Friday, February 26, 2010

Olympic Experience (The Rainy Version)

I'm not sure how the rest of Canada has experienced these olympics, but here in BC the excitement is palpable! I never expected it to be this exciting. And I actually didn't think I'd even want to head into Vancouver to see the sights. But after hearing about all our friends and family who were going in, Erik and I knew we would regret it if we didn't take the opportunity to experience it for ourselves.

We finally had our chance to head downtown on Tuesday. After many days of beautiful sunny weather, we were disappointed to have to go in on such a rainy, windy day. But we donned our winter jackets and umbrellas, packed extra clothes and off we went! Silas got to stay back with Grandma which was very helpful - and it ended up working out for us to meet up with some friends at the sky train station on the way in.

The 40-minute train ride in was fun - we had never done this before and the kids loved it. Plus at this point we were still warm and dry :)

An awkward picture with a beluga mascot from the Vancouver Aquarium.

Waiting for our turn to get an unobstructed view of the Olympic cauldron. One bonus to rainy, cold days? Short line-ups.

A shot of the olympic rings lit up in gold for the medal we got in women's ski-cross that day.

Micah wondered how the cauldron could keep burning in the rain.

Thumbs up with my XL Olympic mitts - the only size left at Zellers last week :)

We walked around a little bit, getting pretty wet. This picture makes me laugh. At first glance it's a nice shot, but I urge you to take a closer look at the kids' faces.

Posing in front of the CTV broadcast station on Robson & Burrard. I would've loved to stick around long enough to watch them do a live broadcast, but the cold and the wet overpowered that desire.

Security guards manning the CTV centre.

After watching a couple people on the zip-line we found a Chapters and plopped ourselves in the corner to dry out and re-fuel. I'm sure our impromptu family picnic in a store wouldn't have been allowed on any normal day, but thankfully those regular rules didn't seem to apply :) It was at this point in the day when Keziah started melting down - something about her pants being re-wy soaked... And we knew the excursion was drawing to a close.

My future olympic bob-sledder.

My future olympic weird ski/figure-skating type person ??

The lanterns - I'm sure they'd look beautiful all lit up at night.

Up close.

A crazy piece of art. We decided it looked like crumpled up tin-foil.

Gi-normous Canadian flag.

Catching the sky train home. It was a little more crowded on the way home but the kids did great!

Yay Vancouver 2010!

Friday, February 19, 2010

My Comfort Zone Expansion Project

I've spent the past several weeks contemplating a big decision. At least it feels big to me. And no - you Facebook commenters, it is not about whether or not to have 4 kids. (Besides, I think that decision has already been made... :)

No, this decision is more "career" based.

I attended a couple of Norwex parties over the last few months (courtesy of Rebekah) and both times came away with this overwhelming sense that, I could DO this. The feeling grew stronger over time and while I spent A LOT of time hemming & hawing over it all, I think I knew in my heart of hearts all along that I would end up taking the plunge and becoming a consultant.

For those of you who don't know me well, I'm not much of a risk-taker. I'm more of a play-it-safe kind of girl. And while this mentality has served me well in terms of keeping stress and trouble at bay, I would admit that it's been a little bit.... boring. Even lonely at times.

Of course, there have been times when I've stepped out of my comfort zone. Like when I was a worship leader at our church in Calgary (Erik & I have a good laugh when we think about this now), or when I tackled the task of teaching English to a class-full of Peruvians during our missions trip 7 years ago, or when I agreed to join family and friends on a ministry road trip in a small motorhome across the country with a 6-month-old baby (yes, that one really makes me laugh). But, since I've had more kids, it's been easy to settle into a very predictable rut. It's been easy to have a million excuses for not trying new things.

So, while I may or may not use this blog to promote the environmental, time-saving and financial benefits of Norwex cleaning products, this post is more about my journey of getting to this point. It's a decision that has become less about the products and benefits and more about God challenging me to try something new.

I'm not saying that God loves Norwex (though I'm sure I could make an argument for wise stewardship of our money, time & environment!) but what I am sure of is that God loves me. He loves me enough to gently coax me out of my rut and bring me a fresh challenge. A challenge that forces me to rely on him and trust in him (despite the fears and doubts that creep in); to believe that I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

So, yes. My journey to Norwex has been surprisingly... spiritual.

And now, with fear and nervous excitement, I will step forward and push the boundaries of this zone of comfort.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Feels Like Spring

I can recall some January's & February's of years past where we see nothing but rain for days on end; winters where the weather man tells us that our cumulative amount of sunlight in 1 month adds up to less than a day... But this year we've had beautiful warm sunny weather. Yes, not so great for the olympics but really great for the rest of us :)

My tulips started coming up in January and I planted the colourful flowers last week to brighten up our front door.

Despite the spring-like weather, the cold & flu season finally caught up with us last week. Not really any throwing up, but some fevers, lots of coughing and many boxes of kleenex. Keziah even got an ear infection out of the deal.

Keziah is challenging me more and more all the time with her stubborn personality. Something as simple as putting on her socks or washing her hands can turn into an hour-long tantrum. I'm trying to choose my battles, but I also don't want to walk on eggshells around her, and I definitely don't want to give in as soon as I meet resistance. But it is tough going some days. So, when I need a little bit of a parenting boost I just watch Supernanny and it totally inspires me - not just to be firm and consistent but to also give her lots of praise and keep my own emotions under control!

Keziah was a little troubled by the opening ceremonies on Friday night. She was fine up until the part where the "ice" started breaking up and the people were separated from each other. From that point on she asked every minute, "what's going to happen to the people??" with legitimate fear in her eyes. The next day when we saw a re-cap of the ceremonies on TV she panicked and screamed for me to turn it off! Poor girl.

Silas is nearing his 11-month birthday which is hard to fathom! He's growing up super-duper fast. He's still not crawling, but is making some moves in that direction. Erik really wants him to crawl but I'm thinking it's probably easier to keep him immobile! Soon enough he'll be getting into Micah & Keziah's things and we'll have to think about baby-proofing again (and this time we have stairs!) So... yeah. He can just sit for a little while longer :) I'm pretty sure that he won't be walking by a year at this rate. Micah started walking the week before his 1st birthday and Keziah the week after. I'm going to predict that Silas will take his first steps closer to 13 or 14 months.

Micah is turning into such a "kid" already. He honestly makes me laugh and surprises me with what he can do and remember. But with his age seems to come a bit more of an attitude which has required some discipline. But Micah had the idea to start a chart where he would get a sticker for every day that he avoids sitting on the "naughty step". It seems to motivate him to heed my warnings!

Micah suddenly LOVES to colour and cut paper. Our "craft area" has turned into a disaster zone with teeny tiny bits of paper everywhere, but the extra sweeping is SO worth the time that Micah is spending with these activities. I think that once he realized his ability to colour inside the lines and to cut around the lines, it has become a lot more fun for him! His attention span for activities seems to be increasing. Case and point - he sat on this excavator at the park, digging away for a good 20 minutes until I finally had to pull him away...

The end :)

Monday, February 08, 2010

Olympic Fever

I can remember when Erik and I moved to Abbotsford in 2003 and thought about how different our lives would be when the olympics came in 2010. I can recall joking with him that we would have 3 kids and that I would be driving them around in a minivan...

And somewhere in those (very fast) 6.5 years, we did have 3 kids and I am driving them around in a minivan.


So, yesterday the olympic torch happened to be going past the street that our townhouse complex is on, so we had the family over for supper and the chance to catch a glimpse. Luckily, we got a spot right across the street from where they did a torch flame "pass off" from one runner to another. Micah and Erik got some pictures with the runner waiting to start his leg of the run.

Here comes the flame...

The olympic flame gets passed on (I like their little secret handshake :)...

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

First Haircut

It's haircut day!

Bye-bye baby hair...

Time to don the superman cape and spike up those long locks one last time!

The event was not without some tears (I guess the snipping around his head was a little disconcerting) but here is the new and improved, big-boy-looking Silas acting extra cute for the camera...