Be Saving a Seat for Nana

I am continually amazed by my children’s insight and childlike faith. I have discovered a deep understanding of the meaning when God asks us to have ‘faith like a child’.

Last night, I shared about the storm that exists for me in my rowboat of grief. I choose to show my grief to Sexy Neck, a few close friends and privately in my laundry room. I don’t expect my children to heal me, distract me or provide for my emotional well being. I sit with them in their grief but don’t expect them to sit with me in mine. But I am always surprised at how God uses them to teach me.

After I wrote yesterday’s blog post, the boys came to get Sexy Neck and I to watch a show. Wasn’t I surprised when I saw three chairs waiting for the ‘Up and Down’ show. The boys seated us and exclaimed as they pointed to the middle chair, “This one is for Nana!”
20140829-120047-43247275.jpg Nana always loved watching the boys shows, school performances and activities.

Childlike faith.

Ever present Nana.

God’s blessing.

Peace.

Love.

Be in a Stormy Time

As the rain pounds the grass in our backyard, so my heart pounds as I think of the past year.

Mom.

Cancer.

Hospital.

Hospice.

Sun.

Tea.

Teaching.

Love.

I am in awe of the blessings that have been poured out over our family as well as the devastation we have faced.   Our family’s foundation has been rocked and the house is not the same.  The death of my mom, our matriach, our organizer, our connector has helped dissolve many relationships and I have been set free.

Free from judgement of who I was.

Free from expectation.

Free from trying to be someone else.

Free to be me!

Today, I sit, lay, kneel, stand in awe knowing that this storm in my rowboat of grief will end.  I have learned this well in the last eight months. I know that the deepness that I feel will continue to keep me rooted and grounded.  And I know that those people God has placed around me will continue to pray, think positive thoughts, remember my mom and will be journeying with us.

One thing that strikes me differently today, is thoughts about mom’s funeral.  This funeral that we literally threw together trying to represent my mom’s love and character.  My mom’s funeral that had mementos along the walls, food at the back, people sitting and children playing.  Mom’s paddleboard and bike sat against a tree on the beach waiting… waiting… waiting.

Perhaps this is a deep time because on Monday, my dad, the boys and I took mom’s paddleboard out for a spin on Kal Lake for the VERY FIRST TIME!   It was hard and rich… just like life!

I am full of gratitude for my family and friends who continue to walk this journey with me.  I am in awe of everyone that stopped their Christmas vacations and spent December 29th, 2013 celebrating my mom.

These photos were provided by my dear friend, Princess Penny:

 

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Here are a few of my “Salty Friends”:

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My two wonderful cousins who have been rocks for me over the last year.  Our family has loved the time we have gotten to spend with them in the last eight months.

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Just a few of my parents “Salty Friends”!

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The children were blessed at mom’s funeral with an outpouring of love, surrounded by incredible people with special toys and balloon animals.

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And of course, lastly stands my Sexy Neck!

My man!

My love.

My pillar of strength.

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Life is devastating at time, rich always and connected to those around us.

Foundations may crack in the storm.

Houses may crumble.

People will stand together and alone in goodness and grief.

God will weave everything together for Good!

I am blessed this stormy day!

Be Starting a New Teaching Gig

As my colleagues in the public sector walk the picket line, I dive head first into a new teaching job supporting families that are schooling at home.

First, I learn about each students passions and interests. I ponder curriculum. I write up a learning plan and then I spend many hours at my computer getting ‘er done! Sexy Neck has told me in my family of origin we like to get ‘er done!

Students.

Education.

Learning Plans.

Pondering.

Passions.

Resources.

Ordering online.

Staff meetings.

At home.

Pondering.

Questions… Checkout this desk: 20140825-213203-77523763.jpg
(The non-urgent questions are under the keyboard for now!)

Using my teacher brain.

Sharing my gifts.

Following God’s leading.

Energized.

Blessed.

Living the presence of God.

Watching my interwoven life.

Woven with others.

Peace.

Joy.

Love.

Holy time!

Be a Pirate and a Lawn Mower

Our boys are able to pick two camps to do each summer.  I try to sign them up when Sexy Neck works in the summertime.  Sexy Neck was back at work on Monday and the big boys were at Sailing Camp.20140824-090357-32637570.jpg

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20140824-090508-32708060.jpgToday was the last day… AArrrrr… it was Pirate Day!  These boys have the best imaginations and their abilities to come up with a costume astound me.  Here they are:

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JC got to go on a catamaran and even had a water fight with the paddle boarders.  CC was in his wee boat steering it around the bay.  Way to go pirate sailors!

I had to add this shot of OC tonight!  Just like daddy..

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Be a Teacher (again)

As I move back into the realm of teaching, this post said exactly what I was thinking!  

What students remember about teachers!

Yes, I am moving back into the realm of teaching as a support to parents that are homeschooling their children through Distributed Learning.  I am working for a fabulous company that puts families first.  I work with the families to put together resources and a program that works for their student.  Each learning plan is individualized and personalized. I also get to go and meet the families in their homes three times per year.  The rest of the time, I work from home to support students.  Twenty-first century learning at its best!   

Can you tell I am excited? 

Overflowing abundance. 

Amazing opportunity. 

Grateful.

Putting my teaching hat on.

Connecting with students and their families.

Watch out Okanagan,

I am back! 

Be a Grandparent

Grandparents can be the greatest gifts in the world!

They don’t have to worry about kids eating their veggies.

Grandparents don’t need to make decision about schooling, moving, and daily schedule. The day-to-day household grind can be left behind when visiting grandchildren.

Grandparents are gifts because they get to just be. Not planning or pondering, just present.

Smiling.

Crafting.

Swimming.
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Laughing.

Following.

Giving ideas.

Being bears.

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Telling stories.

Working side-by-side.

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Reading books because all books grandparents read are awesome.

Looking at the garden.

Eating together.

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Sharing time and space.

Being kind and considerate.

Loving them up.

Going to their first Art exhibition.

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Well done grandparents!

For the gift of time!

Be Putting Sweat Equity into the Sideyard

Our house was a fixer-upper. A ‘major’ smoke-infested, 1960’s, pack rat treasure home.

We are proud owners of a fifty year old, well built house that has an incredibly large yard. The previous owner loved his wood, compost bins and other treasures. We have had the privilege of sorting and disposing of many of them.

On the weekend, Grandma and Papa came from VCity to help Sexy Neck with our sideyard ‘tidy up’.

I think the photos speak a thousand words:

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August 2014

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DONE!

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Removing rubbish.

Boys helping.

Wood border.

Papa’s strength.

Raking smooth.

Exertion.

Truckloads of rock.

Sweat equity.

Sideyard done!

Be Going Back to the Laundry Room

The pull of the dirty, messy clothes.

I am a mess!

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The rhythm of the washing machine.

I crave this rhythm!

The quiet cave in the bottom of my house.

I find this time!

A place to rest.

A place to cry.

A place to be.

The first place I went to once we returned to our house after my mom died. (Read at your own risk!)

The place I return to.

Daily.

Allowing myself to feel deeply.

Being filled with my grief.

Sitting in it.

The boat of grief amongst the waves of sorrow.

My feelings are deep.

But I am full of gratitude for these feelings.

For this time of being.

Allowing these feelings to not turn to anger, bitterness or other things that will tie me down.

Each day is a continual letting go.

A releasing.

A moving forward, while grieving the past.

The gift of grief.

I painted this during the quiet of the morning after my bike ride.
Is this my mom’s chalk outline?
Mine?
My old self?
Or something all together different?
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In a stage of unknowing.

Being patient with myself and others.

Giving grace.

Receiving it.

Just being exactly where I am.

In the laundry room