Tag Archives: Family

Be Removing A Closet

What do we really WANT and NEED?

This question keeps rolling through my mind as I wade through the copious amount of stuff in my parents basement and the torn apart house we hope to occupy in less than four weeks.

You will be happy to know that we are not going on the Hoarders TV show, but we are making steps to remove a closet so that all three of our boys can share a room.

Yes, in the world of resale, probably not the best move.  But in the realm of us having the priority that our boys will be close, share their lives and their worlds with each other, getting rid of a closet is something we need to do.

One decision down… 1,368 to go!

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The view of the closet from the hall.  Look at all that space we will have for the boys literal bed room.  We plan on keeping their clothes, books and some toys in the other bedroom down the hall.  The boys are excited about their “sleeping” room and their “book” room as they are calling them.

Be a Neighbour

I am in shock that someone could make a homemade bomb to hurt citizens, athletes, and spectators at the Boston Marathon.  I doesn’t make sense.  It is cruel, hurtful and evil.  I am in despair and I feel very sad.

What can I do? How can I help?

I feel hopeless, but then I realize that there are people all around me.  People hurting, people needing support and I know that I can do only one thing in this moment of sadness:

I can be a neighbour.

I believe in my heart that if we really knew our neighbours, our world would be a better place.  If we took the time to really LOVE and understand our neighbours.  If we took the time to listen and care, we would not have so many human beings that feel so disconnected from each other.  Many people willing to kill each other.

In my despair, I stand on my soapbox and ask, could be a neighbour?

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Our neighbour pumpkin carving night! 

Here is what being a neighbour means to our family, on our street, in our small town:

  • Give your neighbours your phone number. (Once you get to know them.)
  • Lend them things – we tend to lend out a ton of baby/kids stuff.  Imagine that!
  • Borrow things from them – ask for some milk or a couple of eggs
  • Get to know your neighbours.  We know everyone on our block as well as their parents, grandchildren and a few aunts and uncles.
  • Ask the neighbourhood kids to walk your dog or take care of the lawn.  It gives them purpose and value.  (If they don’t accept, don’t worry.  Keep asking!)
  • Drop off some cookies or a candy bar or a pizza if you know someone in the neighbourhood is sick.  Nothing fancy, just something from your family.
  • Celebrate special events: I know people do block parties (we aren’t that fancy), but we do have card nights, BBQ’s and I have even hosted a yoga class in my living room.
  • And our personal favourite for our street: If someone walks down the road, say hello and smile.  Simple and sweet!

I think being a neighbour also involves someone being in the home during the day.  I think if more families had a parent at home (at least part time), many of our North American problems would disappear.  Perhaps even huge bombing (and future bombings and shootings ) like the Boston Marathon Tragedy could have been prevented.

Be A Worker

I live with three little men and one big one.

I am immersed with strange noises, tree climbing and nightly wrestling sessions on a daily basis.

I haven’t quite figured this whole ‘boy’ thing out yet, but I read a ton of books about boys and spend many hours observing my blessed, interesting, little men.

This morning was a light bulb moment.

My men love to WORK.

If there is a job to be done, it is done. If there is wood to be moved it is carried together while singing. If a machine is being worked on, my little men are there.

Amazing! I love my little workers! Well done this morning boys!

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Be Celebrating Easter

My boys love traditions. Taco Tuesdays. Pizza Friday. Hugs when we say hello and goodbye.  Special songs with sing with friends.  Stickers and stamps at the end of library storytime and gymnastics.

The boys look forward to balloons and a homemade cake on their birthday.

They talk about their Halloween costumes for about eleven months.

They LOVE our real Christmas tree, homemade stockings and all the presents celebrating Jesus’ birthday.

I may be wrong, but I think my boys enjoy Easter traditions the best. The decorating of eggs, hunting for chocolates (running around outside!), being in church with all their close friends and dinner with Nana and Papa is very exciting for them.

What do you think  your child’s favourite family tradition is?

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2013 0122013 036IMG_1386[1](JC’s latest creation.  Jesus has risen and provided a bridge for us to meet God!) 

Be A Liebster

liebster blog award, liebster award, liebster blog, blog awards

WOW!  I am humbled!  Chana and Rebecca have nominated me for a Liebster Award.  Their blogs have been inspiring to me.  I appreciate Chana’s encouragement.  I am honoured to answer these questions and to nominate nine other bloggers I read on a regular basis.  Yes, I know it should be eleven! 🙂

Find Chana  at http://littleduckies.wordpress.com  and Rebecca at http://thedissocialmom.wordpress.com/

The Liebster Blog Award is given to new bloggers with less than 200 followers.  The rules are:

1. Tell 11 things about yourself.

2. Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.

3. Nominate 11 bloggers, and post 11 questions for them to answer.

Eleven Facts About Myself:

1.  I am a northern girl, from a redneck, sports-minded, outdoors, pulp mill, sawmill kind of city. It was a good place to grow up.

2. I married my true love by choice at 23 years old.

3. My love is my family, including Sexy Neck and my 3 boys, but my passions are coaching, being active outside, and organizing the heck out of everything.

4. I love Jesus ever since I met him in University.  He is alive!

5. My friends are very important to me and I have and incredibly  great circle of friends who encourage my crazy ideas.

6. I am not afraid of change, but I find change hard.  Hmmm…

7. I don’t eat wheat.

8. I am a teacher who struggles with schooling.

9.  This year, for over a year I have been following Ann Voskamp’s blog and counting 1000 gifts.  Today, I wrote down my 1,200 thing that I am thankful for – It was: “Being outside in the sun with my boys.”

10. I am Canadian, eh!  Can you tell by all my words having extra “u”‘s in them – favourite, neighbourhood, honoured etc.

11. I love the blogging world because of its authenticity and instant communication.  I am honoured to join this world.

Eleven Questions from Chana (little duckies.wordpress.com)

1) The 3 most important things in my life are my relationship with Jesus, my husband and my boys… well that is more than 3! hmmm… how strict are the rules?

2) I decided to start blogging because I love writing, I love sharing and I needed an outlet during a very challenging time.

3) Books or television?  Books, we got rid of television once I realized I had an addiction to reality TV.

4) If someone accused your child of bullying theirs, how would you react?  I would pray hard then teach my child and my child’s friends on what to do with a bully.

5) I love reading books that my book club members recommend, self-help books about money and self-improvement and christian fiction.

6) What do you consider to be the most important factor in a marriage? Quality time, not quantity as we have three wee boys bouncing off the walls.

7) There are many, many older (30+) singles today, as well as a high rate of divorce.  What do you think is the cause? Lack of perseverance – life is a sequence of choices and consequences.

8) Why did you choose your city of residence? Weather, outdoor activities, proximity to relatives.

9) How do you and your spouse handle finances? We follow a budget, talk about most major household purchases (over $200) and we each have our own pot of money that we do whatever we want with.

10) What is your favorite household chore?  washing windows

11) The classic: If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money? Pay off our mortgage, buy a new car, donate money to our church and a school in Rwanda, buy my parents a trip or a condo on a golf course, give my nieces and nephews some money for school.

My questions for my Nominees:

1. What website do you check almost every day?

2. Favourite colour to wear?

3. Coffee or tea? Why?

4. What is your favourite season?

5. What are you reading right now ( book or Kobo etc.)?

6. Why blog?

7. Who is the most inspiring person in your life right now?

8.  Do you have a comfort item? If yes, tell us more.

9. Favourite childhood memory?

10. What job did you want to do when you were little?

11.  The classic: What 3 things would you want if you were on a stranded island?

My Nominations:

https://foodiegardeningclub.wordpress.com (My foodie friend’s blog)

http://journeythrugrace.wordpress.com/ (Well said, I can relate!)

http://notsospanish.wordpress.com/ (My cousin who inspired me to blog)

http://enjoylifeforonce.com/ (Love the realness of this blog)

http://rogertharpe.wordpress.com/ (God speaks to me through this blog)

http://tutordoctorofwny.wordpress.com/ (Love this teaching blog)

http://brownpaperbelle.com/  (What a beautiful, inspiring blog)

http://jaydonanddaddy.com/ (He’s a Liebster, but I love Wordless Wednesdays)

http://my3monsters.wordpress.com/ (She has 3 kids too!)

Be At Home

There are a few things that chip off a little piece of my heart.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a neighbour which took a piece away.

Here is the scenario:

Right now, there are many men and some women who travel up to Northern Canada to work in the tar sands.  These workers are being paid alot of money, and I mean alot of money.  Here is a summary of my conversation with my twenty year old neighbour.

Jason was home for his five days off.  He works twenty-days up north in a camp.  He gets all his meals cooked for him, buffet style.  There is a maid that cleans up his room every day.  He works twelve hour shifts and I believe that he probably works hard.  He told me that he makes more money in three months working up north that he could make in one year in our town.  He also told me on his five days off, he spent more than he would normally spend in a month. (Note: he does not pay rent here, he stays with his parents.  He has a truck payment, but that is all for expenses.)

His parents were away when he was home for his five days off.  He said that it was hard being home because he was often hungry and looking for food, but then realized he had to cook for himself.  He was wearing two new gold ear rings as well as a gold necklace.  And take a look at his truck:

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I am worried.  Deeply, profoundly worried.

What type of environment are we creating for these men who leave their families and come home for only five days out of twenty-six?

How about the families that are left behind?  What about the amount of money they are being paid? (They make more than my husband does who has three degrees!)

Lastly, what skills are they learning to contribute to regular society? And what happens when the work ends?  I am very, very worried.

Boys, I want to tell you that money isn’t everything.  As your Papa Jenkins always told me, “You can’t take it with you when you go!”  Yes, go and make some money up north if you need to, but be sensible with your money.  Save it, donate it, but mostly be at home with the people you love and love you.  Life is short!

Be a Waffler

My husband’s grandfather has always amazed
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He is our navy man, computer savy, duct tape selling, all around incredibly loving and nice guy.

The first time I met Gramps it was around my future in-laws kitchen table, but a few times later I was invited over to Gramps and G.G.’s for breakfast.

Who was behind the kitchen counter? Gramps was, wearing his apron and his chef’s hat, oh how he loves to wear silly things. Gramps whipped up a batch of his waffles and even threw in a few eggs or two on the side. You could see the love pouring out of the bowl into the hot pan. You could hear the playful chatter between Gramps and his family. It was an amazing meal, the first of many.

Every weekend, we try to re-create Gramps’ ritual of waffle making. Who wouldn’t want to?

Waffles symbolize for me, such joy and an amazing time together as a family.

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Thanks Gramps for passing on this ritual to our family. Plus the maple syrup and peanut butter on top isn’t too bad either. (Yup, I said peanut butter!)