (Kasas City, Mo) wrote. I have to share this with you all. It moved me to tears and sobbing. Listen closely. He is singing to us, telling us to help these people in a tangible (real) way. "It could have been you. Oh, it could have been me. Show them you care in a tangible way."

Please, pass this link on to as many people as you can...get this out there.

Here is the email I got from Billy:


Pastor Steve Gray, World Revival Church, has written this song of hope to share with all who have been affected by Hurricane Katrina. We at World Revival Church want to send this message out to all who will listen, especially the victims of Katrina and their families. Please if you know someone that has been affected by this horrible disaster make sure to forward this email.


Guys, this is truly a great song and I think you really need to hear it...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Given Up

I had given up. Honestly, I had. I was done. I brought out the shovel and was prepared to dig a hole and bury my dream. I have a glimmer of hope now...just tonight. For over 2 years now, I have dreamed of going to school for Nursing (I think I secretly have wanted to for a long time but just thought that I could never do it). I worked at a care home to see if I would actually like it, if I was cut out for night shifts and if I could actually hack some of the things I would have to contend with. I did it and I LOVED it!

What was the problem? My husband makes too much money for me to get a student loan; I can't get a personal loan for enough to pay for school and for us to still be able to afford our monthly bills(the payments would be murder for us). I prayed; I begged God even but it didn't seem like it would actually ever happen. It still may not but there is hope now that I had given up on. Without beating myself up over it, I will explain what I mean. I shouldn't have given up. I feel like I gave up on God providing for me so, a part of me feels badly about that. That being said, here is my hope. Bill is talking to a guy tomorrow about a different job, one that is still in P.A. (don't freak out R.). It pays more, the hours will be harder and it will be a big adjustment but...it will be enough that I wouldn't need to worry about working plus we would be able to save enough in order for me to be able to afford to go.

He doesn't have the job yet but I have that glimmer of hope that I am going to hang onto. Over all these years and everything that I have been through (and that God has brought me through) I should never have given up. I am going to try to not give up on this again. I think I am feeling a bit of desperation as I am 31 years old, not getting any younger, and it is just now that I am realizing what I want to be when I grow up. OI!!! This would have been SO much easier if I would have figured this out when I was jsut out of high school (but I don't think I was in a place to want to do this then) or at least when I first left Cherish's dad and was able to get help from student loans.

Here's to this working out and to me perservering...Never give up!!!!


I think Cherish is hooked. On what? Music. Isn't that great?! She loves being able to make music. She is entering her first Senior Band Year in school. This is her third year playing trumpet now and she still loves it. In Music class, which is a separate class than Band, she is learning guitar and is she ever excited about that but...the biggest and most exciting music news in her world is...bah bah ba...

...is that yesterday she started piano lessons. FINALLY!!! When I asked her how her first lesson went, she couldn't stop talking about it and was so happy. Cherish has wanted to take piano lessons for a very long time. She got a small keyboard and we bought her some music books and she has been teaching herself (helped by what she is learning in Band). The trouble with that though is she just didn't quite have enough time or motivation to sit down and learn and she would most often be bothered by her brother and sister.

Anyway, she is pumped to be learning piano and she loves her teacher (wink at you, Dix). She is hooked on music and I can think of so many reasons why I love that...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Would You?

I had an emotionally hard day today. I have been trying to "deal" with Katrina as all of us have been in our own ways. It is hard to wrap your brain around something of this magnitude being so close to home. I have been bombarded with images that haunt me and that tear at my very soul. I have spent countless hours dwelling on their circumstances, praying and crying.
Today was the final straw as I learned of how people are choosing to react during this tragedy.

I know a lot of people think that leadership and the government did a poor job if any job. I for one just don't know if I could have done any better. Now, I am not saying I agree or disagree with how this was handled by government officials. All I really know is I honestly don't know if I could have done a better job. Is there really a precident for them to know how to handle a natural disaster of such magnitude?

I also wonder how many people brought some of the aftermath tragedy on themselves by refusing to leave? I know this is their home and I understand that it would be hard but home is where your heart is and there are children dying in the streets because their moms and dads didn't want to leave a place. I also know that I can't say for certain what I would do or how I would react were I in the same situation they are so I am not judging them. I have no place or right to.

These issues aren't what really bothers me about the whole thing. What really bothers me is this: People are using this as an excuse to do whatever they want to whomever they want. I can understand stealing food from the grocery store down the street in this situation but...I don't understand the need to be stealing jewelry or what have you. I didn't realize having diamonds were a survival item. What does raping people have to do with survival?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??
Why are they finding it necessary to be raping babies?!!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!!? People are dying around them and all they can think of is raping someone.....Oh, God, help us to understand. Help us to help. Give us the means and the willingness to help!

These people don't just need sympathy! They need prayers, money, blood, food, water, medicine, diapers, baby food, formula, soap, blankets, clothes...! They don't need people standing around the water cooler talking about what is happening to them; they need people to stand up and do something!!!

Dominique has had a wonderful idea. (You can get to her website through a link on my blog.) She is going to be fasting beginning this Friday and ending this Sunday (Sept 9 to Sept 11) and any money she would have spent on food for herself that entire time is going to be donated to Katrina victims. I urge you to think of doing the same or something similar; it doesn't have to be this weekend. Pick your own time but please do something. What is $30 going to do? By itself, not much but, it will do something and joined with other's $30 we can do wonderful things. It won't make a big difference but it will make a difference!!! Right now New Orlean's can't afford for us to think that what we can do will not make a difference. Every dollar adds up!!! Think about it; pray about it but don't do something just because you think you won't matter.

I, like Dominique, am having a bit of an issue wondering how we would react if it were us and not them. Would my neighbor be harming me or my children? Would the teacher down the street who we baked cookies for when she had her back operation turn on us or would she help us? How would our society behave? Would I lose faith if I were in the midst of all that terror or would I be able to stand true and strong in my faith to God? I sure hope that I would. So many questions run through my mind and I just can't seem to wrap myself around them...

The one thing I would really like to leave with is to please, please think of how you can help. Just remember, a small way is still a way... $5 to someone with no dollars is a lot....


Ok, so R called to ask me why I was mad at her this morning because she couldn't comment on my blog since she wasn't a team member and I had no idea what she was talking about so...I went on once I was done having a bizzare but sweet conversation with her little man and fixed it.
What is my point? I just wanted to inform everyone that if they were trying to comment and couldn't an wondered what the heck was going on, it is now fixed!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Just hanging out in the jungle

There were two family favorites when it came to the zoo; one was the aquarium and the other, the jungle. Here are some photos I took while in the jungle.

These vines were real and we thought it was pretty cool how they were hanging down all over the place. At one point, Hallie thought that it would be super to sit on one and use it as a swing.

The strangest animal by far was this odd looking black and white one. It took us a bit of searching signs to find out what it was exactly. My friends meet the Malyasian Tapir.

My Dad the Gorilla...

I kind of got distracted with life (and life and death with Hurricane Katrina) to be posting pictures and stories from the zoo but perhaps this would be a great time to lighten everyone's spirits, if just for a moment.

While we were at the zoo, we stopped by the HUGE Silver-Backed Gorilla. My son, Aren was fascinated by him. He took one look at this creature, pointed right at him and said...

....Oh you are not going to believe it; it was so funny...Ok, ok. He said, while pointing right at Mr. Gorilla,"Dada!!" I darn near peed my pants I was laughing so hard.

Another gorilla story...same gorilla...

While we were on the inside of the gorilla building by Mr. Gorilla's compound, Cherish decided to take a break from walking and sat on the ledge leaning against the window of Mr. Gorilla's compound. He walked from across the other side, grunted, leaned against the window with his arms crossed like she was, looked over his shoulder and grunted/snorted at her. I got a picture of that one too.

Dancing Queen

Hallie began dance, ballet to be exact, today. She was so excited to start and has been asking if she was being taught by Miss Keilly again. Her heart was broken when she found out that Miss Keilly moved to Toronto to go to school and couldn't be her teacher. There was a little spark in her eye when she heard that Miss Lacy would probably be her teacher helper. She loved Miss Lacy too. The girls there are so darn nice and it is easy to find a spot in your heart for them. Anyway, here is a picture of our little ballerina getting ready for her first day this year. It's a little different this year; last year she was in beginning Jazz.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Celebrating 100 Years

Last night we took the kids to the park to celebrate Saskatchewan's 100th birthday. We watched some young local talent hit the stage at 5:30 and then listened to Hoja, they were a lot of fun. They are a group of young Saskatchewan guys singing acapella.

We listened to a great performance from Doc Walker. Aren danced every single song they played and was quite upset when they were done playing. We thought about getting an autograph for him but the line up was not something Bill or I wanted to fight.

We watched a man twirling fire on pieces of chain. It was fabulous to watch perhaps not to smart for Aren to see. I guess we'll see about that in the near future. He was in Bill's arms watching this man with utter fascination and his mouth agape the entire time.

Hallie & I stood in line for a half hour to get balloon animals from Roger, a guy I used to work with at BP's. He does all sorts of card tricks and stuff as well. He's pretty good at it.

And then there was the fireworks. They were by far the best fireworks I have ever seen. The same show was shown in 15 cities across Saskatchewan; they are hoping to set a world record for synconized firework display.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

First Real Day

This morning I got my little girl ready for her first "real" day of kindergarten. She had a breakfast of a 1/2 bagel with herb and garlic cream cheese and a pear. We packed her a snack in her Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox. I wrote her a note for her to find when she opened it for snack time, brushed her hair, got her a sweater, brushed her teeth, put on her shoes, got Aren ready to go and were out the door. There was such a sense of anticipation, excitement and, well, oldness. Yes, oldness...Hallie felt old; I felt old and I think Cherish even felt old. The walk was a lot of fun: giggling, scipping and chattering the entire way to school. When we got to be a block away from school and you could see the top of the building peaking out from behind the trees Hallie stopped in her tracks; in a gaspy, breathless voice she said, "Mom, yook(look) zere is my school! Zat is my class. We is almost zere!!!!"

Here are some of the pictures we took from registration on Tuesday and today. A lot were video and I haven't figured out how to get those on here just yet but if I ever do I will post them.

Hallie on the day of Kindergarten registration. She looks so big and yet, so tiny and fragile and about to enter the big bad world. Wow, getting carried away with the over reacting mom thing again.

Entering the school, her first time as a student. Firefighter Aren came along with us for support and just in case we needed to rescue any cats from trees or anything like that. Hallie ran until we got just outside her classroom door and then she froze in fear. I had to get her in one baby step at a time. From then on there was no turning back; she loves all the stuff in her classroom (like the sanbox and the play kitchen and the library).
The note I sent Hallie in her lunch box. I know, I know...I am expecting jokes about this one....

On the walk to school...

Hallie and Mrs. Lepine, her very first teacher. (okay, so Ididn't cry dropping her off at school but reflecting on the day could possibly start the waterworks)

Hallie's little locker, for her little jacket and her little backpack and her little shoes....that she shares with 3 of her little friends.....