Category Archives: men

Be July of 2022

What happened after the “Radical Sabbatical in Europe” Joanna? I have been asked this question many, many times in the last 2.5 years. November, 2019 feels like a few months ago. So much has changed, hasn’t it? I wonder what has changed for you?

First, before we get into the newspaper headings from our lives, I want to send you a big hug with my eyes with the few more well-earned wrinkles around them. HUUUUUUG!

Second, here’s a few highlights since November of 2019 (and WordPress cut off my blog because I had used up all my storage!):

  • We are now on year three of our Radical Sabbatical and we are calling it “Best of Both Worlds”. After living at the ski hill for TWO, yes count them TWO University school years, we moved back to the city in May of 2021. We have been living here in the city and commuting on weekends to the ski hill, hence “Best of Both Worlds”.
  • The home learning life continues. We are going into year four of learning outside of a physical school setting and I truly wish that I had done it when the boys were younger. The boys are thriving and finding their true passions. The boys and I work together, as a team, each morning on specific learning mostly related to writing, numbers, French, Social Studies and Science. Afternoons are full of outside time, art, music, making things in the garage, hanging out with neighbours, classes and activities. It truly is a richer life than I could have ever expected. (Future blog post coming on the pitfalls and blessings of this type of learning!)
  • Sexy Neck has changed jobs! He moved back to the city where our house is to be one of the leaders in charge of a large 400+ student International Program. Coming from a program he led with 100+ students, this move has been a huge shift for him and our family. Yes, we are still happily married and we celebrated 25 years in May. WOOP WOOP!
  • In the spring of 2020, I was getting asked many questions about home learning and as a teacher, I felt called to head back into a school to help other families. Next year, will be my third year working with Heritage Christian Online School (HCOS), working with 15+ families per year (@40 students). I guide each student’s learning, meet with them, suggest resources and report on each child’s learning twice per year. I have done this job previously in 2015-2017 and I feel a real “calling” to be with this school, at this time, working with my exceptional, lovely, amazing, fellow home learning families.
  • Another questions I often get asked, are you still with Isagenix? Yes, yes, yes, yes. I am a lifer and we enjoy the #isalife every single day. My life sharing Isagenix looks a bit different now, as it fits in the corners of my days behind my faith, family, friends and teaching, BUT I will always be passionate about health, helping people with their goals and guiding people on how to use the Isagenix products. After doing 12 events in 5 years, I don’t see many events in my future, but one thing I have realized in these last years is that I truly love one-on-one contact with other human beings. At the events, I would have preferred to be stacking chairs or helping people register or wiping down sinks in the bathrooms that speaking or standing on a stage. I love these products and the people it has brought into my life. If you are one of those people that has asked me about Isagenix in the last 8 years, I am truly blessed that you asked, trusted me and shared your health journey with me. Yup, I am truly a lifer.
  • “The boys” are now going into grades 6, 8, and 10 in September. I cannot honestly even explain the growth that they have had the last 2.5 years. Our oldest is now taller than me! Our middle guy is going for his blackbelt in Taekwondo and our youngest is thoroughly enveloped in learning about Policing and being a Conversation Officer. They are such fun kids to hangout with too! More coming on “The boys” soon.
  • December of 2020, we introduced Winter, a goldendoodle, into our family of five. Winnie is truly each of the boys’ first love and they shower her with attention, walks, cuddles and lots of time together while they learn at home. (If anyone remembers our labrador, Summer, the name will make perfect sense!)

Lastly, tonight, I wanted to tell you that I will again be regularly blogging, sharing the journey that I have been on these last few years and also what’s coming. I realized the other night that often we talk about the pregnancy, baby and toddler stage way more than the teenager stage. Who remembers talking about breastfeeding, first foods, which diapers to buy, organic crib mattresses, milestones, toileting and so much more ad nauseam? As our second guy turns 13 this weekend and we are going to have two teenagers in the house, I want to use this energy they are creating by talking ad nauseam about this important stage in children’s lives. Strap yourself in folks, it is going to be a fun ride.

I love you all dearly, back soon! (well at least sooner than 2.5 year. HAH!)

xoxo Joanna

Be Wearing Purple

Sexy Neck agonized about his new purple shirt and tie. It was agonizing for me, anyways, watching him lay it out, try it on, switch ties…. You get the picture.

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He does pull out his pink shirt for anti-bullying day, but purple on a regular work day? He wasn’t sure.

How blessed is he?

Sexy Neck walked into work and both, YUP BOTH, of the other administrators were wearing purple.

Not planned.

Pure coincidence.

Yup, that’s how we roll around here these days.

Encouragement around every corner, even when we take a risk and wear purple.

I think the secretaries are now organizing a “Mauve Monday” clothing day.

The verdict is out on how Sexy Neck will roll with that.

Be Living With Irony

In the last six months, I have endured the most devastating and richest time of my life.

I am living through metaphors and irony daily. I should have paid more attention in English Twelve so that I could figure this all out.

Irony, ironic, paradoxical.

Sitting where I am today, I know that I will never be able to ‘make sense’ of my mom’s cancer journey and death.

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But I will look at the irony and beauty that has come from this beast of a year.

The irony that the hard times are when you find your deep friends, the ones that you can never repay, come be at your side, feel free to weep with on a daily basis and organize decorations from 500 kilometres away for mom’s funeral without question.

The letting go of people that just don’t get what you are going through and the deepening of friendships of those that know the profound earth shattering feeling of losing your mom.

The yanking apart of my family so that I could be at Mom’s side.

The incredible pillar of strength deep within my husband so that he could be all things for me and the boys when we needed it throughout this entire journey. Sexy Neck has a deep, deep well. What a gift he has been.

My dad, oh my dad. We were close before we went to war to help mom, but now we have an honesty and camaraderie that makes us teammates and friends.

Sweet victory.

Sad loss.

Richness.

Devastation.

Beauty.

Beast.

Life.

Death.

Light.

Darkness.

Irony.

Living in it, through it, with it, every day!

Be Leaving a Rose from My Rose

My husband, Sexy Neck, has always been a rock to me. His tower of strength and stability have always grounded me and sometimes annoyed me.

In the last five months since mom’s diagnosis and now her death, Sexy Neck has not only been a rock, but a sweet, sweet rose.

His words have been velvety rose petal smooth to my soul.

He has been sweet to my mom and has always displayed a deep connection to her that goes beyond my understanding.

Sexy Neck has stood by with class as many things unfolded in and around our family.

Today, he saw the rose from hospice sitting in our van. He said, “Why don’t we take the rose and put it on a x-country ski trail for your mom?” This is exactly what dad, our boys and I needed to hear on this first ski without mom.

We carried the rose on the side of the chariot out to Woodland Bell.

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We skied into a sunny meadow, wrote mom’s name in the snow and placed the rose beside a little spruce tree.

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Happy New Year to my sweet rose, Sexy Neck, my beautiful boys, my dad, my family, friends and blog readers.

May you have many roses in your life even when you are in the desert and may you stop to smell the roses this year.

35 The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them,
And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;
2 It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice,
Even with joy and singing. Isaiah 35:1 & 2

Be Laughing at What Your Husband Says

Happy advent – day number thirteen! Can you believe that there are less than two weeks until Christmas? I love this simple time of preparing.

Today, I have decided to focus on laughter, amidst the vomit (see tomorrow’s post!)

Sexy Neck has a wonderful sense of humour that produces great big belly laughs in our house.

Over the next few weeks leading to Christmas, I hope to:

– be in my body, not a mind with a body trying to follow it.
– breathe
– notice
– laugh*
* I am going to use Sexy Neck to help me with the last one.

Here are a few ditty’s from my hubby to start us off:

“It’s official JC knows more French than me!” (JC is six and we live in a ‘bilingual’ country, French/English)

“I could see buying it if we had two more children to use it afterwards.”

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” “You guys look great, but Ron couldn’t you at least comb your hair for the event? Jeesh! Not that I’m jealous you got Gramp’s hair gene or anything!” (To his brothers Christmas work party photo)

“I guess you can’t yell at a child lying in bed singing about Jesus!”

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“Boys you need to behave.” says dad while wearing his school bear mascot head.

Be Celebrating My Dad’s 17th Birthday

Me: Today is Papa’s birthday!!!!!!!

Boys: woohoo!

JC: How old is Papa?

Me: How old do you think he is?

JC: Five

Me: Well, you are six buddy and your oldest cousin, Justy, is sixteen. What do you think now?

JC: Hmmmmm…. Seventeen!

Happy seventeenth birthday dad! You are incredibly youthful, amazing with the boys and very generous.
We love you very much.

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Dad got OC a musical fire truck card for his second birthday. We bought him a Beach Boys musical card. Everyone loved it, especially OC!

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And the icing on the cake, my first hug and kiss for my mama. I haven’t wanted to get close to her since I have been unwell for six weeks!

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