12/30/08

A day in Seattle

We spent the whole day Yesterday at the waterfront in Seattle. It is only about a 40 minute drive from where we are staying, depending on traffic of course (something you never have to say where we live). The snow has now melted or been dissolved by rain and the sun even came out briefly. Here we are exploring Pike Place Market. Gotta play on the famous pig. The kids favorite part of the market were the buskers. We stopped and watched two different ones. One was an interesting looking couple who sang duets and played the guitar, banjo and did clogging. Not the kind of music you hear very often anymore....it was definately foot tapping though. Roman loved it ,and they both got to throw money in the case. Then we were onto the guy who played a homemade guitar , a saw, and a harmonica. When I told the kids he was playing the blues...they replied "We know! we saw it on Veggie Tales"....oh yeah silly songs with Larry. I think Roman found one more thing to add to his list of things he wants to do when he grows up. So far he's planning to be a treasure hunting, surfing , street musician. hmmm....Could happen.



Checking out the Seafood at Pike Place Market.


We spent a couple hours at the Aquarium. They had areas like this where the kids could touch star fish and all sorts of strange things. They absolutely loved it. It engaged their curiousity and got their imaginations going.



After the Aquarium we went to Ivar's for a seafood lunch. I had a fish taco (mmm) and my brave daughter had a grilled cheese sandwich. Roman had fish and chips but also wanted to try oysters. I didn't realize they would come raw! We inadvertantly ordered three raw oysters in the shell on a bowl of ice. Roman ate two of them and I was brave enough to try one too. He said they weren't that good, I would have to agree...they kind of taste like the water they came out of. He did get to keep the shells and can now say he has eaten raw oysters.
A highlight for the kids was going to Ye Old Curiousity Shop a landmark in itself. Full of strange things and souveniers. I let them each pick out a small item. Aili bought a $3 necklace. Roman bought toy handcuffs......and my very mature distinguished husband ran around the store looking for fake dog poop. He even had to ask a store clerk "Wheres the poop?!" Apparently it had childhood significance and memories attached. He left the store with a smile on his face holding his bag of poop( exclaiming "they've improved them since I was a kid. It looks so much more real now!") and to top it off a ....excuse me...fart whistle. I left the store rolling my eyes and shaking my head. The kids had a blast fooling Grandma and Grandpa when we got back though.
We came home exhausted but had a wonderful day making memories.




12/27/08

Christmas pictures

Aili and her Dad playing a new game ""pictureka" . Aili is our game girl.
Roman discovering the joy of "Bionicles" for the first time. A cross between lego and robots....he loves them! Perfect.

This is out of place but I forgot to put it with the last rock climbing photo. This one was cute so I had to throw it in. That look on his face..."see ya!"

It didn't take long for Silas to really get into this present opening business. The next morning he went to the tree asking to open more presents. Fortunately for him his Birthday is coming up next month and he will have a present opening encore. While at my in-laws house I have been scouring through old family photos. If you ever wondered what Nathanael looked like at age two just look at Silas. I could see a lot of his daddy in him but it wasn't until I looked at Nathanaels baby pictures that I knew how much of a little clone he actually is!...even the wispy hair.




12/26/08

Our attempt at a Christmas Eve family picture

After many attempts at getting a family photo this is all we have to offer. Three people behind the camera trying to figure out this new digital thing and three un cooperative kids in front of the camera just confirmed that having a decent family picture might be an unattainable goal. At least I have everyone in one picture now. Needs some cropping but since I am borrowing a computer it will have to wait. I even have my boys in matching shirts. I'm still not sure if thats really dorky or cute. but I found both their sizes so I thought it would be fun to dress them up for the Christmas eve service. We had the privaledge of going to a large church (the one my husbands family goes to) for a beautiful Christmas eve service. The music was wonderful complete with a small orchestra. The kids really enjoyed it. Roman , my budding (wanna be) musician loved the violins. The funny part was some of the teens came out and played a song on glasses full of water. There was about 4 of them all playing in unison. It was great. Roman was amazed and asked "Could we do that at Grandmas house?!" I replied he'd better ask Grandma.








Monkey boy and a Date with Daddy.

Aili has needed some dressy clothes for a while so her and I set out bargain shopping today. The poor economic state of this country made for some desperate retail establishments (a.k.a good sales). We decided it was our patriotic duty to shop. Well, a cheap Canadian buying out the clearance rack isn't exactly a bail out package, but we've done our part ;)

She had to find the "perfect dress". Aili wanted a formal fancy dress to wear on her date with her Daddy. We found Christmas dresses on for 50% off and got a great price for a very nice elegant dress. Oh ,and she got her ears pierced the same day to surprise him too. They both got dressed up fancy and went out for dessert at Red Robin. As you can see they enjoyed a few desserts.

Nathanael told me later that they brought the big chocolate pie to them for free. I whispered to later that night that the people at the restaurant thought she was SO beautiful that they brought her free dessert. She just beamed and said "Really ?!".

After dessert her and Daddy went to the mall and went to a big girls clothes store and she picked out a cute sweater ( reg. $30 on for $5....I just had to brag). She came home absolutely beaming.

I think it was just the attention she needed. She has been expressing more insecurity and has been somewhat self critical lately. You know that age, the teeth get bigger than a face requires and a sort of gangly awkwardness sets in for a while......ok it was a long while for me....I did grow into my teeth though. Every girl needs to feel like a princess sometimes.

I think little dates with Dad help her learn how a beautiful lady needs to be treated and sets the bar pretty high for the future. We are an hour and a half away from a decent restaurant or mall at home so its fun to take advantage of city life while we are on vacation.
Here is my monkey boy in his glory. Roman climbed and climbed and climbed. They let him have a really long turn. When he would get down low enough for the guy to reach him he would scurry back up to the top. It went on and on....fortunately it was only our family and some friends at the wall. It was fun. Its a long way up there past the picture. He did an amazing job at finding the right holds and using his body the right way. Of course his former rock climber Dad ( Nathanael lived for Rock Climbing as a teen...and WA is great for that!) and former wall climbing mom ( loved it in college, but the flat lands aren't so good for real rocks) where analyzing each move from the ground. I wonder if there is a climbing gene ? :) I wasn't brave enough to get up there now though....it has been about 13 years after all. I think I was just afraid I would get beat by my 5 year old son.


This was Silas' turn for fun. I think he questioned the fun part. He was eager to get on but when it started moving he was quite concerned. He was fine as long as he was clutching my neck. The farm boy looks a little dazzled and dazed.
We unexpectedly ran into some close friends while we were at the mall. Some friends that we don't get to see very often because of the miles between us, but they are very dear to us. They are the kind of people who you can not see for a year or even years and pick up just where you left off. I treasure her friendship . We are true "kindred spirits" to quote Ann of Green Gables. I love how she cuts to the heart of things, cares deeply and challenges me in my faith and my role in life. We had been planning on getting together with them later in the week but we were thrilled to meet up with them early by surprise. I have been looking forward to meeting her two newest family members. This year they added two more little ones to their own three boys for a grand total of 5 kids. They are now foster parents to a 2 year old boy and a 6 month old girl. They hope to foster adopt someday but are still unsure if these two will become adoptable in the future.
Lots more stories and pictures to come.....we don't get out very often so when we do we like to have lots of fun. :)


Washington Vacation Pictures

The order of the pictures is a little backwards but here are some of our first couple days of our winter road trip. Nathanael went to a SeaHawks game the day after we arrived. It was a little crazy as all those people you see in the stadium then went to the train (Sounder) to attempt to get home in the snow. He made it home after navigating through an enormous chaotic snowball fight.
Here is some of the gorgeous scenery we drove through on our way to WA. It was beautiful. VERY cold here.

The kids watching a movie. I thank God for portable DVD players, they have revolutionized road trips and have greatly reduced the number of children getting dropped off on the side of the road. *
(*unofficial survey with no accurate data)



Sparwood BC. The "Big Truck". We stop for a picture every time we drive through. I think the last one was when Roman was a baby though. We started the tradition when Aili was 6 weeks old.


My brood is getting too big to all fit in the giant tire though. Silas was a little bewildered and cold. It was -32 c so the photo session was very quick as you can see they are hardly dressed for -32c weather.




12/22/08

Winter Road Trip

Last Friday we packed up the truck ,stuffed our kids in the back seat and headed out. We are spending Christmas with Nathanaels family in Auburn Washington. Which is about 20 hours of driving from the Canadian Prairie. As we drove down the icy highway in the dark with snow blowing all around us we questioned our decision but turned on the 4 wheel drive an settled in. For most of the way (even through areas that don't usually get that cold) the temperatures were between -30 - - 37. VERY VERY cold in case you have never experienced that kind of cold. Its not a burrr I'm chilly kind of cold its a AHHHHK my skin is freezing off! kind of cold. You definately don't want to get a flat tire in that weather. The highways were a bit sketchy but we are used to winter driving, after all we drive in snow 7 months out of the year. We made it to Fernie BC for the first night and gawked and lusted after the ski hills all around us. We stayed in a little motel...but it had a tiny pool (you had to walk out side to get to it though) so the kids were thrilled. We swam off some energy and slept for a few hours.

Silas woke up bright and early about 4.30 BC time and 3.30 WA. time. So we loaded up (thankful that we had brought an extension cord to plug the truck in over night) and hit the road. We kept hearing that a big winter blizzard was supposed to hit the WA. mountain passes by mid afternoon so we were trying to beat the weather to Grandmas house. Coming from Canada we hear "blizzard" and picture violent winds, white out conditions and frigid temperatures. We made it by driving 11 hours with only 2 bathroom/ gas breaks. Thats a lot of sitting for 3 little kids but they did amazing. I think they are a bit used to our road trips. Turns out the "blizzard" in Auburn amounted to some gently falling snow and a "icy artic blast" of 31f...thats a degree below freezing for all you non-americans. To be fair, I hear the wind kicked up a bit in the mountain passes along with the snow so I'm glad we were at our destination.

So after checking the weather at home today (-37c plus a 20km wind) we are enjoying the winter wonderland in Western Washington. The snow actually sticks here....and it is falling straight down instead of sideways! What a novelty.
Snow is actually a novelty here too. Its a pretty rare occurance. Everyone is hunkered down and waiting out the "storm".....boy that would be a long wait in Canada :)

We are going to take the kids and do something fun today. Haven't decided what yet but we might have to phone around and see if anything is even open.....there is snow you know.
Nathanael went to the Seahawks game yesterday while the kids and I hung out and recovered fromt he 2 hour time change and 20 hour drive. So this morning Daddy is present and its mommy's turn for a break. Besides, my Mother in law has highspeed!! Its so fun to look up peoples blogs and actually get to hear their music and see their photos and videos. A person could get used to this. I have some winter road trip pictures to share but since I am using someone elses computer they will have to wait until we are home.

Merry Christmas!!!

12/15/08

Little Angels picture retry


Seriously! The pictures were on here the first time I checked and then gone the second. Argh! As you can see I'm still without highspeed and I seem to be maxing out my snail speed connection. See the below commentary for the full story on my little Angels.


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12/14/08

Little Angels?


Today was our church's Sunday School Christmas Program. My kids were part of a group of Angels in the play. The director found lovely little kazoo trumpets for them all. They sounded like a flock of geese with chest colds while they waited for the service to begin. It was very loud. Roman's trumpet mysteriously lost its white noise making tip on the way home. I still have no idea what might have happened to it...it certainly didn't go out the window when no one was looking.


The angels had the technically easy job of just standing there during the program....but for a kid like Roman just standing there is not so easy. A role where he could ham it up and be a little comedian maybe....stand there and do nothing...nope. Once again Roman was the main entertainment of the show. I was the mom in the audience who's red face matched my sweater as I stifled giggles and tried to catch his eye to give him 'the look'. Fortunately he had the trumpet to relieve his boredom. He knew enough not to blow it during the play because he had been told not to...but there were so many other things he could do with it that no one had warned him about. It certainly made a nice machine gun. Unfortunately the Holy family was the target. I also had no idea that an person could play both the angel and the nativity dinosaur at the same time. Fortunately he redeemed himself with a solo attempt at Silent Night...well actually he just over shot the music and the rest of the singers by a few lines of the song. Didn't seem to bother him that he was the only one belting out the song though.
Actually I think he was rather proud of himself once he realized the laughter was aimed at him....a true clown.



Not a very clear picture but you can see that look on his face as he ponders what to do with the trumpet next...a guitar perhaps or maybe I could bug the kids next to me with it.
Aili did very well and sang each of the songs with gusto and exagerated mouth movemets. What a proud mommy I was.

Romas quote of the day...well actually it was Friday but since we are on the topic.

Mom:" How was school today , did you get in trouble at all"
Roman:" Well just a bit"
Mom:" What?! why did you get into trouble?"
Roman: (with a sigh and a very sober expression)" I wasn't listening up"
Mom:(with a sigh of exasperation) " Why Roman? You need to pay attention in class and listen to your teacher"
Roman : (with a very serious and remorseful expression) " I know mom, I try... but I'm just not a listening up kind of boy"

12/13/08

Random pictures

The snow is finally here. Winter took its time this year with no complaints from me. Although, once everything was brown , ugly and cold I was ready for a blanket of fresh snow. This is Silas first trip out to play with his brother in the snow. Look at what a doting big brother Roman is. Right there ready to help him up. Silas resembled the little brother in "A Christmas story"...bundled up so he could barely move. Its been really cold this weekend
around -30 C (-20f) with a wind chill making it feel more like -40c.
Not so bad if you put on a sweater to ward off the drafts and build a fire ( the furnace runs almost constantly) and of course stay indoors. Unfortunately we occasionally have to go places and can't hibernate all winter..although I do my best to try.

Aili and Roman have been saving loose change and have been doing extra jobs and chores for money. They have their little jars full (in Canada we have 1 and 2 dollar coins so the change adds up). The grand total was $13 for Aili and $11 for Roman. They each went shopping in the Gospel For Asia (see link on right side bar below) giving catalog and picked their gifts. Roman picked a pair of bunnies for $11 and Aili bought an Asian language Bible, VBS for one child and 1000 gospel booklets all totaling $13. She was beaming when she found out she could buy 200 booklets for only $1. She said "So for $5 1000 people could learn that Jesus loves them?" Then with a huge grin and sparkly eyes she said "Thats a good way to spend five dollars!" I replied" I can't think of a better way". Its nice that they are old enough to 'get it'and to enjoy giving.

Silas new favorite past time is dressing up in play clothes. We have a big box full of miscillaneous costumes and second hand clothes. Every time I look at him he's wearing something new usually the more the better. Right now he is a purple pirate dinosaur ready for ballet.
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12/10/08

gory picture retry


Sorry about the pictures. I had trouble getting the last post to post properly, I saw the pictures on there once from my computer but apparently they are not working again. I'll blame it on our pathetic dial up internet. By the way we are hoping to have highspeed by Christmas! There are specials right now on getting set up with Satelite or trying to go through a Rogers tower 7 miles away. We will try the tower first for a free trial period and see if it will work here....if not we'll get set up and share satelitte with our neighbors. Either way I should be joining the 21st century any day now....finally I will get to watch all those little videos attached to blogs and will be able to hear my own music. This won't be helpful with the blog addiction I seem to be developing but at least my phone line won't always be busy!



Here's the picture you've all been waiting for. All together now....EWWWW.


Here he is smoking a candy cane, he didn't let it leave his lips until it was gone. That is a lot of red and green drool by the way. It got him through the xrays that came next though.


Nathanael told me he was going to make ear rings for me out of these. Fingers crossed for Christmas. Just kidding, thats gross people! Aili took them for show and tell this morning though, hopefully they make them home again....gotta make room in the baby book for them.
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12/9/08

Update on Silas' arm


This is Silas' pretty new blue cast. After last weeks xrays (we have had to drive to the city each week to get them) they put a face lift on his grubby falling apart gauze wrapped cast. He only needed it for a week because this week it came off.


Sorry to the weak stomachs out there. It was just so wierd looking I told Nathanael , quick get the camera out of my purse! It was both horrifying and fascinating to see the pins that had been hiding under his cast. Getting the cast off was noisy and messy ...and the dr. told him before hand that "its just like mommy's vacuum at home"....he's terrified of the vacuum. Enough said. We came armed with a candy cane though. When Silas saw the pins he was very concerned..to say the least. Can you blame him? I would be horrified to look over and see two pieces of metal sticking out of my arm! It was really gross. They came out pretty quickly. It did hurt him but it didn't seem as bad as I would have imagined. It was all over in seconds.


Here he is with a bandage (there was blood involved) and a candy cane. Notice the grumpy ticked off look on his face...once again can you blame him?


Nathanael grabbed the pins off of the tray on our way out....the dr. just rolled his eyes at him. They make a nice little souvenier of Silas misadventures. We are glad they are over now and that his cast is off. I'm so happy he can now wear his normal clothes and take baths. By the way I have have some sleepers and button up shirts missing the right arm if any one wants them :) He hasn't been using his arm much but it is still bandaged and we weren't home that long before bedtime. I think its still a little tender but I'm hoping he will get used to using it tomorrow. Thankyou to everyone who was praying for him today as we faced the trauma of another drs. visit. He did amazingly well.

12/8/08

The Promise Candle



We started doing advent as a family last year. I wanted to do something a little more meaningful to anticipate Christmas . I found a little book that went along with the movie "The Nativity"...called "looking forward to the Nativity" . It has family devotions and a family activity for each day in December. Its maybe slightly old for them but they seem to be getting something out of it and lighting the candles each Sunday is a highlight for them. Of course they fight over who gets to light them and who blows them out....as if there aren't enough to go around. Last year we watched the movie together on Christmas Eve. I think I'd like to find another book for next year and then rotate every year or so.



The book we read each evening in our family time is going through Gods story of redemption from the beginning until Christs birth...the fulfillment. Last week the candle was called the "promise candle". Advent candles can represent different things depending on what guide or book you are using..or what your want them to represent. Its not a legistic ritual...its a reminder and a way to look forward to Christmas, so next year we might do something different with the candles. Last week we learned about Gods promise to Abraham . That from his lineage would come the Savior, the Messiah. We looked at how throughout history Gods promise held.

Through a sordid human gene pool.
Through disobedience and lack of trust.
Through scandal, murder, adultery and excile,
Through 200 years of slavery....his promise held.
The earthly lineage of Jesus included Jacob the swindler, King David the adulterer, Ruth the foreigner, King Manesseh the murderer and Rahab the prostitute....just to name a few.
It seems most of His lineage were also either idol worshipers or crooks . A handful were men and woman of amazing faith but even those people frequently stumbled.
What was the common bond between all these people? A promise.
Why did God use these people? ( Other than to give us hope that if He can use them ,He can use us too) He certainly didn't have to use these individuals , the Messiah could have come riding a flaming chariot out of the clouds or been dropped on a Kings doorstep. It would have seemed simpler that way. But God had a reason for using imperfect people. He had a plan to use all the blunders and mistakes of His people.
I think one of the reasons He gives us the entire Old Testement with all its shady stories of less than perfect people is that he knows that our lives are often uncertain....and also full of mistakes. We watch the evening news and worry. We watch the economy crash and wonder. We look at our bank account and dispair. We stand by a grave and feel abandoned.
He wants us to know that His promises stand, when the world is full of Chaos, he is calm and his purpose is unshaken.
Famines can't starve it
Earth Quakes can't shake it.
Hurricanes can't dissolve it.
Isrealites bumbling through the dessert for 40 years can't change it.
Death can't destroy it.
A crashing economy can't derail it.
He remains...his promises remain.
"The engineer has not abondoned the train"

"In this world you will have trouble, but be brave! I have defeated the world. " (John 16:33)

This Sunday's candle (the second candle) was the Prophet Candle. So this week we will be reading about the people God chose to be his messengers. The ones who fortold the coming of Christ centuries before his birth. The sometimes unwilling but obedient servants who shed the tears of Christ before He came and who's broken hearts beat along with Gods own heart.

"Oh come, O come Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Isreal,
That mourns in lonely excile here.
Until the son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee , O Isreal!"


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12/5/08

Crying for a woman I've never met.

Little Max passed away peacefully in his mothers arms this morning only hours after being born. They were praying and hoping he would be born alive and that they would have some time with him...the were blessed with a couple precious hours.
Babies with Trisomy 18 don't live long....90% die before their first birthday. Some die before birth, some die minutes or hours after. Some little miracle babies live and bring joy to their families for months and years. Their lives are short. But a life that is short is still a life...an eternal soul that now exists. A bundle of personality, character, love, purpose and sense of humor that will always be unique to them...even if those traits weren't realized or discovered here. Max is now in his heavenly fathers arms, he is free of the body that was deemed "incompatible with life" and is living life more fully and perfectly than we can imagine. His parents though broken and grieving the loss of their son believe that someday this tragic loss, this broken body and this mothering process cut short will be restored. They will once again hold little Max in their arms and every tear will be dried.
Until then his mother will bear the physical scars of bringing her baby into the world and the scars that will forever be on her heart by being separated from that baby. His father will be forced to accept that even as the provider and protector of his family he was helpless to do either. That is why I cry for them.

Christmas is the season that we celebrate Gods redemption of mankind. The almighty God, all powerful, present in all time and space, all knowing.....humbled himself to become a human embryo...to grow in a womb...to be born by a peasant woman in a stable. Strong became weak, all powerful became totally dependant. The King of Kings who commands the legions of angels entered the world surounded by farm animals and shepherds. Fully God and fully man....Emmanual "God with us".
He came with a purpose, he came to die....for me. He came to redeem what was taken. He came to romance a lost world back to Himself. He came to pay the price for each of us who would remove Him from the throne and sit ourselves there instead...for that is at its core what sin trully is...treason. What is the price for high treaon against the king of all kings, creator of heaven and earth? Exactly what it should be. BUT, we have a Creator King who , not willing that any should be lost, loved us so much that he came.. willingly into a world of pain, sorrow, hunger , cold and violence. A world we destroyed by sin. A world that welcomed him with "no room in the inn" , a world that wanted to kill him before his first birthday, a world that would rather hide behind "white washed walls" than surrender the corpse hidden within , a world that would despise him, spit on him and nail his hands and feet to a cross. He freely gives grace to those who would kill Him.

He wasn't a martyr, he wasn't merely a prophet, he wasn't just a good teacher....he is God. He could have called down thousands of angels or struck dead the soldiers....but chose the nails instead.

He came to conquer the grave, to defeat death. He did it so that we who place place our trust in Him, instead of ourselves ,will no longer need to fear death. We look forward to the day when we will see the completion of the events set in motion before the earth was formed. Max's parents will one day see their son again. Someday I will know the two children that I didnt have a chance to trully know here on earth. I will see the person Samuel was created to be and I will know my mystery baby as well. The one who I still wonder is a boy or a girl.

"God doesn't give us more than we can handle" that is a cliche that is spouted by well intentioned people every where. I think that any one who has suffered loss in any form knows that this is a lie. We come to the end of ourselves. But at the end of ourselves is where we see him face to face. It is at the end of our selves that we realize we can't fix this thing, we require God size deliverance. When we are trapped between the red sea and an advancing Epyptian army, and dispair threatens to overtake us....we must look to God to make a way through the waves. At the end of ourselves we learn that the castles we have made of sand aren't all that strong after all....but there is a foundation that will not be moved. That is where we learn to lean on Him and allow Him to carry us through the mess.

I am once again praying and crying for a woman I have never met....but we know the same God. A God who is mighty to save, a God who will redeem what was lost, a God who holds our tears in His hands.

Baby Max update

Little Max was born this morning and according to their brief update is doing well and is "fiesty". Keep praying for them....that he would continue to do well and knock the socks off the drs. Ther blog is listed below "miracle max"

12/4/08

Please Pray for little Max

I haven't posted a prayer request for someone on my blog before but right now my heart is with a family who is expecting to deliver their first son tomorrow (Friday Dec 5). Maxson was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 half way through the pregnancy. I have tears in my eyes as I think of all the uncertainties, joy and fear they are experiencing as they anticipate the arrival of their son. Please hold them and little Maxson up in prayer throughout the day tomorrow. Pray for the labor to progress quickly, that Max would tolerate it well and be born alive and strong , pray that they would have plenty of time to love and make some memories with their son. They are hoping they will be able to bring Max home and have him for Christmas. I will be praying for that miracle for them...it does happen but not always. Pray that throughout the days ahead they would feel Gods peace and comfort surrounding them. Thankyou.
Their blog is http://www.ourmiraclemax.blogspot.com/

12/2/08

Calling all homeschooling moms

Ok this isn't the lovely Christmas post I had planned to do next...maybe the next one. Right now I am sitting in my office panicking over the fact that I will be pulling my kids out of school next fall and attempting to school them myself.

Why you ask. Here's the scoop. We will be packing up our camping trailer and driving south to Baja Mexico next fall (oct '09)to stay for about 6 months , give or take. We will be once again working at an orphanage and mission base there as volunteer staff. We were there three years ago....gasp...its been that long?! Roman and Aili were 2 and 4 then so I was more concerned with keeping them alive than actually teaching them anything. This year I will be attempting both....with a 2 and a half year old in tow. Aili will be in 3rd grade and Roman will be in 1st (fingers crossed) . Its not geophysics and rocket science I have to teach them at this age so why am I already feeling totally inadequate and nervous about it?

We have considered the homeschooling option in past years but we have thoroughly enjoyed and apprectiated the public rural school that my kids now attend. There are a total of 30 kids in their whole school. Its an old fashioned country school and they are really thriving and learning with all the benefits of a small school and low student to teacher ratio. We however have always known that we still want to travel and look into missions work, even with our kids, so we have always kept the homeschooling option on the table.

At the orphanage in Mexico there is a small school for the kids living there and the Mexican staff kids but I don't know if they will let the Canadian kids attend or not. I realize I would also have to be homeschooling them to keep them caught up but I would really love to have them somwhat integrated into the language , culture and the local school. It would help with building friendships which is very important to both my little socialites. I'm hoping we can have them involved in a couple of the classes at least and maybe join the kids for recess and special events. I might have to do some phone calling and emailing ahead of time.

I think on a whole this experience will be very good for them. Why sit in a Social studies class and learn about another culture if you can actually go there and experience it? Why study a second language from a desk if you can go and learn one by making friends who don't speak english? It will be an amazing way to teach geography, social studies, spanish and so many other subjects....without even opening a text book. Not to mention all the character building and life lessons they will learn workng and living in an impoverished area and in a new culture. We will be taking book work with us too though. Not sure what books exactly but we are checkng with the school district to see if they can help us out with material for the months they will be out of school.

I'm totally excited for our next big family adventure! And I'm very excited to be once again involved in the amazing and diverse ministries of 'Foundation For His Ministry'. Check out their website
http://www.ffhm.org/
I am even a bit excited to embark on the new adventure of "trailer schooling" my kids...or suv schooling, or sitting under a palm tree schooling, or sitting in an orange orchard schooling.....doesn't sound so bad.

I am excited that this trip will make life long memories for my oldest two. Aili who was 4 last time has foggy memories of the trip and Roman who was two doesnt remember much at all.

Nathanael and I are going down there this Febuary for just a week. It will be the first return trip since we left April '06. We are taking down a group of 17 people from our church to work for a week. It will be great to be back but so far the stress of organizing such a trip has overshadowed the anticipation. And the guilt and fear about leaving my kids behind for the week is making looking forward to it hard. I kind of wish it was our family going this winter but it will be an amazing experience to go with 15 other people who have never gone before. Being able to immerse myself in the work I'm passionate about without just doing mom stuff the whole time will be a nice change for a week.

Sooo....if there is anyone out there in blogworld that has any advice for a newbie homeschooler with cold feet ..it would be welcome. Scheduling, subjects, curriculum, advice....help!

11/23/08

Getting Ready for Christmas


This Saturday we put up our Christmas tree and decorated the house. It seems a bit early but the kids were eager to get the Christmas season started and I enjoy having the house all decorated too...even if there is no snow yet. My hubby was away for a few days moose hunting so we decided we would surprise Daddy with a clean and Christmasy house when he got home. I convinced the kids that in order to decorate ,the house must first be thoroughly cleaned. It has been a crazy and exhausting week with my broken up toddler so the house was in rough shape. Fortunatley I have kids who I have trained to clean :) I had the 5 year old emptying garbages and dusting while the 7 year old vacuumed and tidied up the shoes in the entry. By the time Daddy got home we had the house decorated , the tree up and all the bathrooms cleaned. For some reason its hard to appreciate the beauty of the decorations with a grungy house...not that it won't be grungy again before Christmas.


Silas woke up from his nap to a strange tree in his house. He was a little scared at first and didn't want to go near it but then he carefully examined all the ornaments and lights. He picked a black santa wearing a fire mans suit as his favorite and he frequently steals it to go drive his trucks.


Aili decided that our surprise for Dad wasn't enough and that we needed to make more of an event out of the "occasion". Aili does this by making shows...usually involving dancing. This occasion called for her prettiest dress and time dedicated to practicing her dancing. Here she is practicing her welcome home dance. What a lucky Daddy he is.


What a lucky mama I am!
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11/19/08

More Hospital Pictures


This is the second post about Silas crib accident. Skip ahead to the one below and then backtrack up to this one for it to make sense. I know not very efficient on my part. Here he is finally sucumbing to a short drug induced nap. He still has one foot on the rail in protest.


Unhooked and ready to go for a stroll around the the ward. Still not a very happy camper.


Waiting for our discharge Silas and I were able to get more comfortable than we had been for the past two days. I could have stayed there and napped with him, but getting out of the hospital was more appealing. They had thought we might stay another night but he was doing well after surgery so we were able to go home. Yippee no more chair bed.
The nurses were great and so sweet to Silas the whole time. We didn't have any bad experiences with grumpy old nurses. The Drs....when we were lucky enough to actually see one were really nice too. We will be going back once a week for the next few weeks to get his arm re x-rayed. Hopefully those trips will be less adventursome. The dr. seemed confident that his arm and elbow would heal properly and since he is so young , very quickly too.


Finally home in his "new" toddler bed. The one we finally just took Roman out of. I wish I could say we slept like rocks last night but I'm still sleep deprived and in need of a nap. This too will pass. Right now I need to focus on keeping my busy toddler from falling on his face and arm. He's adjusting to the added clumsiness and weight of the cast but he occasionally forgets he can't use that arm. I'm hoping to catch a nap while he sleeps this afternoon...and I won't be sleeping in a chair either. :)
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