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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Better luck next time


What's wrong with this picture? (Just kidding) Actually my husband has a mini-me. Our almost five year old son. It doesn't matter what my husband is doing, either tearing out walls or shoveling dirt, our son is there with a hammer or rake in hand! I will ask our son if he wants to come with Mommy or bake with Mommy, "No" He's our daddy's little boy! I'm completely fine with this although witnessing, I wonder how we can get our teenagers involved with a rake? Last weekend one of our teen boys asked if he could make money. Right away I stated that he doesn't want us as his employers but he insisted that he wanted to work. So my husband gave him a job fixing our driveway. Wheel barreling dirt from point A to B then raking smooth. Basically filling in large potholes. As the day progressed with texting, multiple drinking, bathroom and computer breaks the job wasn't finished. For the "effort" we decided to pay our teen the time he did shovel dirt. Unfortunately the job wasn't finished. So as seen above, my husband and his little mini-me finished what was started a week prior. Most of our teenagers work hard and respectively for someone else but for us, we can't be their employers. For our younger children they love having chores and collecting earnings but then all of a sudden once teenage hood hits; they either expect the money tree to deliver or the chore should take seconds for twenty dollars! If we all made money like this, we would be millionaires! What we're learning is to never criticize but to gently suggest on how we want things done. Even so, they know how to do it a different way! The different way consists of listening to their Ipod's and texting their friends while the chore magically happens itself. Then because they spent the time thinking about the chore, their time should be paid for! I'm realizing that with some of our teenagers, employment from us, can't happen. It's completely funny when my husband decides to have "the speech" about back in the day on the farm. Talking about gathering hay bails, cleaning out the barn and driving grain wagons back and forth. I used to pick and bundle salal to sell to the local florist shops with my Mother. If I really wanted money, I would collect pop bottles, now it's too embarrassing for the teenagers to bring in cans. I'm really evaluating our situation and why some of our teenagers seem to be clearly slack on the help department. I know I'm completely guilty for doing too much at times but finding the fine balance between being their Mother and teaching them work ethics is important for their future. Unless it's true, they work better for others. I do know technology has changed everyone. It's an empowering source that is great but also a complete distraction for our working youth. Texting is time consuming and if they're paid by the hour, exactly how much time is spent working? According to our potholes, maybe an hour and fifteen minutes throughout a four hour period. Two of our teens state that they work academically better with Ipod's. Perhaps, I couldn't. How on earth can someone focus on English listening to music? Clearly the decade has shifted from when I was a teenager. I also find that it doesn't matter how much you raise your child to be a certain way, how much you preach "back in the day" ultimately they find their own path and will work how and for whom they want too. I just hope that some of our teenagers are only being teenagers and their work ethics improve for somebody and most importantly for themselves, for their future. For now, my husband and his little mini-me is patching up the left overs while I contemplate how to explain a job not well done.

"Happy April!"



April is one of our bigger party months. Especially this April. Our oldest daughter is turning twenty one, another daughter is turning eleven, one of our littlest is turning five, my niece is turning sixteen and my Mother is turning sixty! My sister has plans for our Mother that I won't mention on here just in case my Mother decides to read this post but I've been stumped on what I want to do for her. Of course I will be a part of my sisters plans but I'm more of the quality sentimental type that wants to take a day to spend with my Mother. When I think of her, I think that she works to hard, she hasn't seen or has been able to see much of this world. She's never owned a passport, she rarely takes holidays and if she does, she spends her time working in her garden. My Mother has worked all her life. When I think of her, she's helped me all my life; from my first baby up until having many Grandchildren. She's accepted my life choices that have changed her life because now she has a list of who's turn (what grandchild) gets to spend the night with Grandma. She's the only Grandmother that juggles her time to make time for our children. She's my Mother who made me who I am today. Without her guidance through my childhood, I wouldn't be as organized, structured and routined as I am. Most of my fondest memories was of her baking and cooking in the kitchen, having a warm fresh bun with butter. Camping all summer long and her making us our homemade cabbage patch kids, big frog pillows for the floor for Christmas. So when I think about my Mother's birthday, I think giving a gift is traditional. All our children have a choice on their birthdays what they want to do. It's making it special for them, it's their day. For my Mother, she deserves a day off. Not only a day off from work but some quality time with her daughter. Yes that's me! I'm in thought mode but I want to bring her places she's never seen, I want to treat her as special as she means to me. When I was a child, (like our children now) I never thought too much about my parents, they were my parents. They were suppose to do everything they did. Now being a Mother reflecting back, I was lucky to have my Mother. I know she loved me and did the best she could, I know she loves me now and is trying to be the best Grandma she can be given her time. Gifts are like a collection of pigs, it's clutter. For years and years I bought my Mom different ornaments that she still has. Now I don't want to do that. She doesn't need another lawn ornament or cement statue for her porch. She needs a day off with her daughter, pictures and some good laughs about the good ole days. Now I just have to figure out where, what, how and when? For the rest of the birthdays it's a piece of cake, add a little icing, tlc of their liking and they age another year! Amazing how fast we're all aging and our hearts remain young. I hope when I grow up, our children will still spend some time with me too!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Through my daughter's eyes (Right now)



Hi, I am my moms second oldest daughter and I asked for her permission to write this post. I'm 15 years old in grade 10 and home schooled. Being home schooled is much easier than being in high school just because I can concentrate better without distractions and I can keep my grades up to what I need to get into University. I would like to attend V.I.U. when I graduate and become an Adoption Social Worker, so I am very determined to get the grades that I need to attend University. Right now my life is about school, family, and my boyfriend. School because it's what I need to get through life, family because they support me and are there when I need people to lean on and I love them dearly, and last but not least my boyfriend who I also love very dearly (Yes teenage love, what can you do about it?) He's my first boyfriend and I hope that he will turn out to be my only boyfriend. He's a very sweet guy who I adore and not to mention very talented and very good looking :) He's also really funny and I love being entertained by humor, he's a very special person in my life and I hope that we last along time. My mom and his mom like to joke around about pre-arranging a marriage for us and planning the wedding, which I wish that they would start planning it right now! Of course I'm not ready to get married right now, I mean come on I'm 15 years old and still in school but in the future I would like to wear my moms wedding dress. I think it is one of the most prettiest wedding dresses I have ever seen in my entire life, of course once I'm graduated University and have a solid job that is. Although he does live about 45 minutes away from me and we try our best to make it work. I wouldn't say that it's the easiest thing being apart from him because its not that easy but its worth it because of how much I like him and care for him. Normally I get to see him on the weekends and sometimes I worry that I wont be able to see him, for example I would love for him to come over this weekend but I don't know if he will be able to. I miss him dearly because I haven't seen him in about 2 weeks but like I said before it's worth it. I also love how my mama likes him and how his mom likes me as well so that is good and not to mention my family adores him and I adore his family as well. I also think that we are good for each other because we can relate to one another with being adopted and being teenagers. When I think about my future at this point in my life I think about graduating high school, graduating University, becoming an adoption social worker, getting married to the boy who I love, and having and adopting children. Most people my age don't know what they want to do with their life or can't picture their future, well I guess I am not most people, I can say this with 100% honesty that I have my priorities in check and I know what comes first in my life. I know my path and who I want to be and I will go after it with everything I have in me and try to make my life the best that I can make it!


I let my daughter write while I was cooking dinner. She has been asking me for days to write a post. I think it's nice to express yourself. For my daughter I believe there's more to her post then just writing her thoughts. Writing is a release for some. For me, I can express myself more in my writing then I can in person. I share not only because I love to write and release thoughts, I share in hopes to make a difference, to educate and hopefully provide insights on us as a family. Our life is different having a larger family, having a family with special needs, a family built through adoption. There is many questions from the general public. That was one of my reasons for starting this blog years ago. If anything; our family with the variety of needs, with our challenges and our triumphs we're succeeding through our own experiences that I can share to others. We're definitely NOT perfect but interestingly unique. I remember when we first started adopting, our Adoption Worker asked if it would bother us being out in the spotlight? (Being noticed more then others) Something like that was questioned......I clearly understand now why the question. We're not Society's normal. For me, I'm used to the positives and yes, the negatives that we receive and blogging is a part of my advocating why we are who we are. Writing is not only a release, it's a form of expression, perhaps a help tool for others that want to adopt and are waiting to adopt. I can almost write about anything, recipes, special needs to how I'm feeling and what we're doing. How we do it. If you're ever interested in responding, asking questions through commenting, please do so. You can by clicking on the link at the end of a post. Back to my daughter.....she's taking after her Mother. I've written about her before. She was our first older adoption. I'm not exactly sure why my husband and I chose to jump into older adoptions but I wouldn't change our history for anything. My only suggestion for parents that want to adopt older children is to remember to be patient, your children need to accept and feel comfortable with you. Sometimes it feels like acceptance will never happen, it does and could take years. Our now teenage daughter is a completely different person. She came to us with a Reactive Attachment Disorder. (Doesn't establish healthy bonds) A whole other post. Mmmm.....I can happily say our second oldest daughter is very attached. She's completely focused on her future as written above and I truly wish everything she hopes for becomes a reality. As her Mother, I am very proud of her. She's becoming a beautiful teenager, a thoughtful young lady. Of course she's still a teenager but I couldn't ask for a better one! Through my daughter's eyes right now is only young love......who knows what the future holds, what I do know is we will always be in it! So I'm thankful for her sharing her thoughts, always with me that I can monitor and apparently now with you.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pack up the pigs!


After a bit of wacky changing of events during Spring break our children are back to school with new hair cuts, spring shoes and hoodies! Our son that was recently in the hospital is doing great! Healing well and in better spirits. (So am I) Our weekend consisted of buying a van of groceries, washing and putting away winter clothing, yard cleaning and a bomb fire. Now that we're back to some "normal" living, what we believe to be our normal......I'm thinking about Spring cleaning. Spring cleaning to me means removal of clutter. Years ago I wrote a post on de-cluttering. I remember when I used to collect ornaments, pig ornaments to be exact. Back then I felt I had some sort of sentimental attachment to these pigs. They were everywhere! Honestly I have no idea now why on earth I would spend money, find space for useless dust collecting glass pigs. So what do you do when you feel you have an attachment to material objects? First I quizzed myself if these items resembled who I was. I'm definitely not a pig. I don't own a farm nor have ever owned real pigs. They were cute and only something to collect. So after years of collecting I took a black garbage bag and filled it with every pig I could find. The trick is too never look back. Once in the black garbage bag it's gone, tie it and drive it down to the nearest Salvation Army. That's how I started de-cluttering material items. Now I have one lean display cabinet. The items have to have more meaning then "looking cute" For example, I have a mold of one of our sons baby feet. I have our wedding cake topper because it was built from a 1957 Chevy die cast model with our own wedding people sitting inside. I will guarantee if your home is feeling cluttered with items that aren't important, really are not important and doesn't resemble you and your family, just take that black garbage bag and fill it, you will feel a release. It's amazing how attachment to objects can control your life. What will happen is your home will look cleaner, bigger and you will save money because you won't want to buy anything anymore unless it's "needed" like food! I don't want to know how much money through-out those years of buying pig ornaments I spent! Not only that, I spent a lot of time cleaning each and every pig! Every Spring and Fall I get ansy to de-clutter. De-clutter for me is not only material objects, it's clothing, it's eliminating anything that we don't use or haven't used within the past year. I love coming into our home and feeling warmth, a place that we can call our home. Now that we have more wall space, I do want to design a wall dedicated to family pictures. An exciting project because our children love seeing their photographs and we're about family. Normally I bake on Mondays, I might still bake but I also have the black garbage bags out. Now this post is a test, look around and ask yourself if your home resembles you? Do you really need that lamp? Do you turn it on? Are you tired of dusting those useless ornaments? Just grab a black bag and don't look back. Once you've developed the space, the freshness of de-cluttering, keep it that way. Just like running or going to the gym, the hardest step is out the front door. De-cluttering is the same idea, if you have to think why you should keep an item, it's not worth having. (Drop it into the bag) Don't think about it, don't look back into the bag and get rid of it. I can optimistically say, "You will be happy with a fresh new look (clean) and you'll be on your way to saving money, also realizing that all those things really isn't you" You won't have to worry about anything breaking having children. The children should be the sentimental pieces in our lives, so pack up the pigs! When I refer to the word "clean" It's like looking at a vehicle with tons of bumper stickers. It's not clean looking at all. It's completely cluttered. That's what a house looks like with tons of useless stuff. I write this because sometimes we don't see it and just picture the back of someones bumper stickered car. Yes they're trying to make a point with quotes extra......kind of like my bla-ing blog, or the back of my van with little white family members but there's an extent to the madness before it's too much. I'm also writing because this is what I'm doing and I know how good it feels with the release of materials, so I'm hoping I'm only inspiring my idea for a chain reaction of feeling in control, relief and a new you. Be in control, don't let items control you! "My goal is to feel pulled-together and a little offbeat. And I like to keep things simple" I read this in the April Oprah magazine from Sarah Herrington. She was writing about her clothing style, I read it and thought, that's me within my home. Who are you?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"While the Mother is away, the Father will play!"



It's Thursday and our seventeen year old son is home. "It was a week"...... now 100% recovery with no recurrences would be great! All our plans for Spring Break changed but we survived. While I was gone my husband continued to keep busy with different activities, swimming, biking, go-carting and tearing out our old stairs in the living room. It's amazing how open our living room is! Just taking out the stairs made SO much difference! We're going to have SO much room, more of an open floor plan and exactly what we need for easy wheel chair access! If anything this week, I came home and was impressed with our space! Not only am I impressed with his accomplishments, I'm so grateful that my husband can handle all our children, do activities, continue to work and prepare meals when I'm away. It's excellent to know that he CAN handle our home if I wasn't here! Having a large family our numbers are against us with different scenarios, so when there's an emergency at least we're both confidant in each other. Now that I'm home, Spring Break is coming to a close, there is a list of chores for this Mother to do! So another nights rest, I will be good to go......but reflecting back, during our week in the hospital I made friends with this elderly fellow and his wife. We had a semi-private room with him. During the week, I would visit with him, help him with his television and discuss life. At the beginning of the week (Saturday) he wasn't doing very well at all. Today he was walking circles on our floor! I was so happy for him. This hospital doesn't have visiting times, it's 24/7 visiting because finally they know it's important for the sick to have family and friends around at anytime. It's a lonely place to be recovering on your own. He joked with me every morning about why I wasn't watching "The Price is Right" So leaving this afternoon I left with a friend. We exchanged emails. I bought him a multiple picture frame to put his family pictures in that seemed to fall on the floor and I held his hand saying, "Stay strong, you're coming out of here too!" While reading my past posts being SO worried and upset now feeling a bit of closure being home, I realized that with all our life's negative circumstances brings something positive. It's unfortunate our son has to go through multiple issues with his lungs, it's sad for any child to undergo surgeries and be away from home. Not something I wish anyone to go through no matter what age. Now being home I'm at ease while thinking about this elderly man's hand I was holding. A new friend I hope to see again. A person along with my "phone friends" I connected with and I really hope he gets to return home soon too. For me, I will always think of him when I see "The Price is Right" Now I'm still in shock what my husband has done, amazing while the Mother is away, the Father will play!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Update........

It's Tuesday. I've been confused the past five days on which day it was. I'm home momentarily for the evening to sleep, to have a shower and see my family. Some of you have been aware that I had no Internet access except for my Blackberry phone that receives emails. My phone kept me company especially on Monday while our seventeen year old had lung surgery. Behind the phone were supportive friends that I'm so "Thankful" for. They took him down to the operating room at 3:30pm and I didn't hear anything until he rolled in from recovery at 11:30pm that evening. I will admit, I was freaking out. I didn't understand why no one didn't know anything! I couldn't believe his surgery was 6 hours with a 2 hour recovery period. I found out later they were late starting because of another emergency. There was different periods I was always walking around or sitting keeping really strong. Monday wasn't my good day. Of course, as time went on, I kept thinking the worst! At one point I was waiting in line for a coffee, a long 20 minute lineup, when I reached the till it was cash only! Of course I didn't have any cash! I paused, walked away looking for a bank machine. I sat at a chair near the bank machine and blubbered like a baby. I didn't even care that people were walking by staring at me. It really didn't make a difference to me what anyone thought. When I pulled myself together, I made my way back to the coffee lineup. Cleared my face and went back to the seventh floor. Our son is doing well. He's in a lot of pain. Currently he's hooked to the pleura-vac machine through a chest tube, he has 4 incision openings where they went in to complete his surgery. I can't exactly explain the surgery as the surgeon but in short form they cut the blisters off the top of his lung, used a white powder material that burns the lung, they scrapped his chest wall and stuck the two together. This is to prevent any further pneumothorax's. Well at least eliminate how frequent he could have them. We hope he won't have anymore, we hope he doesn't have them in his left lung as his percentages are higher then our average person. So he's recovering at the hospital. I left today. I really had a hard time deciding to leave. It reminded me when I left my third birth son at the hospital, going home without my baby because he was premature. Almost eleven years ago and it still brings tears to my eyes leaving without him. So I'm home for tonight. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has been involved with me (mainly by email) My family and friends were beside us. I appreciate it deeply. So we move on in recovery mode with hopefully no complications or pneumonia. My husband has been doing great with the rest of our children, taking them swimming, biking and other activities. He even came down one day, traded me places so I can take our children to the petting zoo. That was nice. What was really nice was when they came home, our youngest told our oldest that he saw Mommy today with a BIG smile on his face! My oldest daughter texted me this which brought me home and I received such BIG hugs that I really, really needed. I love being a Mother. Sometimes I feel I don't tell my children enough that I love them. When I left, I told our seventeen year old, "I'm sorry if I don't tell you enough that I love you" because probably like every Mother, sometimes we don't feel we say it enough then something happens and reminds us the importance of saying, "I love you" (Even if I (we) say it every night!) Life, we just never know when a day can change everything. So hopefully if everything looks like it's going well with his chest xrays, he could be coming home this Thursday or Friday to start his two week recovery! AND by the way - I love all of you! (You know who you are!)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Helpless







I wish I could take the pain from a child. I would endure the pain 200% if it meant no pain for my children. Back in June/July 2010 our son had a pneumothorax. A pneumothorax is a collasped lung. It's a collection of air around the outside of the lung. It puts pressure on the lung so it cannot expand while breathing. In our sons case it's called a spontaneous pneumothorax. A small area in the lung that is filled with air, called a bleb, ruptures, and the air leaks into the pleura space between the chest wall and the lung. June 2010 our now seventeen year old son had two attempts of the smaller chest tubes which resulted in the largest chest tube that admitted him for four days after a seven day ordeal. It changed his 2010 summer. Now nine months later he's in the hospital with another spontaneous pneumothorax. I've been with him at the hospital all day. He's been admitted and another chest tube has been put in. Good news is the doctor was able to sinch out 700 ml of air, imagine drinking a bottle of pop! That's what came out of my sons chest tonight. As his Mother I'm holding it together because I have to be strong for him. In my heart I'm crying. The doctor tonight has made arrangements for his transport by ambulance to the Victoria hospital tomorrow (Saturday) morning. From there we will be seeing a Thoracic lung specialist and our son will undergo lung surgery on Sunday. The lung surgery should prevent any further pneumothorax's in his right lung as he's now classified as chronic. This doesn't ensure possible future complications with his left lung. Right now we don't know why this is happening except for his body structure is lean. He's not a smoker. Symptoms of a collapsed lung is sharp chest pain, shortness of breath, painful to breathe, chest tightness and in our sons case, throbbing back pain generally localized around the collapsed lung. We're hoping that it's just a spontaneous pneumothorax and not finding any type of underlying lung diseases but time will tell with tests. I needed to write in hopes to get some sleep. Above pictures, left is from last year, June 2010. The right picture is from tonight. (Friday) I don't know what the next week will entail except that our son resembles a stabbing victim with multiple scars from chest tubes. From June until now our son has been worried that he would have another incident. His worries have become reality. As I remained strong and I will remain strong, our son teared and I wanted nothing more to take his pain away. I feel like I felt nine months ago, helpless. It's unfair and young people shouldn't have to worry about their health. As we move forward dealing with this unexpected turn of Spring Break, I know there will be positive results in the end. "There will be positive results" because right now, I don't believe it will get any worse. I just wish right now, I can have his pain instead and his worries because a teenager doesn't need any extra complications in their life. He doesn't need this............I'll be back with something positive soon. :(

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Beastly


Beastly and how fitting for my feelings this week. A few of us went and saw the movie Beastly. A modern remake of "Beauty and the Beast" A movie about falling in love with someones inner beauty. I am a person that strongly advocates to our children what ''real beauty' looks like. That anyone and anything can be beautiful but beautiful isn't just in a physical form. Beautiful physically to our eye means absolutely nothing when you're not beautiful within. It doesn't matter what our outside appears to be. What is beautiful? I describe beautiful within our character, our personalities and our compassion for one another. Beautiful is accepting each other for who we are, caring about ones feelings, think before we speak, judge or quickly throwing out an opinion. Beautiful is having an open heart and understanding. If anything being a Mother; it's important to me to teach our children compassion and the "true" meaning of being beautiful. I've written this before so I'm probably sounding repetitive. In fact, I'm always repeating myself so that's nothing new! Our personalities really reflect who we are and with education I believe some personalities can change and become more beautiful. I've often heard the saying, "Beautiful inside and out" I think being beautiful within yourself is more important then our physical appearance. I completely understand that we all want to be beautiful physically. I especially have struggled through-out my younger years with my curly hair and my scarred skin. Having scars makes you want to hide, with hiding you can't be your true self. People who hide underneath hoodies developed this insecurity because Society sees them differently and sadly they see themselves differently too. I feel sad that people with abnormal physical appearances are left feeling this way. I believe everyone is capable of being beautiful. Then there's the flip side, some physically beautiful people are the true "Beasts" because they have no compassion for others within themselves. They are so wrapped into their own world, everyone else doesn't matter. This is really sad because to me without a personality change within, they are the beasts in my mind. So for me raising our children, the most important attribute is their developing beauty within. I can be sensitive, sometimes hurt and embarrassed for some of our children's actions. If I'm aware and recognize their behaviours (that to me) are unbeautiful for their character, I will apologise. Mostly most of our children I see great potential to become these beautiful individuals I talk about. I would rather have our children have this inner beauty then a Medical diploma. I wouldn't want a doctor looking after me with his/her head in the clouds anyways, would you? I'm a proud Mother when I witness our children being honorable to another, making a difference and taking a leap of kindness just because. After all what's really important? Humanity. How we all feel within ourselves and towards each other is more important then what color eye makeup we're wearing that day. I can wear some funky clothing at times, not in style and not matching. It means absolutely nothing. The most important thing is that I'm kind, accepting and not judging my neighbor. Our circumstances sometimes lay out our paths, there is rocky roads, paths that can be treacherous to climb and that's why it's important for all of us to understand because life can be rough. I don't believe anyone wants to be born physically different, in wheelchairs or mentally challenged. I don't believe anyone wanted to be addicted, burned in a house fire or just different according to what most of Society believes to be beautiful. This doesn't define who we are, it's our personality and how we treat each other. How we treat strangers. I always talk about changing the world. If I could change the world....I would what? End world hunger and poverty? Sure I would love too! Reality is I can start at home. Educate our children what beautiful is because that's what's going to change the world. How we treat each other. How we see each other. Accepting and having compassion for difference, for change. Loving what is and not for how we want it. Helping, caring and truly loving each other for who we are. Loving people who we don't know. Believe me we can............and this I believe will and can change the world. I like to bla, bla, bla.....as you can tell, repetitive is a key word for my life. I was driving home from a meeting this morning, seeing the sun for the first time for weeks it seems. I asked myself, "What is beautiful?" Other then our developing personalities, it's seeing the sun after weeks of rain. It's simple, beautiful is everywhere, just look and you'll find. Become within, make it your mission for yourself, your children and everyone. Eventually and hopefully others will catch on, catch onto the "real beautiful" so we all can live happily and peacefully no matter what path was given to us. Unconditionally, just love. "Be the change you want to see in this world" Mahatma Gandhi. Two other quotes of his I love is; "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind" and "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever" And to conclude my repetitive bla-ing post, I always tell anyone (including our young adults) , "It's never to late for change, it's a choice"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sesame hair?


I'm liking Sesame Seeds. It's a light ingredient you can put on absolutely anything! It looks beautiful for presentation. I make this homemade spicy barbecued sauce that can be put over almost any meat. You basically mix all these ingredients together then pour over your choice of meat then bake.


1 onion

6-8 cloves of garlic

1 tomato puree

Half cup vinegar

8 squirts Worcestershire sauce

A good long squeeze of mustard, half a cup

Paprika

Half cup lemon juice

2 cups brown sugar

Parsley

A shake or more, thyme, nutmeg and 4 bay leafs.

1 red pepper

1 lemon, sliced for on top

cilantro

sesame seeds sprinkled on top!
Did you know a half cup of sesame seeds contains more calcium then a half cup of whole milk? Also what's interesting is that sesame seed oil helps removes wrinkles and other skin diseases. I wonder if I apply it to my scalp, it would seep into my pores to improve grey hair!? Well I've heard that grey hair growth is a sign of wisdom. It's a lack of melanin in the body. As I was reading some research for preventing grey hair, I learned that if you take 100 grams of curd, mix 1 gm of black pepper and apply it to your scalp for one hour once a week, it will enhance your color and leave your hair silky smooth. Another remedy is SESAME OIL, applying sesame oil to your hair will help growth and grey!? (Maybe)..... Unfortunately I've heard dietary sources won't help with our melanin intake within our bodies. Melanin is a pigment in our skin that reacts to UV rays. So I'm basically "out of luck" when it comes to my natural color growth and that's why hair dye companies are making millions! For now, I'm enjoying the presentation and taste of sesame seeds on our food and my hair can prove my wisdom......

Monday, March 14, 2011

Our break has begun!


I'm loving the time change! 7pm during Spring Break and it's still light out! I love our four seasons but Spring and Summer are my favorite! Our first day consisted of Cyber City. Three hours our children played tag and hide in seek in a hamster town. Unfortunately our weather has been pouring rain and wind. So we've been searching for inside activities. The first glimpse of sun we'd like to take day trips in different directions. When I can, I like to hike different parts of the West Coast trail. Many of the trails offer short distances which makes an excellent day for our whole family. Our Island is extremely beautiful. I have had the opportunity to see Cape Scott, Pachena Bay, the Juan De Fuca trail where Bontanical Beach is, of course different trail heads through-out Tofino and Ucluelet. The beauty living on an Island is we're surrounded by areas everywhere that is worth stopping for. So some of our Spring Break will include beach adventures. (Weather permitting) We try to teach our children that it's important for physical activities and I truly believe children learn or repeat on what they see their parents do. So being a positive role model by being active is not only healthy for me, great for our children and for their future too! I'm hoping the weather brightens where we can attend the Pacific Rim Whale Festival in Tofino. There will be Grey whales and marine life education, children's fun and First Nations cultural workshops. Even if the weather doesn't brighten, we're going! I keep telling our children we're not made of sugar, so we can experience a little rain! Our Spring Break is going to be busy with multiple activities, places to see and a few dinners with friends. Speaking of friends, over chocolate fondue we were discussing trips. We basically came to the conclusion that our family won't be flying anywhere together anytime soon. My husband and I frequently discuss purchasing a Handy Dart bus. When we do, we were discussing travelling together. Blending our two families in a Handy Dart bus pulling our luggage! It was definitely an interesting concept that could work. We did question how it would look with the different border crossings and wondered if we would be hassled? As long as we have all our children with their passports and birth certificates we should be fine. I would have to bring a laptop with me because I bet a trip like that would make an interesting run of posts! (Ha ha) Well I think it would be great. So who knows what the future holds but what I do know is, it will never be dull! That's the beauty having a large developing family and friends, our days are full with not only beautiful adventures, it's full of laughter with each other. Like the saying goes, "A family that plays & laughs together stays together" Well at least I sure hope so!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

"Game is on"


My husband and I have this little inside game going on. It's been hilariously funny. We are playing little practical games on each other lately. Kind of like a bunch of silly kids. If you know us, you would understand that it's all just plain ole fun! So today my husband asked for a hair cut. Sure why not? We were having friends over for dinner, so why not a fresh hair cut! Ha, ha, ha, ha.....When I cut his hair, it's basically shaved down really short. I trim up around his ears, the back of his neck and the word, "HI" at the back of his head! He knew absolutely nothing, had a shower and was ready. During the evening I had to explain the "HI" just in case there was lurking wonderment with our company. It was a nice evening. Our dinner was hours late because I decided to cook potatoes in a BIG new 4 gallon pot! I wasn't sure what I was thinking except that we weren't going to run out of potatoes tonight! All of our children played really well, quietly well and we have one teen staying for a few days. I like him. I find him talented in several different ways, he has a great personality and I'm sure he'll be a pleasure having around. He's our daughter's boyfriend. With saying this, he's staying in our living room upstairs accompanied by our other children that seem to adore him. Between our two families, we've decided to prearrange their marriage. Hypothetically speaking. Although if I could control the future, these two make a perfect match. Before his Mother left, she mentioned what a wonderful wedding it would be here in our future landscaped yard. Come to think of it, she has a beautiful yard too! My daughter could wear my wedding dress, we could plan everything together making it the most beautiful, amazing wedding and reception for our children. Now IF this ever happened, our family would grow in numbers very quickly. We have a large family and so do they! Looking at it from my point of view is we're two families connected already through adoption, through different kinds of special needs, through having large families and I think we "get" each other. Our parenting styles are probably different but similar where we understand any situation that could arise. After all adding family can be difficult if you're not on the same page. Well who knows what the future holds, our teenagers are young and we can only hope for amazing in laws. Like my sister in law, she's not my "Out law" at all, she's my sister through marriage and my sister in my heart. We're best friends as I wrote in a previous post. Anyways, it was a good night. I had my laugh on for quite sometime with the whole "HI" stamp at the back of my husband's head. After our company left, I told him to go look in the mirror because I messed up a bit during his haircut. While trying to see the back of his head, he broke the hand held mirror......coming out saying, "I can't see the back of my head now!" Hysterically laughing, I showed him a picture I took hours earlier. "HI" He wasn't mad of course, he laughed saying, "The game is on!" OH OH!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Unique is good


My huge dwelling thought for today is being different. This time I'm not writing about the differences with special needs, different heritages or family sizes. I'm writing about our personal differences. After all everyone is unique in their own way and that makes for an interesting world but is it socially accepted? As much as we'd like a socially accepting world, we don't. I completely understand like personal differences, people have personal belief systems. What I find slightly uncomforting is many people are openly and sometimes rudely opinionated with judgemental comments. Not only comments but as far as judging someones character. For example; my home is filled with different worldly artifacts, I write sometimes interesting posts, I stand baking on one leg (I bet you didn't know that) I love nature, hiking and different forms of art. Which brings my attention to individuals that personally uses their bodies as a canvass for artwork. Many people frown upon tattooing. I'm completely guessing but the percentage of individuals with tattoos are more then anyone is aware. Many are hidden. Many are personal. Then there is individuals that use their bodies to fill with meaningful works of art. I know the question is, "Why would anyone want to do that to their body?" My personal opinion and I usually keep my opinions to myself especially if it's not approving; is personal canvassing is not disfiguring, it's that individuals form of expression. It's art they want to see everyday or perhaps share. Maybe it tells a story or has significant meaning. Tattooing has been around for over 5000 years. Every culture tattoos for several different reasons. In the bronze age, the tattoos positioning suggests it was applied for therapeutic reasons, while in Russia they were known to reflect the status of the individual. There has been tombs recovered with tattoo art that was dated 3000 BC and older done by undisputed masters! Did you know the classic Japanese tattoo is a full body suit done in imaginative designs and colors? In the Pacific cultures tattooing has huge historical significance. The Hawaiian people not only tattoo for ornamental and distinction, they tattoo to guard their health and spiritual well being. I've noticed another form of art has surfaced the Western world. I didn't know until recently seeing someone that they had scarification forms on their forearms. Which means raised scars in patterns, it can be felt like braille lettering and this is popular in Africa. In the Native culture I know outstanding warriors were recognized by different symbol tattoos while the Native woman were tattooed to be recognized for their marital status. Basically this form of art has been practised for centuries worldwide. It's an interesting topic to write about, I've thought several times about writing the importance of this art and why I think individuals choose to represent themselves this way. Or any way, piercings seem to be popular, different hairstyles can be a form of expression and in the grand scheme of representation, we all have our own style. Being different doesn't necessarily mean the individuals personality is sinful or unfavorable. I know many people and friends with this form of art, some almost covered and some with a hidden one. My experience meeting people with full tattooed arm sleeves, necks, (areas what I can see) and with piercings are just as intelligent, personable and compassionate as I. Actually more intelligent, more creative and given the chance, completely friendly. So yes we're all different and I welcome everyone no matter what their preference of uniqueness is. As long as they can accept me for who I am, we're all good!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Where we began......


Our family has an interesting adoptive story. When I met my husband he had two brothers. His older brother was put up for adoption, which left my husband and his younger brother growing up together. When I met my husband he was just getting to know his older brother. This was approximately 14 years ago. It took a few years for their attachment to each other as genetic brothers. During this time, I married my husband and had our baby. Our son was born two months premature due to placenta previa which was due to a uterine rupture I had with my second child from a previous marriage. This left us not able to have anymore birth children together. My husband and I started discussing adoption, adopting overseas because we didn't know that we could adopt within British Columbia. My brother in law (my husband's older brother) and his wife (my now best friend and my sister in law) started adopting in our Province. I was so excited to find out that this could happen.....this lead our two families into a closeness I would have never imagined! My husband's brother is amazing, they might not have grown up together but they're exactly alike. I feel so blessed they've found each other and we've experienced our adoption journeys together. My sister in law now has twelve children and (counting)? We will have fourteen children. Between our two families, we have twenty six children together! The beauty about our families relationship is we came together through adoption. Not only are we parents to many beautiful children, we are Aunts and Uncles to many beautiful children! Our children have many beautiful relationships and adoption in common with their cousins. Our relationship became so close that over three years ago we decided to move North to be together. A huge decision, a great decision but we came back to what we're used too. Everyday I wish we were closer geographically. Every summer our families reunite. Either we're heading towards them or they're heading towards us. What I find so heart warming is when we meet, it's like a day hasn't gone by, we are connected as a family. My sister in law and I call each other "Sisters" I might have not grown up with her either but it's like she's been a part of my life forever. My husband and his older brother grew up in different families but they are identical with postures, with interests, with having a large family. Like my sister through marriage, we were meant to be family. I miss them everyday....... When we're together with our twenty four - six -eight- who knows how many children......it's not chaos. Last summer we went on daily trips, we even make reservations and take over a portion of a restaurant. I remember one time my brother in law asked, "Haven't you seen children before!?" to some strangers who were staring at our family. Both our families have different cultures and special needs. Nothing stops us from participating in anything! Before meeting my husband's brother and his family I was not educated with adoption. When I write not educated about adoption, I also mean not experienced, not knowing what adoption was bringing to our family. I knew it was bringing us children. With our experience adoption not only brought us lovely, intelligent and amazing children, it brought our two families closer together, it brought so much love between so many people that didn't know each other. It created our peace. Before not knowing some of the families we do now also through our adoption circle, we had my husband's brother and his wife for support. I had and still have my sister with her large family, we support and understand each other. She has given me unconditional love, even when I'm this worried dwelling crazy Mother of many children, my sister in law loves me. Adoption has given me personally so much unconditional love from so many people. I often speak about how adoption is about acceptance of difference, it's so emotionally touching to me because I'm accepted as their Mother and as their Aunty. Our children are gifts from God and I'm so grateful that they've accepted me as their Mother, I'm so grateful that my sister in law and her family are in our lives. Adoption just didn't bring us our children, it brought us an abundance of love and joy from all over. I'm always, always internally feeling blessed that our path has brought us our family and our friends. I've always said, "Everything happens for a reason" and WOW.................it sure does!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Happy Birthday "Yes, finally!" Whoooo!


I have to apologise for my below post after re-reading it, it's not making much sense. I wrote it late last night under exhaustion. I will leave it but just remember I am a "weird" deep thinker! Who am I? I am searching my ancestry right now wishing to be "Metis" so I can be closer to my children then what people may think! Although my findings might be a French/Norwegian Canadian and that's "Ok" too! It's a beautiful Monday! It's also our daughters 11th birthday today! Our daughter has OCD (Obsessive compulsive Disorder) She has been telling us it's her birthday today for weeks. Every day for weeks, more then several times a day for weeks, her birthday is today! I am so glad it's her birthday today because then she can focus on something new, like Spring break! We will be counting every day, several times a day when Spring Break is over with our daughter. It's something that's a part of our family, different special needs. We are completely used to each and every different need our children have. This morning, Monday; our daughters birthday, she reminded me, it's her birthday today! YES......Happy Birthday! Finally it's arrived! Obsessive compulsiveness is a type of anxiety. It affects your thoughts, emotions and behaviours. I've heard that 1 out of 10 people can develop different levels of OCD sometime in their life. It can be draining listening and re-answering someone with OCD. Not only can it be as simple as their birthday, OCD can be directed to a person or objects. Which can lead to intrusiveness. Our daughter does have the "leach effect" on certain individuals. This is where I'm always aware on where and what our children are doing. Usually I will ask and explain to the person she's obsessing with her special needs and if it's "Ok" that she's around you? I find many people are polite. They seem not bothered by her constant interaction but I intervene and send her towards a different focal point. When our daughter was younger she was fascinated by turning off and on the lights. As she ages, her OCD seems to mature and it's directed to events, such as her Birthday, Horse riding, Camp Homewood, Spring Break, people - anything that is generally different and exciting. She's also extremely intelligent with numbers and cards. She catches onto games very quickly. Like "Go fish" and "Chess" If you've come to our home, usually she'll be asking you to play over and over again. The attention is high. Today being her Birthday, she's at school while I blow up balloons and make her a chocolate cake. I'm feeling for her Teachers today because they told me last week every day she's obsessing over her Birthday, over and over again, they are reminded her Birthday is today! So today, all day, it's her Birthday! As soon as she comes home, I will be reminded it's her Birthday! With all our children's Birthdays we give them the opportunity to choose what they want to do. Our daughter wants chocolate cake and Grandma and Grampa over! Another reminder, chocolate cake and Grandma and Grampa over! So today I'm making chocolate cake and calling my Mother to make sure she didn't forget that it's our daughter's birthday today, that she needs to be here as requested to eat chocolate cake tonight with our daughter on her Birthday! With our daughters OCD, we can keep it under control with us repetitively keeping on top of what she's obsessed with. For example, band aids. If you allow the band aid without a significant bleed, she will always ask for a band aid. Some people including I'm sure professionals at our School must believe I'm the mean ole Mother not allowing band aids. This is one of many rules, no band aids unless you can't stop the bleeding, no "hugging" High fives instead because then it leads to poor boundaries. Our reasons are completely valid. It goes back to where I explain how important it is for routine, structure and some organization within our life. So speaking of routine it is Monday, I better get cracking in the kitchen! I have baking, laundry, cleaning, dinner and a chocolate cake to make!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

What's under the mask?
















Another great weekend for our family and many others at Camp Homewood. Here is a few of us with our Native masks we made. This was one of several different craft activities. We made masks, rattles that consisted of shells, beads and buttons and medicine bags. We also were honored to learn about a family's Aboriginal history, we listened to stories, sang Native songs and danced. Camp Homewood has become a part of one of our families routinely adventures. This weekend was to learn and experience the Aboriginal culture. For myself, I was honored to spend a weekend learning about a culture that is important to our family, a culture that our children should embrace and be very proud of where they came from and who they are. This weekend I realized we should learn more, which brings my inquiring mind seeking Aboriginal history. It starts at home with the parents, I think the more interest, events and education will give our children the confidence needed to strengthen who they are. Honestly I am intrigued by the loyalty different heritages exhibit. There was a story told about how this young man had to canoe to another Tribes territory, prove himself to the woman he loves family (which means the whole family) Grandfathers, Aunts, Cousins, Brothers and In laws by different tasks, answering questions and hoping for approval. His canoe was placed on a blanket until and if he was approved by the tribe. Once accepted, his canoe can touch land. There was much more to his story that I won't dare to try and duplicate. It was heart warming to know that there is meaningful traditions that still happen to prove ones love. To win the heart of the family and gain a beautiful wife. Significantly shows how strong their culture is. I watch and listen, it's a part of my personality. During a story I was listening and watching our children's attention. I found it really interesting that my son with no Aboriginal ancestry was tuned and seemed completely fascinated by what he was learning. One of our sons that has his own Native art placed proportionately on his bedroom wall. A son that doesn't have the benefits of the First Nations Education and Arts at school because he's Caucasian. A son that some if they didn't know him would believe he's part Aboriginal or Metis. I smile that his interest seems so keen. What bothers me is he's left out and with having Brothers and Sisters that have a culture that we're embracing, what about his? For example at school all his siblings have the option for First Nation supports, arts and crafts. I had his teacher speak with me kind of shocked finding out that he doesn't apply for these services after requesting. I had to explain to her that he's not Aboriginal so there isn't any funding for him. "He's not?" Even being his Mother, I see physically he could be, his interest is, the majority of his siblings are, we as a family embrace the Aboriginal and First Nations culture in our home but who is he? Sometimes I wonder who am I? We honorably have adapted our family for our children, our family is an Aboriginal family but to contradict I'm not even Metis. Sometimes as much as I love the Aboriginal culture, I feel being a Caucasian Mother to Native children frowned upon. After all I believe we should be all equal and accepted, sometimes I don't feel that way being Caucasian. Our dynamics are interesting. As an adoptive parent to Aboriginal children we have to sign a cultural plan. We definitely don't have a problem with this of course, I believe that our family embraces the Aboriginal culture more then some strictly birth Aboriginal families do. Actually I know so. I guess my hope is for myself and my Caucasian son is the Aboriginal community acknowledges and embraces us for who we want to be and for who we are. My son is looking for the same recognition as his siblings, I am the Mother of all my children and we are a multicultural family blending together underneath the masks. We're a family embracing each other, now only if the rest of the world can see that, we might not have to wait for certain exceptions because our profile, our family, is also Aboriginal. Who is my Caucasian son.......he's a beautiful little boy wanting to be just like his Native brothers and us as a family accept each other as equal; learning and experiencing our cultures together. That's what's underneath our masks revealed.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Next project 1001


We're going on our third year of house renovations. The only reason why we have built bigger and started house renovations to a three year old home is because we have a large family. We have future ideas that our home can provide or maybe the obvious, we're completely insane. Regardless our next step 1001 is at it's beginning stages. Our new stairs are almost complete which means tearing out our existing stairs that sits central in the middle of our living room. We've decided to even take back the wall that divides the living room from the hallway. So today I've been wiping down ornaments and tucking them away. We're analyzing our living room, ready to move furniture out of the way. It's going to be amazing, it will resemble more of a open floor plan, more room for a longer kitchen table and a wheel chair! Project 1001 finishes our home. Anyone who knows my husband knows that projects are endless around here. 99% of the projects are built for our family. At least during this project, my husband can watch the glue dry while laying on the couch! This weekend we're heading back to Camp Homewood. I'm taking most of our children to a First Nations camp. Consisting of different activities and arts generally reflecting on their culture. Once again they're extremely excited and I will be teaching the children to make Medicine bags. I've taught classes of 25 children and it usually takes an hour and a half. A medicine bag is an ancient item that spiritually represents the person who wears it. The medicine bag is known in all cultures and through out all of history. They contain objects such as leaves, feathers, stones, herbs such as sweet grass, sage, cedar, lavender or pinion and other objects which have been added by the wearer and considered spiritually significant. The reasons to carry a medicine bag according to the Aboriginal culture is for guidance, healing and protection. Most medicine bags contain a quartz crystal as one of it's objects. Quartz energy resonates with all the energies of the physical body and is considered a remarkable healing stone. It connects you to your spiritual self. Our family believes in keeping their/our heritage alive, too support our children and educate their history. Our home I hope embodies multiculturalism because I believe we're all human beings with a culture that's important. So while I leave this weekend with our children, my husband will be once again left to work on our home and driving our teenagers around during his spare time! Then in a weeks time, we'll be ready for project 1001! Now only if I could slip tightly, securely into a friends backpack and head where it's not raining for a week. Where it's hot with white sandy beaches......and no drywall dust and major house carnage! Okay, I'm kidding - helping my husband can be a beach too!