Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's My Momma's Birthday

First thing you should know about my mom is that she would hate that I just called her 'Momma'  Next thing it's her birthday and since I did not send a card and she doesn't live close enough to take out to lunch or supper, I thought I'd write a few things down about why I love her and how great a mom/woman she is.

To my Mom:

When I was little I always loved when you would caress the back of my neck and gently comb your  fingers through my hair.  I don't know why, but I felt special when you did that.

Mom, you are an AMAZING cook!  I would love to be able to cook as well as you do.  I may not have been very appreciative of it when I was little and I remember feeding the dog some of my supper, but I LOVE it now. 

Nothing felt or worked better than a kiss from mom on any bruise or scratch--healing powers in those lips!

Mom, you love my dad and both of you have been such a testimony to what it means to keep a promise.  Life has not always been easy or fun, but you weathered it all together, and I and my family are so very thankful.

 I always loved your hands.  I want hands like those.  Ones that are hard working and yet gentle enough to hold a child's tear stained cheek to kiss it.  Hands that help when things get tough and hands that tickle and make giggles erupt from chubby cheeks.

I loved our trips to Scanalon Creek--I still conjure up the image of sitting in the back seat and hearing the car tires crunch over the gravel and seeing the tall trees towering above us as we made our way to the beach.

I am thankful that you had the patience to do "20 questions" with me when I was upset and didn't talk so very much.  I knew you cared to find out.

I am thankful that you were one of my guiders at Girl Guides.  It was great to be able to share that experience with you.

I am thankful for the time you put in getting us organized for our camping trips.  Never needed to get "ahead"  on those trips. ;)

Both breast cancer and a brain tumour have rocked your life and you have been able to roll with it, you learned new skills and made more friends and are there to help others through equally traumatic experiences.  You are a source of strength.

Growing older has not slowed you down one bit and I find that inspiring, you are still willing to see what else you can do, what more you can contribute.  Higher numbers in our age doesn't mean a shutting down of life but merely a change in direction.

If I ever need help to move another washing machine or other heavy appliance I'm calling you first!

You were so much my comfort after my babies were born.  When I called,  I didn't know my up from my down but you sat listened to my worries and helped calm my fears.

I'm so thrilled that you do the Smartie thing with my kiddos.  It's one of my favourite memories of my grandmother.  I'm sure the kids will treasure it too!

Thank you for all your "I love you"s , they mean the world to me!

I love my family, and I am so glad, so blessed to have you for my mom.  I love you so very much!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Valentine's Day and Other Stories

I don't know what the weather is like in your part of the world, but here in PEI it is nasty!  So much snow and freezing rain and blizzards and oh my dear, I'm just so ready for spring!

That being said, we have had a good bit of fun in all the white stuff.  This past Friday saw the kids and I join the homeschool group for a beautiful sleigh ride and sledding party.  We couldn't have asked for a better day.  The sun was shining, it was pretty warm out and the sledding hill was awesome!  I took Nate down a few times and we had a great time hooting and hollering all the way down!  On Saturday we went to Knox's Falls and Dams and enjoyed tromping about in the snow and sliding down the snowbanks.  The kids went out today to play but  the wind was whipping the snow around so much that it stung your face, so they were in after a few slides down the snowbank in front of our house.

Last Thursday we got to go skating with Auntie Linda at the local rink.  I haven't been on skates for at least 8 years!  I was a LOT nervous that I would be falling all over the place and not be able to help the kids at all, but somehow I stayed on my feet and we all had a great time!

And then there was Valentine's Day--what fun!  Leading up to the big day we painted a banner that we put up in our living room window.  It read, "Love One Anoter"  We were so proud until a couple days later our neighbour came over and asked us what an "anoter" was... Oh my I was embarrassed but decided to have fun with it and posted a note beside it that read, "Apparently we need to work on spelling...oops."  The night before the big day, Marko and I cut out hearts from coloured construction paper and wrote out things that we love about each of the kids and then taped them to their bedroom doors. That morning it was fun to rest in bed and listen to Sean read the heart messages.  For breakfast I made heart shaped cookies with chocolate drizzled over them--the kids were tickled pink to have cookies first thing in the morning.  They did follow that up with some cereal.  After breakfast we got right to work making valentines and putting together little cookie packages to share with our neighbours.   For lunch I thought it would be fun to make heart shaped grilled cheese sandwiches and garnish the plate with slices of strawberries and apples.  The kids loved it and gobbled them right up.   That evening Marko and I went out for supper at Swiss Chalet.  It wasn't our first choice but we were very glad we went.  We were able to use our coupon from our festive dinner from Christmas time which made it a great choice financially speaking and we got more Lindor chocolates!  Can't go wrong with chocolates!

And finally, today was holiday, Islander day.  We decided to take out all our crafting and construction materials and just sit down and make stuff to our heart's content.  It was fun to sit with the kiddos and just be creative.

 Emma-Lyn on her skates. This was her second time skating and the fist time for the boys. 

 The beautiful winter wonderland we traveled through on our sleigh ride.

 Our little Valentine packages.

 This past Saturday we visited one of our favourite places, Knox's Falls and Dam.  We had a delightful time in the snow and everyone tried sliding down the hill.  Even daddy, but he mores so rolled then slid.

 So beautiful!

The fam jam working hard on their little creations

Sunday, February 03, 2013

On the Trails Again

Yesterday we had the most wonderful adventure.  We were out running errands and it was a beautiful day and it seemed a shame just to head on home so we decided to check out a nearby trail that a friend had mentioned on Facebook.  It was the Boughton River Trail and it was a delight!  It was narrow and winding through the trees with little wooden benches by the streams we crossed over.  The Confereration Trails are nice but can sometimes be a bit boring.  The kids LOVED the trail.  They took off laughing and squealing as they discovered new things.  They especially love whenever they would come to a bridge over a fast moving brook.  It was suddenly time to play a good round of Poohsticks.  The children even wondered if they would find Pooh and Piglet in the woods since it so reminded them of the Hundred Acre Wood.  I loved being on the trails again too and just breathed in the wonderful woodsy smell and atmosphere.  I love being out in nature  and just exploring.  We can't wait to come back when the weather has warmed up, I'm sure this will become a family favourite.

In our homeschool days we have been concentrating on what it means to be kind to one another and love one another and it seems the kids are really taking it to heart in their own ways.  One day when I was feeling under the weather Sean went and made me toast with jam and then all three of them set to work on making me a hot chocolate complete with marshmallows and honey.  Another day Sean helped his siblings out by making their beds for them and they all will help one another with their chores.  Emma-Lyn even volunteered to fold laundry this afternoon which was so thoughtful.  This is not to say that my children have it all together and I'm such a great mother.  They don't and I'm not.  That is not my point, my point is that we are all seeing and working on the values of kindness and we are experiencing success.  We make many mistakes and screw up to varying extents, but for right now I want to celebrate the victories and savour them.

Another success story, or at least thus far is my journey in giving up Pepsi and coffee.  I had been experiencing some intense headaches and other side effects and it was thought that my caffeine intake may be the culprit.  And it would seem that it is.  The headaches are gone and I've replaced my caffeinated beverages with hot/cold water with lemon slices as well as teas, herbal mostly and I love it!  I love how well I'm feeling these days.  Now to tackle getting more exercise. I could use some more success in this department, my failure comes from my lack of consistency and will power, definitely something for me to work on!

Our homeschool days have been busy and fun and full of new adventures for us as well.  We've also enjoyed some wonderful playdates.  Last Friday we got to visit our friends who live on a farm and I got to milk a goat.  I've milked a cow before but this was definitely different.  Emma-Lyn got to feed a lamb the milk and it was gone pretty quickly.  In our school work we have been working on a project about Canada.  The children have their own duotangs and we are slowly filling them with the colouring pages of each province's flags, maps, flowers and birds.  At one point I even remembered that I had a book and cd of common bird songs and we were then able to sit and identify several different bird songs.  Sometimes we try out things we see on Pinterest or on the blogosphere and this time we tried making a candle out of an orange peel and much to our delight it worked! 

 My kiddos on one of the cute benches on the trail walk.

 Just love this place!

 The kids pretty much ran up the hill just so enjoying being out and exploring again!

 Poohstick time.

 Our orange peel candle.  Such a fun and easy little project.

Our Canada project.