Friday, January 30, 2009

Art class

My children love painting. Since I received a box full of supplies in the mail last year (Thanks mom!) they have come to love 'real paints', not the water color trays in the children's isle. Can't say I blame them. Someone once encouraged me to create with my children, not always away from them. That is some of the best advice I have been given. What a freeing thing to explore this together as well. And I am always amazed at how it brings out sharing, and encouraging with my children. So anyways, we love creating together, and I wanted to share. Oh yah, and and little dance at the end too.

In the quiet of the morning

The house is quiet, the children are sleeping, even that cat hasn't come home from his all night prowls. This is a strange thing indeed. First, I greatly dislike getting up early, and it has never seemed to matter how early I get up, my youngest will always hear my toes touch the floor and he is up. Mind you, he usually loves to snuggle for a while, so I don't usually mind too much. (just don't tell him I told you that or he will be embarrassed hehe) But, this being surrounded by quietness, is a gift.

"Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of your wings will I rejoice"

Photo by talented Hubby

Last night was another wonderful adventure in painting. I had started a piece, but just didn't like it. This is when I discovered the beauty of acrylics, and I totally changed it. But the really great thing was the mistake gave it some depth. And I changed it to be all green. Really, is there anything better in life than something, anything, that is all green! I think not. My hubby had to do a grammar test while I was painting. Don't you just feel for him. He met someone recently who loves grammar and has taught it for 20some years. Oh the pain and misery, I can't even imagine how much I would have to get paid, and given vacations, and and showered with gifts of green things to ever do that. So we watched some Iron Man after and he felt much better!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Me and my many thoughts of today

First I couldn't get onto blogger for days, and just now I lost my post. I was in the process of telling you what a fabulous day I am having, and so, I am not going to let this take that away. I will just go and make a cup of coffee instead. I am positive, a great cup of coffee fixes just about anything! Well, in my world anyways. hehe

So the one other thing I was telling you was about a performer Cheryl Bear I had the great privilege and honor of meeting and hearing perform. Amazing. We bought one of her CD's and it is all my children will listen to. They are a family of 5, living in an RV ( and not one of those apartment on wheels kind), with the goal of visiting every First Nations community in Canada. I love that kind of stuff. I love it when I see people willing to take the hard road, because I know that the hard roads are paved with amazing gems. Check her out.

This week we had a fundraiser/information night about our move to Hong Kong. It turned out great. We barely fit in the room, but that was fine. The kids were loud, but I loved that. But I am so glad it is over. It is one of those times when you see a bit more of yourself. On the way home, I told my hubby that I laugh at myself for being so quirky. Earlier in the week, we were at an event and I really put myself out there, and loved it. But, then I was at our info night, and all I wanted to do was sit in the back with a few friends and chat. I hated having to be in front, and so I let my hubby do most of the talking (he did a fabulous job too). Anyways, I like it when I see things like this about myself, because I feel freer to be who I am, but also push myself to get out of my comfort zone as well. See, moving my family overseas doesn't really freak me out too much, but planning an event like this can completely raise my stress level. Okay, enough "Dr Phil takes a look at Cristal" talk.

I have to share what I am so totally excited about. My wonderful, amazing, beautiful (had to throw that in) sisters have booked a special get-away for just the three of us. No families, just us sis'. Our mom passed away years ago. I think most sisters are naturally close, but ours is a bit of a special bond because of that loss. We have never ever done anything like before, and booked the whole thing in just a few hours. It was one of the craziest, but funniest things I have ever done. And we don't even go for a few weeks yet. See, we don't' actually live in the same city, not even in the same province. We actually live in 3 different provinces. It truly is amazing what can be accomplished with the internet, long distance calling and skype!

So, I am now in the need for a really good book. I do this every few weeks or months. When my husband sees my starting a book, he usually tells me to have a good journey and he will see me in a few days. Once I start, I can't stop. I have to read until it is done. The house falls apart, everyone is looking for clean undies, but I read on. I usually even dream about the characters, and think about them for days, wondering how the rest of thier lives turn out, and deal with the dissapointment of not knowing for sure. So, if anyone wants to throw out a suggestion, I am all ears. The last one I read was "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini (Kite Runner). Wow, amazing. Exactly the kind of book I love. A book about someone who could be real, about a culture that I don't know that much about.

Okay, my kids are begging me to go and play outside, so out I go.

I wish everyone a day of finding the gems in thier road.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Taking Flight

Today is one of those strange days. Not to give you more info than you want, but I am doing one of those cleanses, and it is doing weird things to me. All day I have been almost grumpy, but not quite, almost thinking clearly, but not quite, almost happy, but not quite. I have wanted to do one for a super super long time, so if feels so good to finally be following thru. It really is wonderful. Really!
But, I haven't gotten out for a while. That is my problem. I love being at home, and so I stay home alot, but then suddenly I just really need to get out, away by myself (doesn't happen very often for SAH homeschooling moms). Tonight was one of those nights. But, I didn't have any clean pants, so it just seemed like to much work to go.
But it all turned out wonderful, I took my son's MP3 player, and went down to my laundry room, not to do laundry,(that's just silly) but to paint. I have dreamed of painting for so many years, and this is my year to do it. I know the laundry room doesn't exactly sound 'inspiring' but we don't' have a huge place, and it is the only place I could claim as mine, well, one corner of it anyways. Tonight it didn't matter how small the space, it felt like an open sky to me. I thought about a friends post on running . That is how I felt tonight.
As I was down there I also got to thinking about an email I just got. A new friend said "we are only given today ... tomorrow is not for sure, so we made the most of each day" Such a good thing for me to remember on so many levels. I thought of this wisdom as I faced my fears and painted. I painted a butterfly taking flight and thought of our move. It is so easy for me to want to figure it all out, to turn planning into anxiety. Instead, to enjoy today, to the fullest. That is such a cliche thing to say, but I love it. I love the journey. Really that is what it is all about. The destination I seek is not until I reach the other side. So this road, this day by day by day, what ever it brings, is my destination.
That's all, just a few thought rumbling around in my head.

Goodnight, sleep tight.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Anne with an E

I count myself as a true Canadian, and as true Canadian, I grew up having a crush on Mr. Gilbert Blythe. Yes, its true. I always secretly wished to be called Gilbert, and break my writing slate on his head. For those of you who may not know yet what it is I am referring to, it is the classic 'Anne of Green Gables' movie. My sis bought me the entire collection last year. The complete series! Not just the first two, but all three movies! Wow.

So the most exciting thing has happened this year, my daughter loves to watch it just as much as me. Every few months we go into 'Anne mode' and any chance we get, we go and get a dose of the dramatics.

So, while father and one son went to a hockey game the other night, we started another of our marathons. We curled up under a big cozy blanket and swooned together. Laughing, crying, giggling, it was the best.

Tonight, we couldn't help but be drawn back for some more. And this time only hubby resisted the draw. Both my boys, crawled into coziness with us, and giggled and covered our eyes as Diana drank too much Rasberry Cordial, and squealed as Anne scooped the mouse from the pudding.

Then, something happened. My heart swelled. Okay, it almost exploded. This is the kind of moments I dreamt about for so many years, before I had my own children (it was all I ever wanted when I grew up).

My sweet daughter started telling me how much she looked like Anne. "Other than the fact that Anne has red hair, I really look a lot like her, don't I mom?". Of course, I whole heartedly agreed.

Then she looked at me, and said that I would be Marilla. But upon taking a second look, she tilted her head just a little and said

"Actually mom, even though your hair is a little lighter, you look almost exactly like Diana"

No, the fact that my daughter thinks I look like a 14yr old actress didn't excite me!

My daughter was not looking at my appearance, she was seeing my heart, she was feeling my heart beside her's. She was seeing me as her bosom buddy, as her kindred spirit.

I love you girl. I love that you see my heart! You are my teacher of Grace - as promised!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I once had a picture of my heart. It was this room, and the room was really quite lovely. It had a cozy couch, some candles, a few blankets, a lamp, great artwork, and of course....really fabulous coffee (that is a given with me)
This is where my friends came to visit. It was.......perfect.

But there, if you looked behind the couch in the corner, there was a door, it almost blended perfect into the wall, but the handle was just shiny enough that it was noticeable. I wanted it a secret. I didn't go in there, let alone ever ever ever let anyone else in there.

But one day I was asked to go in. With much fear and trembling I reached out for that hand that was safety, and followed thru the door. In that room I found many boxes. Boxes reaching to the ceiling. Automatically, I believed them to be all the 'bad' things I had done or would do, or had been.

I was asked to open just a few of the boxes. Only because I trusted the One, did I dare.

Shaking, I opened one box. Then another.

I was shocked, confused.

Inside the boxes were wrapped gifts.

Under the wrapping were little parts of me, of who I wanted to be, of who I was created to be, that I had hidden away. I thought they were not acceptable, not allowable. We only opened a few. It was all I could handle for the day.

Lovingly I took one out. It was a silly one. It was getting my nosed pierced. It was so refreshing. It felt so important. I had made a mark.

I think often of that, of how I had allowed fear to rob me of me. I hate that!

I have opened many of these boxes. Some were easy, some were hard. But all were freeing and revealing. Wonderful!

Now, there is another one to open. It has been calling to me for a long time. I have taken that box out so many times, it is getting quite worn. Those around me encourage me.

They believe in me.

And I hate the fact that I still allow fear to rob me.

I will think of how these boxes that I feared are actually gifts. And oh, how I love gifts. And really, what is better than a gift that is for sharing. That is like super oopper doopper double fun.

And fun can make even the hardest thinks better.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Homework abounds and the time slips by so stealthily. The course load is a bit heavy for me but not completely unmanageable. There is just so many other things to do and to want to do.
Sigh....I was told to prepare well. This means that I must, and not with a heavy heart. So I remember that it is my Father who calls me and He will make me able.
If you are a praying person and you read this, please pray for this week as I will be doing some catching up and also prepping for my research paper.
When we are in HK it will be so worth it. Even now it is so worth it; just a lot of it to do.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Strange Ways

The heart is a strange thing.

I have been thinking about my longing to return to China. The excitement and longing can take over my emotions so often. But, then I also think about the things that will be hard. Saying good-bye to family, not knowing when I will see them again. Uprooting my children from their home, friends, everything that is familiar to them. Being physically far from a community that loves me and my family. I know how my heart will ache to just have a friend to call and go for coffee with. Someone I don't have to explain myself too, someone who already knows enough about me to laugh at my quirky unfinished sentences. These things will hurt and I know that they will. Yet, exactly in that, is where the strangeness comes in. To long for something that I know will hurt.
But then I read about another family living overseas, and how a very legitimate need, was miraculously met. Then I remember. I remember walking in something that you just knew you were created to do. A glove that fit just so. Like breathing air that was meant for you to breathe ( well, minus the super icky pollution that just didn't ever wash off ).

There is a song that makes me cry every time I sing it. One part goes something like this
"It's gonna be worth it, its' gonna be worth it, it's gonna be worth it all!!"
That is where my hope is put. I know who is calling me, and I know his ways as sure. My heart will ache whereever I live and what ever I do. That is life. But if I fix my eyes on the promise, if I remember the why and the who, my heart can live in these strange ways.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Champagne in my tummy

No I haven't been drinking, but there are these bubbles bubbling way in me. I am pretty sure it is excitement, yep, I am sure.

A few days ago we found out some more possibilities about what our lives will look like in Hong Kong. We found out that we will most likely be living in a house. That is a completely unexpected bit. There was no other thought than that we would live in an apartment. Now, we were warned that it needs some reno's, so we are not sure exactly what shape the house is in, but I am okay with that. Then we were sent a picture, well, it is technically a picture, but all it shows is a a few windows and stairs.

The excitement bubbling in me isn't because I found out it is a house. Anyone who knows me a bit, knows I am a home body. I love my home. Not my house, but my home. I love my life of being a homeschooling mom. Why, because it has my two favorite words in it, home and mom. (the schooling part is just a huge dose of icing on top)

So, to see just a tiny sliver of what our lives will hold, makes everything just that much more real, bringing the dream just a little closer.

Monday, January 5, 2009


So yesterday was one of those days I will remember for quite awhile. Everything was actually pretty average, but I think that is when the memorable happens the most, like ice down your neck on a hot day. Our oldest son who is seven years old was telling us about a bad dream that he had had the night before which unfortunately is a fairly common occurrence. This time though it wasn't sharks or bad guys, it was jewels, lots of jewels. Now I don't know about you but when I heard that I was instantly intrigued as to what was so scary about jewels, especially lots of them. So we asked him," What was so scary about jewels??" He said he was a little embarrassed to tell us so we pressed him a bit and he finally told us. He said that the jewels were scary to him because he knew that they could turn his attention away from God. SHUT UP!!!! That is so cool and I was so blessed to hear this. To me that is a jewel I will keep and it will remind me to not grow weary in training and instructing or in praying for our kids. God is SO GOOD!!!

How long?????

So here is my dilemma, I had to color my hair last night. I realize that upon first reading this it isn't life shattering, but this really is an issue for me, so please, indulge me. See, a few years ago, I was out on a girl weekend away. I was so excited. On our way, we stopped in this tiny little itty bitty town to get some snacks, and I thought "what fun it would be to dye my hair red, but just one of those wash out colors". I used to dye my hair all the time, and it was alot of fun. I think there was about 10 colors to choose from. Off we go, and guess what, it turned out GREAT! I don't mean to be vain, but I loved it and got so many compliments on it. So for a few weeks, I happily tossed my red locks around. But then I started to notice that the 'wash out' part was not happening.

Here is the background. I started greying when I was young, really young, like 19 young. But I loved it. And actually I got alot of compliments on it as well. Thus the 'wash out'.

So, when I noticed my red wasn't washing out, I had fun and just kept coloring. Quickly though, that 4-6 wk redo period became VERY loathsome. Because I have so much grey, I don't just get 'color' roots, but grey roots.

I want to stop coloring my hair. Really, I don't care that much. The fun has long long worn off. In moments of frustration I tell my husband I am going to do a Sinead (you know, the singer, Sinead O'connor), which is only a threat, because I don't think I could ever do that.

This post is dedicated to those who actually read the whole thing, and had any spark of sympathy for me

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Safe, but not Tame

I was spending a lot of time thinking about this classic Narnia - C.S. Lewis quote this morning.
I used to dream of having a lion as a pet. To crawl into that big furry mane and fall asleep, or crawl on his back and hold on for dear life as he took me off on an adventure. Some childhood dreams only become more real as we grow up. As we plan, and ready ourselves for our move to Hong Kong, I feel like that little girl holding onto that mane. Nothing is better that knowing I can trust this lion. I can bury my face in his hair and breath deeply. In those moments I remember that I don't have to have it all figured out. I can let go and enjoy the adventure of my life.

And no, this isn't the nasty chemicals and other questionables I ingested today from the horrible Asian buffet we went to. That was after, and what a bad after it was!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Ready to Get Into it all again

Suddenly last night, I found myself making chore charts for each of the kids, and even got creative and used markers and pictures. This is when I realized I have rested and am ready to start some normal routine again. Usually, my chore charts are a desperate measure to restore order, and look more like a harsh judgement of doom. It usually consists of larger black marker and boxes to be checked. No stars, no cute pictures to be seen anywhere. I also found myself looking up some fun new curriculum for the kids, and excited to finish off the school year. I realize it is only half way done, so I don't say that as in wanting to get to that finish line desperately, but rather, excited about how we are going to get there. Trust me, that was not my attitude just a few weeks ago.

One another note, I am off to go on a shopping trip with my 6yr old son. My children all got some Gift Certificates for Christmas, and so we are taking each child out on a special date to spend their money. Yesterday was 9 yr old daughters day, and tomorrow is 7yr old boys date (but he choose daddy). So, there he is standing at the door, calling me to go, so off I go.
The only reason I go to the mall at this time of year, is for my children. With their cute faces, anything is bearable!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

It's a little cliche

Last night my dear hubby asked me if I was making any New Years resolutions, I laughed, and said 'no!'. See, there is something you should know about me, I hate the cliche. I have always had just a drive in me to do things a little different. Not alot different, but just enough. So, every year at this time when everything from the diet adds on TV, to the the graffiti on the wall, is telling you that "this year will be different, it will be the best, this is the one you have been waiting for" I tend to scoff. I tend to see it as another consumer marketing scheme. I am a big believer in making good decisions every day of the year(as my kids are so very tired of hearing hehe).

Yet, as the day was quiet, and I found myself taking down the tree, thus cleaning the house, I enjoyed the thought of starting another year. And yes, I even found myself thinking of what might come 'this year'. Thinking of how it might be different. Hoping, dreaming of some of the things I would like to see happen, and loving that I know so little of what will come.

So, there it is, my confession. I admit, today, January 1st, is a wonderful day to take stock, to remember, to hope, to dream, and most of all, to make sure my anchor is solidly in the one who will never let me down, no matter what this next year holds.