Tag Archives: reading

Be Striving for Ordinary

There is a lot of striving for extraordinary in our world these days!

What extravagant location will I visit?

What luxury brand of purse or clothing can I buy?

How much do I make per year?

What private school do our children attend?

What can I post on social media to make myself be seen and be extraordinary?

Me, I am striving for ordinary.

How many walks or hikes can I take around our town and local hills?

How little can I shop or how many weeks can I go between having to step foot in a store?

How can I help my children truly learn in their unique ways?

How many conversations can I have that are authentic and encouraging on a daily basis?

How many books will I read this year?

I have been pondering this concept of always striving for being or doing something extraordinary. It reminded me of my last eight years in the Network Marketing realm. I remember early on when I started sharing the products I love, I met a woman in her early 30’s who was a true light, with two young girls and a house on the hill. She explicitly told me that her sole goal in the company was to speak in front of 15,000+ people at our annual conference. Her financial goals were intertwined with wanting to be in front of 15,000+ people. I always found this genuinely fascinating and unrelatable to me personally as my best moments were often chatting in the line to the washrooms or sitting beside someone in the seats or simply walking down the street. Ordinary moments that turned into extraordinary relationships.

I have realized now in my teaching careers as I am asked to speak and present information to others that I would rather be the person stacking the chairs at the back than speaking to everyone from the front. (I actually shared this two weeks ago to someone in our school leadership team.) I am really happy being behind the scenes. (And clicking away on my computer keyboard as I share my musings. I am so happy right now as I write this!)

Striving for ordinary.

Yup, that’s me.

Have an epic Wednesday and love what you do!

xoxo Joanna

Be Going into Grade 10 (High School)

Well, I must admit now that as I sit down and type this, that JC is our guy that I was most concerned about and most excited about this year as he was growing and learning. At the end of last year, fourteen year old JC had decided to stop doing gymnastics since starting it at 18 months old. In our experience in watching children as teachers, grade 8 or 9 is not the ideal time to be stopping activities as you have to wonder what will take the place of the activity? He was also getting quieter and quieter as his voice changed and he was our quiet one to begin with. Lastly, he started talking in one syllable words, with the predominate word being “good”. Oh no, what other changes were ahead for us?

This year, JC really grew in so many tremendous ways and it has been so fun to see his passions develop and catch fire. JC developed skills in the media arts, drones, photography, video-making, producing, writing music, pottery, and stunting. JC is now a pro at Adobe Premium Pro, Unreal Engine, 360 degree camera and GarageBand.

After encouragement from people placed in his life at the perfect moment, JC moved from gymnastics to competitive trampoline in September. He had success after success in the gym each week and has been keen to learn new tricks daily (like a half-half and a Rudy-out). In his first in person competition, he stuck all his landings and showed what a ‘gamer’ he is. He won 1st all around for British Columbia (level 1-4) in April and did amazing at Western Canadians in June.

JC continues to really loves hanging out with his brothers and his Winnie, skiing the Prospector Terrain Park, cross country skiing, reading and having time to create! It’s in these in-between moments of time that JC really thrives. His imagination always takes him to interesting and fascinating places. He made a cardboard Ironman mask one day, created a stunt where his younger brother, CC, flew through the air and through garbage bags covering a doorway and also worked alongside his little brother, OC, to make fascinating Lego building another day.

Now that we have made it to the end of grad nine, it is really hard to believe our oldest is going into high school next year, with a hybrid twist! (More to come about the hybrid twist!)

XOXO Joanna

P.S. And yup, no pics again. Anyone know someone that works at WordPress and can give this loyal 10+ year blogger some more storage??

Be Finishing our Summer Reading 

  Nine months ago.

Seven books. 

Aslan, the lion portraying Jesus. 

Stories interwoven. 

Cupboards opened.  

Magical conversations with my eight year old day after day.  

Short times of reading over time to completing seven wonderful books. 

With gratitude to CS Lewis for sharing his gifts.   

Writing takes discipline, like anything that produces fruit in our lives.  

Now off to work on my summer body and ponder our next series! 

Be Finding You Summer Reading Material

Most people may find this difficult to comprehend, but no I have never read C.S. Lewis’s box set “The Chronicles of Narnia”.

Some people may be gasping out loud.

I just have never wanted to read it.

Until now.

Now, I have an eight year old in the house with a very vivid imagination.

Tonight, we finished the first book in the series.


One down, four to go.

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is up next!

What is on your summer reading list?

Be Reading at School

Last week was Family Literacy Day and our school celebrated by inviting families to come read in their children’s classroom.

We love reading with our children every day and I especially loved reading in my boys’ classrooms.

We were asked to bring our favourite books from home.


2015/02/img_8149.jpgOur neighbours and CC’s kindergarten classmate brought the same book from home.

I love coincidences.

I love these neighbours.

I love reading!

Be Proud

Today my heart swells with pride as I see how my community encourages children.

I am proud of my children’s efforts, genuine inspiration and creativity.

My heart overflows abundantly with gratitude.

For opportunity.


Ability to read.

Having free libraries.

And really cool things for kids.

My boys, following my newly acquired love, have started watercolour painting. They have each entered a painting into an Exhibition. 20140801-225315-82395870.jpg

20140801-225333-82413052.jpgThey are very excited to take their grandparents.

On the same day, we walked across the street to our Public Library to hand in our finished reading logs. The boys got a medal and a free book. They were overjoyed.


Day by day.




With a goal in mind.

Or just because.

Coming from within.

To share with the outside world.

Beautiful painting.

Wonderful words.

Treasured boys.

What a gift they are!

What a wonderful community we live in.

Be Saying ‘The Long Goodbye’

Grief is like one very long goodbye. My willingness to say goodbye is what is going to propel me forward.

Right now, I am a very sensitive being. I am very conscious of who I engage with and who gets a superficial ‘hello’. My senses are on high alert as I continue to grieve mom’s suffering in the hospital and as I grieve the loss of my mom each day. I can sense when someone is ‘on the same page’ as I am. I feel a harmony that exists on a spiritual/emotional level.

One friend that has met me exactly where I am at, recommended this amazing book. It is a memoir of a daughter losing her mother to colon cancer. It is real, kind, cruel, beautiful, pure grief and completely harmonious with where I am at.

There were two things that struck me:

First, the ideas about other cultures having rituals around grief that we in the Western world don’t have. I wish I could wear black to symbolize my grief or at least make a sign like you hang on your store when you are having lunch that says: “On a grief break. Back in about ____ months. Fill in the blank. Your guess is as good as mine!” Every time I step out of my home, it is an effort. Every relationship I have is conscious and with people I feel God has placed in my life and are healthy for where I am at.




Beautifully fragile.

A flower awaiting the sun.

Holding still.


The second idea that stuck with me from this book of great wisdom for me is this quote that comes from chapter fifteen. The author is speaking about a woman she had met. Here is the quote:

On December 30, I went to a party at my friend Stephanie’s, a reunion of friends. Maureen, a woman I’ve met earlier this year, took my hand and said,” I have been thinking about you, how are you?” She seems always to be seen what she believes, or finding a way to see what she believes, and so I told her about the ashes, about the difficulty of the anniversary., And idly mentioned the quarrel I’d had with a friend.

Maureen said, “these are the 18 months when you find out who can really go there and who can’t. This is a vulgar way of putting it, and there are many wonderful things about our culture, but I’m sorry, it is a phobic culture. People do not want to confront the existential mess that is life. They want to check things off – okay, you’re okay. I just because you can talk about your grief, you know,” she said, looking sharply at me, ” doesn’t mean you are in control of it, or that you know what’s going on. You’re in the ocean. And what you think, what you analyze, that is just descanting of that ocean. Your mind is an ocean and it has scary things in it. While you may be able to analyze your grief at 3 PM, that has nothing to do with how you feel at 3 AM, in the dark center of night. “





Out of control.



The Long Goodbye.

Be Reading a Book

I am a voracious reader. Well, I used to be anyways. On average, before mom got sick, I would be reading four books at any one time. Usually one bible study, one non-fiction and two fiction books would be stacked on my beside table.

Last week at mom and dad’s house, I looked on mom’s book shelf beside her bed. On the top of the pile, I found this book I gave her in November which was one of the last books she read.


I picked the book because of it’s title and wintery scene. I didn’t even read the back.

I remember asking mom about it after she read it in two days flat. She said it was a good light read and that I should read it.

Today, I looked at the book summary. It’s about ‘three people at the crossroads of heartbreak and healing’. One of the characters lost her mom and no longer believes in anything. She believes her mom now speaks to her through heart-shaped rocks.

I may have to start reading again.

P.S. Sexy Neck just walked in the room and saw the book on my lap and asked, “Are you reading again?”

Me, I am still at maybe… Not sure my brain can handle it.