Saturday, January 31, 2009

Maria's Intruder

This is the little guy Miss Maria discovered as a "peeping tom" perched on the ceiling as she was taking her shower this morning.

Boy! Can that little girl scream!!
The problem is, she just words, so you don't know if she is being sucked down the drain, stubbed her toe or in this case, saw a spider.

I was unable to come to her rescue at that moment so she began to holler for Daddy.
There is no way she will deal with these guys on her own....even a little spider sends her into "Damsel in Distress" mode.

I asked her what she was going to do when she was all grown up and had her own place.
"Call Daddy"
"What if he lives like way across town or something?"
"I don't care, I'll call him anyway"

I don't think this little girl should move to Australia, what do you think Karen?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Got to Love a Good Snow Storm

One of the things that I had slated to accomplish this week was the monumental task of cleaning Michael's bedroom. I am in no way exaggerating when I say monumental either.

It's partly my own fault...Michael's room is in the basement. Jonathan's is as well, but right at the bottom of the stairs so it is quite easy to see when he has been using his floor as a dumping ground. Mike has had the advantage of being in a back corner. I have tried unsuccessfully to make my children responsible for their own rooms.

Although I will tell Mike to clean up, his idea is similar to the second cartoon and I will admit that my follow up with him has been similar to the first cartoon.
We are making some changes to accommodate each of the children having their own room and Michael is moving upstairs to a much smaller room which I am hoping will enable him to take a little more care. 

Tomorrow, Maria was scheduled to stay home as most of her class was heading on a ski trip that she did not want to to attend. I told her she could stay home with me, provided she was willing to help me with the "Michael Abyss". Maria's bus was cancelled and while I was still asleep, Mark made the decision Jianna and Mike could stay home as well. 

I look at snow days as, I recruited
 all hands to tackle the abyss this afternoon. 

It only took us about 4 hours, 4 garbage bags of clothes and I believe we are at 8 bags of garbage...I am NOT KIDDING. Mind you, I did not have time to go through his dresser, so I guess we are not quite done the "MEGA PURGE". 
Mark is going to FLIP when he comes home and sees our recycle and garbage...oh well, that will be his part in all of this.

The silver lining is that Michael has no toys left in his room and only the clothes that he actually wears...all neatly hung up in his closet. WOO HOO!!! You have
 no idea how happy this makes me!

Being the Domestic Diva that I was today, I did take the time to teach the girls to follow in their Down East heritage by making home made bread and rolls to go with the home made spaghetti Jianna has been begging for for weeks.

The sad part is that yes, I can make bread from scratch, but neither of my girls actually remembers eating it...that's how long it has been. 

They will love it just as the men do, and it is good I have work as an excuse not to make it regularly, because there is little better in life than warm homemade bread and butter....and my hips would not be pleased!

Now, if I decide to goof off the whole rest of my week off....I think I have earned it!
Ready to shop Holly?

Monday, January 26, 2009

You Can't Win with this Child

Yesterday, Mark was telling Jianna it was bath night. During the winter, the girls shower every other night unless we feel they need an extra.

Jianna didn't really want to stop playing to have her shower, so began to negotiate and explain why she did not need a shower.
She started out with the fact that she had had 2 showers in a row, therefore, she should be able to skip a night. 
We explained that she could not "bank" her showers.

She did not feel she was dirty as there was no dirt to be seen on her. 
We explained that there were oils from your body and dust that get in your hair and that she did indeed need a shower.

Mark, trying to solidify our argument, brought up the fact that he showered every day.

Without missing a beat, Jianna, seriously as can be says, "Yeah well you are made out of dirt so you need more showers!"

Honestly, the kid's too smart for her own good!
She may be smarter than us, but she did still have her shower, and we laughed our heads off while she did.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Beginning of a Week of Recuperation

Well, exams are done, and I only came across a couple of girls who completely fell a part in the process. After Tuesday, most of the kids seemed to settle into exams without as much of the craziness...except for the 2 little "hoodlums" who decided to light their notes on fire, in the school, after exams were finished. Thankfully, they were not in the area I was supervising, were quickly caught and swiftly dealt with. 

Given the fact that in my job, I am interacting day in and day out with pretty much the same kids, I am privy to a lot of information another staff member or adult might not be.
After hearing about the many stress relief parties being planned before and after exams, I was once again thankful for my son and the friends he has chosen to hang out with.
One of the VPs walked around with me for a while on Friday and we chatted about her child getting close to the high school age, some of the things we see working in the high school and many of the parties being planned. 
I told her about my son's plans to join a bunch of friends for sledding, Chinese food and later an Xbox/pizza party. That there would be no alcohol and that I trusted him with this group of friends. She was amazed and wanted to know "how I had done that".

I was able to explain that we surrounded our children with like minded kids from like minded families for the most part, and that it has been key in encouraging them to maintain the values that we have instilled in our home. Also, that we have tried to lead by example, we are not out partying with friends, so our kids don't see it as something to aspire to.
As a mom, I have discovered that "positive peer pressure" can be a very good thing!

Thank You to each one of you who have been a part of this surrounding of positive peer pressure and know that your children are a blessing to one another and a light in a world where the norm for high school kids is very different from our kids' reality.
Thanks for doing a great job with your kids!

Now, I get to enjoy a week off for recuperation!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

HELP!!! It's Exam Week!!!

It is exam week, something every student knows is coming ...really for at least a few years.
Every semester is the same after all: start fresh courses, learn new things, write an exam...repeat.

My admonition the past few weeks has been:

Yet, here we are, the first day of exams, and I see this face repeatedly, before and after the exam:

My job sounds simple, keep the kids out of the halls and lockers so that those still writing can actually think.
No problem! After all, the principal did announce before the exams began, what time the kids were to be allowed out, with an admonition to be quiet as they moved through the halls.
We know kids are terrific at paying attention to announcements right?

Yet, some how, I still found myself repeating this statement a hundred or more times today:

My remedy and preparation for tomorrow's exam, (beyond calling in the Big Kahunas to help with the initial dismissal) is this:

I hope I don't make it to number 4 of the instructions, but by may have to come looking for me!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Christmas with the Chows

Christmas Morning 2008

Jonathan P, Maria, Jennifer, Jianna, Jonathan C and Michael

(Jennifer-my cousin- was my first Chinese baby, her mom lived with us when she had her, I was 15 and took Jen everywhere with me, dressed her up and cried all night when her mom took her to live with her daddy 2 hours away. Stephanie is not in the picture, she is a nurse and was in the process of moving back to Aylmer from Fredericton at Christmas, so we didn't get to see her. Steph. used to come to church with us every week as a little girl, and spent many overnights with us when we were in the Ottawa area. Jonathan C was born after Mark and I were married and we lived with these guys for 6 months when we first moved to Ottawa. He used to spend many weekends with Mark and I after we moved out and was our very first little man. He was 2 when my Jonathan was born, we were moving back to New Brunswick, so named our Jonathan for him...not realizing we would be back in close proximity a couple of years later. 

It was fun to all be under one roof for Christmas, my dad joined us from NS as well.

Jen took Maria downtown Ottawa to LuLulemon on Boxing Day, then to La Senza to buy matching PJ shirts...the next day, she took both girls on another shopping trip to make sure Jianna got a shirt as well.
All my girls in my favorite color...ahhh.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Best Decade of Her Life

I made a decision today...I'd like to say that it will be my view point for the next 5 decades or more, but grief is not quite that simple.
For now, for this year, I am choosing to celebrate with the angels.

Today is the 10 year anniversary of the day, Heaven first welcomed my mom...I figure it's party time there, and I really didn't feel like being swallowed up by my loss...So, I am choosing to celebrate with the angels.

Tonight, we decided to go out for supper and celebrate my mom...the time we had with her, her legacy and that she has just completed the very best decade of her life.
(I did have to explain this to the kids as Michael thought we were celebrating Nanny's death...not exactly).

Mom, my heart still aches and I will always miss you...but congratulations on the best years of your life!

Love always,

My cry for 2009

Psalm 43:3

Send forth your Light and your Truth, let them guide me,
let them bring me to your Holy Mountain,
 to the place where you dwell.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Our Loss is Heaven's Gain

"JILL AUSTIN Has Gone Home
to Be with Jesus
At 9:48 CST January 9, 2009"

This situation has so saddened me. Through Jill's  "Master Potter" books, God brought such clarity to me about many aspects of my walk with Him. He also opened my eyes and heart to what He is able to accomplish through  books that are fiction or parables, but birthed in His heart. If you have never read either of these books they really are life changing and I would highly recommend them.  

 I have included a link to Jill's ministry site below.
You can go there for more details, but on Jan. 6'th, it was discovered that Jill's intestine was twisted and infection set in, she underwent 2 surgeries, but was unable to recover and past away last eve.

Please pray for Jill's loved ones, I am sure this is an unexpected and excruciating loss for them and for this ministry. Jill's gifts were unique and I am praying that God will raise up others to walk in the anointing and power that were a part of Jill's mantles. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Snow Day!!!

We awoke to the radio declaring all of the school buses cancelled for the day, which gave Jonathan and Maria a day off. Now we were left with our recurring dilemma.

Whenever the buses are cancelled, I have 2 children with a free day.
The other 2 children attend a walking school with no buses, so they almost never get a day off.
Of course, it is not God, the weather, the school board, teachers or principals that get blamed for the incredible injustice of the situation...
NOPE it is dear old mom!

Today, with the forecast stating that the weather was far from over, we decided we could justify giving Michael and Jianna a day off as well.
Then I called in to my school, to find out if I was required. Since less than 10% of the students were in attendance, I too had a snow day.

I know we have only been back for 2 days, but to get an unexpected
 day together without the busyness of Christmas...was a treat, even a blessing.

So, we spent the morning on some household chores, extra prep for some upcoming tests....Johnny got some free time
 to work on the 4000 word essay that looms over his head...(that would
 be a grade 11 class!!!).

Hubby whisked me away for a secret sushi lunch...meanwhile the girls made themselves and the boys  chicken caesar wraps.

After Lunch, we girls did this:

Kallie loved playing with us in the snow and would chase this ball she found, a big stick she found, and the girls as they slid down the hill.

Unfortunately, my battery ran out before I could get pics of Kallie climbing up the play structure, so she could slide down the slide with the girls as well...too funny!

Jonathan and his friends played in the snow as well, but they were off to the big hill together, so I did not get pictures.

Mike was content to have some time to himself to play Xbox, but before that, they both did some of this for dad:

I am glad we had this day was good.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


May this truly be a blessed year full of Hope and the fulfillment of dreams & promises for each one of you.