Be Buying Your Teacher Shoes?

Sunday afternoon, JC and I went to do a few errands for Nana and Papa here in the big city.

I find these one-on-one times with the boys are incredibly insightful and lead me down paths that sometimes I don’t understand.

Here is our story from Sunday:

JC and I were walking through a store looking at the Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations. We were talking about thanksgiving, then being thankful, next was school then we moved on to his teacher. We finished the conversation by trying to think of some way we could show his teacher we are thankful.

JC emphatically answered, “Shoes! Mom, we need to get her some shoes!”

In my mind I started rolling through the options – does she talk a lot about shoes, does she wear different shoes everyday (my high school VP wore a different tie every day), does she wear ‘funny’ shoes or ? I was confused.

He insisted we buy his teacher shoes, but we started talking about how much we wanted to spend or was there something we could do instead. We settled on a sweet treat and a note where I told his teacher the story of the shoes.

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I just received an email from his teacher and here was her response:

I may know why Jackson wanted to buy me shoes!! I have several single shoes at school for an up-coming lesson on selecting ‘good fit’ books. The idea of the lesson is that choosing a book is like choosing shoes to buy: they need to be the right size AND they need to fit your purpose. For example, you wouldn’t wear heels to go hiking. This is just like not choosing a story book about frogs if you want to learn about frogs. All this to say that I have many single shoes at school, and I have not yet explained why. Might he have thought that my shoes don’t have mates? Or is he insinuating that my gym runners are out of style!?!

This is hilarious! My poor organized , empathetic first born noticed all these single shoes and wanted to correct the ‘problem’ for his teacher.

Hahahaha. This made my whole month. I love creative teachers.

Be Playing Living Room Frisbee.

We enjoyed a wonderful hour with Nana and Papa today. Nana has started to eat and drink a bit. Papa enjoyed an afternoon with M working in the garden.

The big boys made a love message in a bottle for Nana. They were so excited to give them to her.

JC enjoyed showing Nana his schoolwork.

OC loved making his cow noises and laughing for Nana.

CC was very gentle and focused while playing living room frisbee with Nana. It was especially sweet when CC said to Nana, “Good one Nan!”

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Be Out Of Your Mind

In this intellectual age where we stick six year olds behind desks to ‘school’ them, where most people work in dreary incandescent lit offices and we eat fast food because it is fast and easy.

Today, I throw out a direct challenge – BE OUT OF YOUR MIND!

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Tonight, my mind fights for every ounce of sense to understand what my mom is going through. But instead, I choose to FEEL deeply as her body heaves and moves. I choose to hold her close and just be present.

Tonight, my mom fights to think of any food that will soothe her weary GI tract. I choose to be OPEN and not push. I let go and allow her space to listen to her body.

Tonight, as we think the cool north wind is threatening of snow, we FIGHT the cold together. Mom hunkered down under a beautiful quilt warmed up in the dryer and a warm cloth comforting her numb feet.

Tonight, I choose to STAY close even if the smell and sounds make my mind want to flee.
I choose to be.
To pray.
To listen.
To be God’s servant.
To serve the woman who birthed me, who loves me unconditionally and who wiped my vomit stained mouth many times.

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Tonight, I AM where I am.
Out. of. my. mind.
Some things do NOT make sense. Don’t even try!
*this might take longer than five minutes.

Be Climbing Your Mountain

Mom is climbing a huge mountain this week. This is probably one comparable to her first week in the hospital. We are at the very least in the same formidable mountain range. We are hoping to head down into the valley for a rest soon. Soon. When? No one knows.

This mountain involves nausea (oh how she hates getting sick!), pain in her lower abdomen, inability to eat or drink much. Mom went in on Wednesday to the cancer clinic to get a couple of bags of IV fluid.

Mom is now in the hospital again, hopefully just for the day. She is getting great treatment in the ER – more fluids and good ol’ morphine.

Update: mom went home at 4pm after two bags of fluid. Still nauseous though.

Climb your own mountain today. You can do it one step at a time. Trust God. Look for Him. He loves us all.

Here’s my new favourite mountain in Ktown and my peeps who have made the trek up in the last few weeks.

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Be an ‘Old’ Friend.

A friend sticks close no matter the weather.

A friend tells you when they are in town even if they can’t see you.

A friend uses her professional singing voice to sing your boys a bedtime song.

A friend drives ten hours on their holidays to come help you.

A friend asks about your mom and listens to the answer.

A friend loves you AND your family no matter the behaviour.

A friend bakes spelt buns just because.

A friend delivers food to the hospital and home.

A friend phones to check in, but doesn’t say “how are you?” because this makes you bawl your eyes out.

A friend cries with you when you get the prognosis.

A friend lets them hug you for a long time.

A friend pray unceasingly, even if it is the same prayer over and over.

A friend helps even if you haven’t seen them in twenty years or two hours.

A friend brings wine.

A friend climbs a mountain one day and walks with you another day.

A friend loves.

A friend is lovingly brutally honest.

A photo of just a few of our dear friends that have touched our lives and kept us strong through this time of change.

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Mom started her third chemo yesterday. She is struggling with nausea, eating and the extreme fatigue. Surgery is booked for October 31st in VCity.

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Be Seeing Jesus’ Castle

Lately, I have an incredible appreciation for clouds. Their beauty, shapes and movement are awe inspiring and wondrous for me.

Tonight, we were driving to Sexy Necks bear school to watch some ‘old’ friends coach volleyball.

We saw these clouds.

JC exclaimed, “It looks like the entrance to Jesus’s castle!”

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Apparently clouds are speaking to more than me these days.

Be Wordy on the Weekend

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This quote reminded me of my dad’s comment this week about our family being in God’s hand. This is the billboard from the church down the street.

Mom met for the first time yesterday with her Gyno-oncologist from Vtown. We received both good and bad news and continue to live in shades of grey (in God’s hand of course).

Here’s the play-by-play recap of the appointment: (my friends always laugh at my sports lingo, so I had to throw some in here to lighten the moment.)

– Mom’s cancer is responding “excellently” to the chemo. (Excellent was what the CAT scan report said.)
– they still cannot give us a diagnosis til after the surgery.
– the goal of the chemo is to put the cancer into remission for as long as possible. (At least until baby OC gets married?)
– mom is moving forward with chemo on Tuesday
– mom will have surgery 500 kilometres away in Vtown. I am not sure how she is getting there – anyone want to loan us a motor home?
– I am sad and optimistic.

Life changes quickly.

Enjoy the one YOU have.

Consume less stuff.

Be with YOUR peeps and consume them.

What a gift my mom and dad are.

Be Diagnosing and Prognosing

Tomorrow, my mom will finally receive her ‘official’ diagnosis and prognosis. I am not sure what they are going to tell us.

I am going in completed blind.

I sit in fear and trembling, with a humble heart at all the possibilities of this disease called cancer.

My dad told me the other day that God has us in the palm of his hand.

In preparation for tomorrow, I have my list of questions. M, my sister, has her list. My mom wants to know her surgery date in Vtown and my dad is hoping to hear mom’s prognosis.

Friday.
10:45am Pacific Standard Time.
Let the healing journey continue.

Be Eating Together

My mom has always been incredible at celebrating little and big things as well she has established amazing family rituals.

My mom has:
-volunteered in my boys schools,
– done many pick-ups,
-watched most activities they do,
– buys back to school clothes,
– every holiday the boys receive something,
– birthdays are a big deal,
– mom even makes a quilt when the boys move into their big boy bed. She is working on OC’s right now with help from her friend Audrey.

How does she do it?

I have to admit I do have a favourite mom ritual: eating together at dinner. This usually involves a bouquet of flowers, homemade quilted placemats, nicely set plates and utensils and a yummy homemade meal including a dish of olives that my boys sneak and gobble up even before dinner begins.

On Sunday, we had our first meal in our new house with mom and dad. (We bought it on May 10th)

I just love these two people to the moon and back. It was amazing to have them for both lunch and dinner.

Between meals, mom rested on the couch or on the Nana Cabana outside.

I really feel that a family that eats together, stays together. I wonder what the stats on that are?

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I even phoned a friend and learned how to poach an egg for mom. My foodie friend wasn’t home, but her observant husband was able to give me the details after watching his chef wife all these years. Go Jimbo!

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Be With One’s Kinsmen

Kinsmen = One of a person’s blood relations.

We have been fortunate to move to a city where many of my husband’s kinsmen live. These cousins are interesting, diverse, hilarious and extremely supportive. It also helps in the hand-me down and parenting department that they have older children. Yeah for great ‘experienced’ parents!

Last week, we asked the cousins to come over for a swim/sundae party with the ulterior motive that we needed a very heavy workbench moved out of the house.

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Yesterday, three of the cousins joined me in doing two things I have always wanted to do: take a drawing course and visit a local lavender farm.

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There is nothing like beautiful kinsmen in K-town. Thank you Jesus for supportive, open, family members.

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