Sunday, February 27, 2011

Snowflake Watching

The days and weeks have been full and busy around here. I've been getting an abundance of transcription work which is eating up the quiet time and evenings that I might otherwise use for blogging. And then there's been the cleaning. And cleaning. And more cleaning. All for the sake of trying to sell our house. It's a bit frustrating when it feels like all my effort is in vain.

And there's been a shortage of picture-taking around here as well. So, I need to remedy that.

Anyway, I'm done making excuses about why I haven't been blogging more. Let's just get on with it, shall we?

We enjoyed a few random snowfalls this past week. I found Silas on my bed the other afternoon, mesmerized by the falling snow. When I lay down beside him and looked up and out the window, it brought back memories of my childhood and the hypnotic power of the giant flakes drifting down from out of nowhere. I'm not sure where the other kids were and what they were doing while we lay there watching the snow... but Silas and I? We had a moment.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Seesaw of Indecision

Maybe some of you noticed that ever since I wrote about our life-changing plan way back in the fall, I haven't really mentioned it here again. I'm talking about the BIG decision about whether or not to uproot our family from BC and move back to Manitoba.

Ringing a bell yet?

Well (if I'm being honest) I haven't mentioned it again because, almost from the day I wrote that post, we have wrestled with huge doubts and indecision.

When we went to Manitoba last summer, things weren't going that great for Erik's business here (he's self-employed doing construction & renovations). Finances were tight and Erik and I were feeling the pressure of making ends meet. That made the idea of moving to Manitoba so appealing - the lower cost of living, the small town community, less pressure to "keep up"...

Then we came back to Abbotsford - with the full intention of moving to Manitoba as planned. We started telling family and friends, and we were living our lives with a "this-is-only-temporary" mentality. But, even though there were times we were in agreement about our decision, we spent most of those fall months riding the seesaw. We debated back and forth constantly. Sometimes one of us would feel totally at peace and the other one wouldn't, and sometimes we both felt confused. Overall, none of it felt... settled.

Then, maybe you recall Erik's knee injury in October. This felt like a frustrating set-back and we totally didn't know what God was up to. But, his injured knee forced him to hire some help at work. And so began a gradual shift in his business. Having guys working for him has not only made sense in terms of efficiency and money-making potential, but my very social husband realized how lonely and unfulfilling it had been to work by himself for so long. Add to all of this the fact that Erik has been getting more work than he even knows what to do with and his business has never been in a better position than it is right now.

We reached the pinnacle of our confusion right around Christmas time, and so one day Erik and I left the kids with his parents and spent the day together praying, talking and trying to hear what God might be telling us. I realized that day that I was totally willing to commit to (and be happy in) either location. I could honestly picture myself in either place. I knew at that moment that we needed to base the decision on Erik's work - not just where he could be the most financially successful, but also where he could be the most fulfilled. We didn't come home that day with a decision made, but that marked another gradual shift... an openness to the idea of staying.

And, slowly, as the idea settled into our brains and hearts, it really did just that.
It settled.

Ever since that day we have grown more and more peaceful about the idea of staying. Our conversations are no longer full of what-ifs. We're making plans for next year, for school and for Erik's business and for our next house. And there has been reigning peace in both of our hearts.

There is sadness in thinking of the many things about small-town Manitoba life that we will never have if we stay in BC - with the idea of living close to my parents and siblings definitely not being the least of them. But, our hope is that the future of Erik's business will provide us with the flexibility to spend more time there. In fact, we have plans to do a repeat performance of last year's trip to Manitoba. Erik has some work to finish on the cabin so we will get to enjoy another prairie summer with my family.

In the meantime, we're still planning to sell our house (ideally before the summer!), so if you think of us, you can pray that God would bring someone along to buy our place. It's not a good market for selling right now, but we know that God often likes to work with "impossibilities" and tight deadlines, so I'm just trusting that he is a part of all of this too.

And I'm just thankful we're not riding the seesaw anymore.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Be Mine, Valentine

Funny how, since becoming a parent, Valentine's is really more about the kids. Instead of focusing on the romantic love between Erik and I, the day has really evolved into a celebration of "family love" :)

The kids have been working on their Valentines for the past week (yet for some reason, it still took us until this morning before heading out the door to complete all of them...)

The Valentine's season wouldn't be complete without Valentine's cookies!

I went kind of hard with the heart-shaped foods this year. It started with the sugar cookies...

Then it was heart-shaped waffles...

And finally heart-shaped brownies for dessert :)

The kids and I had fun decorating for our Valentine's supper. The menu was salmon and rice (to compensate for all the treat-eating today). I wasn't sure how to form salmon and rice into the shape of a heart but - believe me - I considered it.

The kids were pretty pumped to drink out of the fancy grown-up cups.

Erik surprised me by bringing home a bouquet of red roses. Wow. It's been awhile since I've had flowers in my house that were not purchased by me :oP

Hope you all enjoyed a special Valentine's Day with the ones you love!

Friday, February 11, 2011


A typical morning at our house...

... breakfast at the little table ... menu consisting of chocolate milk and peanut butter and honey (or jam) sandwiches ... Artzooka or High Five playing in the background ... kids in the their jammies until about 8 ... me starting the morning nag about getting dressed and ready for school because we're going to be late ... inevitably thinking to myself that I should really start making them get ready for school before the TV goes on ... shrugging off the suggestion because we've never been late for school yet ...

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

First Day of School

Yes, it's pretty unusual to talk about the first day of school in February. But, that's exactly what it was... Keziah started preschool today!

Last week - and kind of on a whim - I inquired about a preschool spot for Keziah for this "semester" at Central Heights. To my surprise, they not only had a spot available, but it was for the Mon/Wed/Fri morning class! (*grin*) I'm feeling thankful for the unexpected.

Just as a bit of explanation (for anyone who cares) - Erik and I have had a hard time deciding what to do with Keziah about school. She's old enough to start Kindergarten in the fall, but we were actually planning to hold her back (like we did with Micah) for several reasons, including her late birthday. So, when preschool registration came around this time last year I didn't register her for the 2010-11 year. But now, halfway through this year, I found myself wishing that we had registered her, even if it meant her taking 2 years of preschool instead of 1.

So, when they told me there might be an opening last week, it seemed like it would be the perfect solution. Not only is Keziah ready for something like this, it will also be extremely helpful in either preparing her for Kindergarten or indicating that she's not ready. When I got the phone call that she could have the spot, it was an answer to prayer.

I could tell that emotions were running a bit high this morning as things were making Keziah cry much more than normal. I gave her lots of extra hugs but tried to focus on how exciting and great this day was going to be! I went in with her for a few minutes while she got settled with the other kids during circle time. When I came back later to pick her up, they said she did great!

This feels like a really big change to our regular routine. Imagine how weird it was for me to drop TWO kids off at school and head to Superstore with just Silas in tow??

Piece of cake, folks. Piece of cake ;)

And the aftermath of a first day of school?