Tag Archives: love

Be A Brother Hugger (My 150th Post)

Today is the last day of Kindergarten for our first born.  What a year it has been!

Negotiating the great educational experiment of full-day every day Kindergarten. (We did half days til Christmas).  Getting to know the school culture as a parent, not just as a teacher.  Plus, having the younger brothers without their eldest brother five days per week.  Whew! 

From the very first day of school, we have been very intentional about the importance of JC saying goodbye to his younger brothers with a hug and a kiss.  I believe it helps everyone’s transition into the day.  Plus who doesn’t want to start their day off with a hug and a kiss?

Here is our last day of Kindergarten:

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HUG and a…. 

KISS! 

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Now off to line-up for school.

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Today I will leave you with one more photo: the two big boys after they went to watch their best friends’ ballet performances.  We stopped for a break to look at one of the most beautiful lakes in North America.

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 Man – Part IV

I love my man!  Usually when I talk about ‘be a man’ (see here), I am talking about Sexy Neck.

In the midst of cleaning, moving and digging out trees, I had to add a guest “man” to my banter with my man.

Papa Bob or Baron Bob as we lovingly call our dear friend, is a great man.

He came to dig out our boy’s placenta trees.  Trees we had planted with our boys placenta’s underneath.  Strange, I know, but really interesting.   JC has an autumn blaze tree because of the colour and CC has a plane tree because of the size.  OC will get his tree this fall when he turns two.

Since we were moving today, the boys requested that the trees come with us.  They also asked if we could bring the bathroom mirror, but we left that behind.

Our Papa Bob, was busy digging a humungous hole in our heavy clay soil, but when the boys arrived he had them digging with him, avoided hitting them with his sledgehammer and looked like a superhero when the roots finally gave way.

Here is Papa Bob in action.  Let’s remember it is easy to get our heads down in a hole, but it is the people that God has placed around us that really matter.  Thank PB for reminding us of this!

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Be Remembering

I remember running in fear to and from the stop sign,

searching, looking for the boogie man.

I remember monsters lurking under my bed and around every

corner and in every closet.

I remember fire, falling and blindness in my dreams,

sometimes I still remember those.

I remember being trapped in a bin, outside the house,

in closets, in darkness.

I remember being shut out, turned from, not listened to,

I ran away alone.

I remember sleepovers I didn’t want to be at,

many I came home from.

I remember feelings of discomfort, judgement, inability to live up to expectations,

oh ya, I still have those.

I remember fearing alcohol, the effect on my body and others.

I remember preaching abstinence from it.

NOW I know in my body the light,

I remember God’s light shining in my basement bedroom in 1995,

I remember God’s love, His acceptance, His peace, His kindness, His grace.

I remember His ways are not my ways.  Everything doesn’t have to make sense.

I remember God is who He says He is in the bible, in nature, in wise people around me.

I remember the fragrance of heaven surrounding me.

I remember to trust, let go of performance and to REST.

I remember the FoRest, by the pond where God meets me.

I remember His word is alive and active in ME… yup me.

I remember to swing and to allow God to push me.  Swing Joanna!

I remember that I will be healed in 2013.  Glory, Hallelujah.  Thank you Jesus.

My Favourite Song to end off this post:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8welVgKX8Qo

Be A Morning Person

I am sorry folks, but I am not a morning person.

I almost flunked Psychology 100 because it was an 8am class. Studying by sleeping with the textbook under my pillow might have been another reason. (Boys, don’t try this. It does not help you absorb the information.)

Before children, I used to sleep til noon on the weekends. As a teenager, it was usually early afternoon before I awoke. When Sexy Neck and I lived in a small French town, the grocery store would close between noon and 2pm. Most days, the crazy Canadians could be seen sprinting to the grocery store before it closed at noon for a fresh baguette or some milk.

Since having children, I have been blessed. All three of my boys wake up happy, singing, chatting, cuddling.

This morning, as I breastfed our youngest in a sleepy stupor, our oldest popped up beside the bed with this drawing:

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Wow! First, who would get up and immediately start drawing? Second, how did this nighthawk, grumpy morning person Mama get so lucky to have so much love at 6:30am.

Be AMAZED!

Hi everyone, Joanna here:

Today, I was wondering what to share about this incredibly humbling week. Roger’s blog post inspired me to share our latest journey with you. We have had many emotions this week as we search for a new house.


Here is the gist of our househunting story:
Last week, we put in an offer on a house. The owners took another offer from another family. Yesterday, our realtor phoned us and told us that the financing didn’t come through for the family with the accepted offer. He asked if we wanted to put in another offer. He proceeded to tell us that we should offer $11,000 less than we did last week.  DRUM ROLL PLEASE…. Today, we found out our offer was accepted. Today, we are rejoicing and have a better understanding that God’s ways our not our ways. He has always helped us find a place to live as we humbly ask for His help. We are extremely grateful and amazingly stunned. Glory to God! I can’t wait to see the mansion in heaven that God has for us like Roger Tharpe blogged about!  Thanks for the inspiration Roger.  

two-peace-faced-lovebird-feng-wei-photographyFor the promises of God to be performed in your life you must love God. He must be the object of your affection and not just a byword used when you’re in trouble. You must make a commitment to put him first and for him to become your God.

For the Bible declares that in all things God works for the good of those who LOVE him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). The key in this verse is love. You must love God for all things to work together for his good.

This verse is for lovers only. You must have a relationship with Jesus. You must confess your sins and repent and receive God’s forgiveness. When you become a lover of God all your works will lead to good. This does not mean you will escape trouble or that you will be perfect, but…

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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 Grateful

How do I express gratitude for some very special people who do so much for me?

I have tears in my eyes as I write this and try to express my feelings.

From the moment I was born, my parents have provided me with support, love, encouragement and they have never stood in the way of my dreams.  They have not been perfect, nor would I ask them to be!  But they have been unwavering in their love and willingness to help me.  They have watched me go off to University to chase a little white ball around a volleyball court, get married at twenty three, move to Europe and back three times, give birth to three little blonde boys and now get ready to follow my husband to a new job in a new city.   Whew! 

I think my parents have painted more walls in the houses of I lived in than I have!

My parents have been the sole second caregivers to my children.  They spend a lot of time thinking of crafts, reading books, taking them skating and letting them have the run of their house.  

They have always bought thoughtful gifts and things that we truly need, even if I don’t think I need a beautiful KitchenAid mixer!  Oh, but I did and how I love it.  My parents are wise!  

Who else has stepped up to the plate when I have no one else to call?  Who else has understood me when no one else did?  Who else would understand my emotional ways, but can hear the story behind these emotions? Who else is willing to show up with a cup of tea and time to chat on the couch?  What a gift I have been given in my parents. 

Last week, I went back to teaching part time.  A good friend and my parents stepped in to take care of the boys.  

Here is the little gift that we gave to them to show our gratitude: 

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My husband and I truly mean what this says from the bottom of our hearts.