Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Even If He Doesn't

We went to a concert on Friday night and when Shane and Shane came onstage for 5 songs, it was an incredibly worship-filled moment. Before one of the songs Shane Barnard shared his insights on the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3). The three knew if they refused to bow down to the king they would be thrown into the fiery furnace. Shane emphasized verses 17 & 18 where they proclaimed their belief that God could save them, but then went on to tell the king that "even if he doesn't" they still wouldn't bow down.

Many of you probably heard about the accident that happened later that evening. As Starfield was performing their second song, the floor of the church gave way and a massive sound & light structure came down on the crowd. As shocking and traumatic as I'm sure it was for everyone there, it felt especially sick that our family had to be present for such a horrific moment (though thankfully safely seated in the balcony). One of my first thoughts was, why did WE have to be here for this? Reflecting on it later, I thought again of the fiery furnace. There are a lot of difficult situations that we have yet to face and we won't ever know if God will "come through" or not. It's like when Job chose to say, "though He slay me, yet I will trust in Him."

So, it felt good on Saturday to spend the day outside in the sunshine. Erik and I decided on a whim to build a tree house for the kids in the backyard. (Erik would tell you it was all my idea, but I definitely didn't force him to go to the lumber store for materials or spend 8 hours building!) Doug & Erik laboured while us girls spectated from blankets on the grass.

Micah playing on the lumber.

Caleb enjoying some crackers and sunshine.

Keziah being little miss helper.

This was the progress by the end of the day. Hopefully in the next couple of weekends it will have walls, a roof and a more sturdy foundation. Micah has been promised a "boys only" sleepover once it is completed and the weather is warm enough!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Road-Trip Adventures

This past weekend has been full of drama! Our good friend Jon got married in Calgary on Friday and Erik and I decided to make a road-trip out of it. After a few hours of sleep we got up very early on Thursday morning to start the drive. Little did we know the adventures that awaited us…

We pulled into Salmon Arm at about 5 am and Erik woke me up from my sleep saying that he needed me to drive for a little while. I felt exhausted and had a stomach ache but I said I could try driving if we stopped for some coffee first. Erik waited in the van with the kids while I went into Tim Horton’s. The cashier was taking her time chatting with the customers in front of me and as I was waiting I started feeling more and more sick and shaky. I have fainted 3 other times in my life and I recognized the feeling. It was just then that I ordered my drink and then told the girl that I needed to go sit down. I put my head down on the table and was feeling really awful. When she brought me my coffee I asked her if she could get my husband from the van. Erik left the kids and came right in and I asked if he could take me to the bathroom. As soon as I got in there I totally passed out. I remember a few people coming in and out. Erik had to go check on the kids and then a couple of girls from Tim Horton’s offered to bring them in and feed them timbits which was helpful. Erik ended up calling the ambulance and by the time the paramedics arrived I was feeling a bit better. The girl who first helped me was in the bathroom when they came and she gave them the low-down on what happened. Even in my state I couldn’t help but find it humorous that she included my drink order (half coffee, half french vanilla) in relaying her story to the paramedics :) They put me on a stretcher, loaded me into the ambulance and we made a short drive to the hospital. My blood pressure was extremely low and I felt really shivery but they gave me the most wonderful warm blanket when we got to the hospital. In the end they concluded that it was the combination of lack of sleep, lack of food and my low blood pressure that caused the fainting. I was also coming down with a head cold and I remembered later that at least one other time that I've fainted I've been sick. Even now I'm still fighting this cold and have a foggy, light-headed feeling. Do any of you medical people out there think there could be a connection?

So, anyway, after the three-hour trip interruption I assured Erik we could continue on to Calgary. By the afternoon the whole episode seemed like a distant memory and if it wasn't for the hospital bracelet I still had on I might've thought I dreamt the whole thing :) We headed straight for the church to be part of the rehearsal since Micah was supposed to be the ringbearer. He met his flowergirl counterpart and did his job great! Erik and I took the kids to our hotel afterwards and spent the evening enjoying the waterslide. Micah has become so brave in the water. With his water wings on he was totally comfortable going down the slide alone. He would bob under the water as he came down, but would pop right up with a smile and doggy paddle to the stairs to do it all over again! It was fun to watch.

Once again, the laptop was a road-trip life-saver:

The hotel ran out of playpens, so this was our make-shift bed for Keziah:

The next day went quite smoothly until about 2 hours before the wedding ceremony was about to start. I was doing my hair in our hotel bathroom when I heard Micah start screaming. I raced out to see that he had dove off a chair and cracked his head on the edge of the bedside table. It looked pretty deep and I was sure he would need stitches. I found Erik out in the hall and he offered to take Micah to a clinic. Thankfully there was one nearby. They didn't stitch him since Micah was far too hysterical, so they steri-stripped the cut. So, unfortunately Micah was quite bandaged up for the ceremony but he still performed great!

Flowergirl & ringbearer:

Practicing (I couldn't get a picture of the real thing):

Having a little conversation about the flowers:

Micah and the lovely ladies:

Standing with Uncle Doug for the first part of the ceremony:

Comparing flowers with Jon:

Family pictures:

During the wedding it had started snowing like crazy. We had arranged for our friends Dan & Karen to watch the kids that evening while we went to the reception, but we had to drive 30 minutes to High River to drop them off. The drive out was OK but we were worried about what the roads would be like later that evening when we needed to pick them up. During the reception, Karen called and advised us not to try driving yet that night. She assured me that the kids were doing great and were all asleep. That put my mind at ease and Erik and I were able to enjoy the evening without feeling rushed or stressed about a wintery drive.

Jon & Dayna at the reception:

Waiting for the first dance:

The next morning the roads were still quite snowy and icy, but our van handled it well and we were glad to see the kids again. Micah and Tyler had a blast together and I think Keziah felt right at home as well :) I told Karen she must have a pretty good touch since both kids did so well.

Micah showed me the bunk beds that he got to share with Tyler:

Micah & Tyler:

Keziah & Graham:

Karen & I:

We had planned on leaving Calgary that day but it was still storming and some sections of the roads were closed. So we took up some other friends, Craig & Janelle, on their offer to host us for the night. Their boy and girl are around the same ages as our own and the kids had a blast playing together. Erik & I really appreciated re-connecting with them too since we hadn't been in touch with them much since we moved away from Calgary about 5 years ago. We had such a good time that I forgot to take any pictures :( Oh well.

We left Calgary Sunday morning expecting the worst for roads, but we were pleasantly surprised to have a very uneventful trip home after all the drama of the weekend. We arrived to sunny skies, 9 degrees and green grass. It's good to be home :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Blog Post by Micah

"I got to use Auntie Rosanna's camera and take lots of pictures."

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"That's Keziah."


"That's my bed. Melman needs to have a nap and he doesn't know how to sit or stand and Melman doesn't know how to sit or eat. Melman doesn't know how to walk. Melman doesn't know how to turn on the lamp. He has a belly button." (btw - Melman is the giraffe)


"Kitty! Oreo has kittens - little tiny kittens." (Unfortunately this may be true... Does she look pregnant to you??)


"I take a picture of the bathroom! I sit on the potty. Potty - that's germs!"

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"Grandpa & Keziah"


Friday, April 04, 2008

Back to Reality

Sometimes Erik and I ask ourselves if we were really in Maui just a couple of weeks ago. Life has picked up right where it left off and Maui sometimes feels like a figment of our imagination :) These last two weeks have been busy - especially this week. There have been so many thoughts running through my mind but I don't feel like I've had the time to actually think through each one. I've procrastinated the bookkeeping for Erik's business for too long and now I need to get it all sorted out for tax time. It's funny how much I can accomplish under pressure though. Something that I have been putting off for months and months has really only taken me a few days to sort through. I also got my second work assignment this week. I'm really enjoying this job and feel so thankful for it, but it did add some extra stress to an already busy week. But I managed to finish what I needed to do quicker than I thought and so today I feel like I can slow down and catch my breath a bit. I think I'm ready for another vacation :)

This is probably the dilemma of many mothers, but the desire to get things done and the desire to be a good mother often seem to be at war with each other. When I have accomplished a lot during my day I feel a lot of satisfaction. But getting a lot done usually takes its toll on the kids (they watch more TV, get less of my attention, etc). There is a different kind of satisfaction that comes from knowing that I am being consistent with my kids and then seeing them respond to my love and discipline. But those are the days when the house is a disaster and my to-do list is still as long as it was the day before. It's tricky to find a balance.

The kids have been pretty good though. I suddenly realized the other day how much things have changed. The changes always happen so gradually that I often don't recognize how far we've come. But there has been some significant progress. First of all, I've noticed how well Micah & Keziah are getting along. I remember some days I spent putting Micah in the naughty corner over and over for hurting his sister. And Keziah used to be so over-sensitive about things, crying if Micah would even look at her funny. But now she has toughened up a bit. She loves playing rough with him and she thinks the kid is hilarious :)

The other point of progress is how well Micah is going to bed at night. Bedtime with him has been an on-going saga ever since we took away his soothers a year ago. But finally it seems to be a non-issue. He's not napping every day anymore, but he stays in his room for at least an hour of quiet time (about the length of his "Holy God" CD) without putting up a fuss. I think he's just getting older. Even his obedience level has stepped up in the last little while.

Of course, things aren't perfect around here :) Keziah seems to be cutting all of her remaining teeth at once (molars and eye-teeth) so she has some cranky days and rough nights. She is also showing her strong personality more and more - screaming and throwing her body down when she's upset or wants something. I can't remember when we started taking disciplinary actions with Micah, but I'm guessing that we're coming to that point with Keziah.

On the topic of progress, it's neat to see Micah learning new things and applying them. He is generally a pretty good eater but I wanted him to get the idea that we need to eat lots of different kinds of food in order to be healthy. So I found an eating chart that I got from the health unit when I was first pregnant. It has the 4 food groups listed and tabs you can pull out to mark how many servings you've had each day. Micah has really gotten excited about it. The other day we made a smoothie for a snack and he got out the chart so we could figure out what food groups we were getting. Then he asked if there was any meat in the smoothie. So I told him that if we added flax seed (which I've been getting into lately) then we would be having a meat/protein serving. He was all excited to add it in :) And he knows he can't mark a vegetable serving on his chart unless he eats his veggies at supper, so it's working well so far!

We've had some nice days this week and have tried to make the most of them. Usually our excursions include a trip to the park, but unfortunately, for Micah, this was the outcome of one of our walks this week:

He had chosen not to nap that day but was obviously exhausted. He was so upset and disappointed when he woke up and we were back home! And, by the way, my make-shift double stroller seems to still be doing the trick. Up until now I usualy put Keziah in the back, but I've tried switching them around lately. Neither of them seem to mind too much but I still long for a better stroller some days...

Another afternoon this week we took a picnic snack to the park.

Classic boy - finding bugs, digging in dirt, throwing rocks and sticks into cool places...

I'm hoping this weekend will be relaxing after a crazy week. I long to sit down on a warm beach with my journal and try to make sense of my chaotic thoughts. I guess the beach may not be a reality, but hopefully I can find time to just rest and be still this weekend. Perhaps the memory of Maui will be enough to keep me warm...