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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I am proud

We have a new chapter in our life beginning. Two of our adult children are moving out. Our oldest son already has and now our oldest daughter is moving. Before I had a really hard time with this, meaning our young adult children leaving our nest. Now not so much. I think from sixteen on it's a struggle being a parent while our teenagers seek their independence. So when they're eighteen and above wanting the responsibilities of looking after themselves, I'm surprisingly supportive! It's an exciting feeling I get knowing that my job as a parent supporting their child years are over. I explained that my parenting shifts. I can visit! I can help when called upon. Something what I love to do is bake, cook and share food! Visiting bringing food should open their door right?! Mmmm......So I'm excited! I'm a Mother with toddlers that I'm still potting training, I have a kindergartner, a grade two-er, a grade three-er, then four in grade six, one in grade eight, I home school our grade eleven-er, a soon to be graduate, then our adult children. One in University and the other who seems to be working really hard with many jobs. I feel somewhat experienced as a Mother. Now that I've felt every milestone that a child could have including many different special needs and developing needs, I feel confident to move into the next stage of their life. With this experience and confidence, I feel more able to approach this over and over again being that we have many children that will reach every milestone. Every stone turned over is a kiss good luck from me and it's bitter sweet. My children are my life. My daughter age twenty one, my son age eighteen I'm still here for. I definitely don't want to over-step my boundaries as their Mother into their adulthood like perhaps I did their childhood but I would love to be apart of it. That's why I keep writing how important family is.....parents and family are a great asset to have. I know that I have been enjoying my parents the more I age. Parents are the best friends we could ever ask for and I am so thankful that I have recognized this with mine. With that next step, that next leap.....my children living on their own.....I'm not only excited, I am proud. It's natural at this point to take a few steps back and I'm completely "ok" with this. I cheer my children onward as now it's their turn...........and I quietly laugh thinking we only have twelve more to go with three staying forever I'm sure. And here's a secret....."I'm proud with that too!"

Monday, September 26, 2011

Their "Tickle Trunk" Mother

It's that time of year again to pull out our tickle trunk. Yes the picture above is me wearing a unicorn head, funky white and purple gloves, a red and white nightgown with my ole jacket, boots and red wings hooked to my back. I used to be totally into Halloween. In the past ten years I've changed. I don't mind taking our children out trick or treating for an hour or so while they laugh hysterically at their Mother dressed like she rolled in a box of unwanted items. We also attend a pumpkin walk with hundreds of lit pumpkins and at the end of the trail there is hot chocolate and a bomb fire. Every year I buy ten-ish pumpkins and our family carves different faces or images into the pumpkins while I roast the pumpkin seeds in garlic butter. Last year some of our children laughed at me while some of our pumpkins rolled through the store parking lot. I lost a few from falling off a over loaded grocery cart! I quickly looked around and gathered up our cracked pumpkins and left the scene! Now I dread the candy wrappers all over the house, in the pocket of jeans after I've done the laundry! There is nothing worse then melted chocolate in the pocket of jeans! I know I can easily change our traditional night of trick or treating but it's like taking the tooth fairy away. Childhood memories that I love creating and that I want our children to have. So as much as this one night could pass without thought, I, like many others follow the trick or treating tradition. Plus it's just so cute seeing all our children dressed up, we have elephants, lions, unicorns, monkeys basically the animal kingdom! I remember one year I laughed so hard at my husband wearing this mask. While he walked, his mask eyes were constantly looking in the sky. Inside he could see straight ahead but from the outside it looked like he was walking around star gazing. Another year I was trying to make my husband look like a punk. Blue spiky hair. My bright idea was using blue food coloring. Well......my husband rubbed in the blue food coloring into his hair, it seeped into his scalp and eventually running down onto his face. He scrubbed for hours trying to remove the blue stain to his face and his hands. He had this look for days. The funny part of this story is, he didn't look like a punk, he was constantly asked if he was a little blue smurf! Throughout our years of dressing up we've won costume contests (not in the above picture of course) and we've had lots of fun. Stories worth sharing. Even some of our sons as well as my husband has dressed up like girls. The blond hair, the makeup, the frilly dress to the higher heels! Great sports! I can be worse then a commercial or a department store because I already have Thanksgiving, trick or treating and Christmas all being prepared weeks and months in advance! If anything, we have some great laughs together even if it's generalized at my husband or I - after all, I am their tickle trunk Mother.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The place of Harmony

The opportunity to spend sometime with my parents and some of my children in a place that offers solitude came knocking at our door. Over the weekend I and some of our children went to Malcolm Island to visit my parents while they were on a vacation retreat. We first stopped in at a friends house in Port McNeil where she made us a wonderful homemade soup and cornbread. I haven't had cornbread since I was a child! It was "yummy!" Unfortunately it was too short of a visit because we were off to catch the ferry. Malcolm Island is an Island with a community called Sointula. Meaning the place of harmony. When I was there I was reading some of Sointula's history. In the nineteenth century a group of Finns wanted to design a community where the property was communal, everyone shared and everyone was equal. They believed in sound body, sound mind. Now the people who stayed turned Sointula into a commercial fishing destination. Most of the homes were bright in color and over one hundred years old, the little place we stayed in looked over Port McNeil. My Step dad was a fisherman all his life and knew many people on the Island that still commercial fishes today. There was a 80 year old fisherman who reminded my Mom of my Uncle Al by the name of Al who owns the Marine Tarkanen ways. This Al explained that there is school bus boats transferring students to and from school. Although there was different boats for Caucasian and Native children because they didn't get along. For a short period of time I was shocked (if true) because if anything I would think that steps would have been made to integrate. Sometimes life baffles me. My husband's Grandfather owned the ship yard on Alert Bay, that's where my husband's Mother grew up. The history fascinates me. When we were living up North I saw first hand on how different Native Bands didn't get along, everyone including the Mennonites to "hill-billies" clashed while attending the same Country school. To keep children safe, different buses would come from the different communities. It just reminded me that our pasts aren't a simple fix. As I contemplated possible facts I heard and history I learned while away; I wondered about the communities that are still maintaining a shared living. My limited knowledge on this is the sharing community openly borrows everything and anything regardless if the lenders are home or not. Eventually the item borrowed is returned. I think this is a good concept if it was already your adapted way of life. Just like the families that can all live together in one home. Economically this makes sense in such a expensive world but our society pushes for independence. Mmmm......well anyone who knows me, knows I think A-LOT about absolutely everything. I seem to feed of stories, peoples experiences and knowledge. I try to develop understanding for everything because I've learned with understanding comes acceptance. I've always believed with acceptance comes compassion. (It's like a step by step process just like our feelings) So when I think about the separate boats and buses that transfer different children to and from their communities, I understand that sometimes the reality is keeping the peace by separation. We're all different. Every time I go somewhere I'm learning and recognizing this is how our world integrates - together but on separate boats because sharing doesn't work for everyone. We don't have to travel far to understand that we all live differently. Like the house above, someone lives there simply enjoying nothing but the movement of tides. In conclusion our weekend was interestingly relaxing looking over the lights of Port McNeil while full of education not only for me but some of our children. On our way home we seen two wolves up close with a wolf rescuer and visited with my other parents. We met their new Boston Terrier puppy and headed home. A place that isn't exactly a shared living nor floating on water but a place I would say inviting for all, a home of harmony with tense and relaxed moments with only one ride.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Family circle

Our liaison worker suggested an idea for our family and I loved it! We actually tried it at dinner tonight. What we're going to do every Saturday night is all of us will be sitting in a circle. I will set the stage with candles and possibly candy, chips or popcorn will be in the middle. You don't have to have food but I'm all about having the atmosphere inviting! While we're settled into our family circle (which could take sometime) we will pass around an object. Whoever has the object speaks about anything they want. While the rest is practicing respect - being quiet. For our family, if there is snickering, teasing, gestured noises, laughing while someone is speaking, they will be removed from the circle until respect can be given. Once the individual is finished, the object is then passed to the next person. We tried this at dinner tonight. (Practicing) I was explaining this exercise and of course we had some "jokers" Although eventually everyone was catching on. It was great. Our five year old son said, "I learned today that I can't punch my sister in her nose" Then our almost seven year old son said, "I really like school and I'm learning about leaves" Our three year old son is so intellectual, in complete sentences he said, ".........went into my bedroom when she wasn't allowed Mom" I smiled thinking that tattling is coming out even with this exercise! When the object reached my husband he said, "There is not enough meat in this stew and how am I suppose to maintain my muscles?" Of course when I held the object I explained the exercise. Needless to say it's an awesome exercise to do with your family. It teaches respect and patience while someone else is talking, we are all listening to each other and everyone at the end feels important to have been able to speak within the group. We will also find out different feelings that we might not ever have known! Our family group would consist of thirteen people for sure. (Our usual group that's together) Another thought to add later is different topics or themed to make it fun. Wouldn't it be fun if we all dressed in grass skirts with flowered lays eating pineapple drinking virgin pina coladas! I can't wait to officially start an evening with our family circle. After practicing during dinner, most of our children wanted to do it again! What will your Saturday night entail?

ADELE- MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE - (For my children)

Bright lights

We don't have the aftermath like an earthquake would cause but being Wednesday we're back on track. I will admit all the talk about Cuba with my sister who travels at least twice a year makes me want a plane ticket. That's also not my reality. Although I'm taking 4-5 of our children to Malcolm Island. It's located off of Port McNeil. We'll be there for three days! In the meantime with our rain settling in, I'm back to baking and cooking in my nooked kitchen. Therapeutic Horse riding starts today for two of our girls for the next eleven weeks. Recently our oldest son told me I'm "intense" in regards to my children. I'm thinking he meant by our child numbers but while I think about this comment, to me it means "too involved" I wonder if he has a point? After all, I've written previous posts on a "Happy self" Perhaps I do get caught up with too many feelings inside but my question is, "How do I not?" I openly speak about everything within the support groups that I attend, I write and I acknowledge that I am "intense" So "Thank you son, I know" Our oldest son went through two years of searching for his independence, he still is and honestly because I know he's reading; I do understand. It's just that I am "too intense" wanting everything and anything to be great for him, I love him like I love all our children. Sometimes my feelings get in the way on how to support while our teenagers transition from being a child into being a young adult. It seems that the only way to move out is to move like an earthquake. Eventually everything settles and all the pieces are being picked up, one by one - a little step at a time. In the grand scheme of either days, months and possible years later, there is the brighter side. Like today, it might not be bright outside but inside our home it's calm. I've been explaining to anyone affected by any episode that creating more drama doesn't help any situation. Like myself, it's perfectly healthy to go through all the emotions but we all need to move on and understand that we all need to go through the process of feelings. We all deal with feelings differently and having the respect for one another, we have to give each other time. As a parent, I always remind our children that I am a person with feelings too. In fact I think most children/teens forget we're human beings with an organ called a heart controlled by our brain! It's interesting their response, usually its a pause while they think about me having feelings......then it's, "Sorry Mom" That's the bright light I'm talking about! One day I will write a book but for now, sharing my life through this blog is ideal. My belief it helps me (I love writing) and I always hope it helps you in one way or another. One fact I know for sure; we're not alone as parents. Before I cared about what others thought, today not so much. The only thing I care about is our bright lights and hearing about others!

Monday, September 19, 2011

"One day at a time"

Finally with some hard wiring directly from our wall, I was able to access the internet. Recently we pulled the wireless access from our house which spiralled a complete shutdown. Not that having no internet is horrible but like most others I correspond through emails. (And I write) Our weekend that past was extremely difficult. I won't get into details but it involved the police, lots of escalated drama, mainly more enlightenment's for my husband and I. Teenagers in general aren't a bed of roses but when you add possible underlying mental illnesses, it's a whole new ball game. It's feeling like you're on a roller coaster and holding on is the only survival technique I can explain. I will admit that I was a mess. I was angry, disappointed and extremely hurt. I held my composure until it was over then I cried and I cried until I didn't resemble myself anymore. I questioned my life. I did exactly what I say parents shouldn't do, I blamed myself. Not only did I blame myself, I was so disappointed in my child that I didn't know what to do with him/her. I'm protecting him/hers identity by not mentioning gender and age but I do want to write about our past experience and surely not the last. I've chosen to write about it without disclosing much details because it's not about the incident itself, it's more about sharing how I'm dealing with it. Basically any child birth or adopted their personalities can change or alter with maturity. Sometimes that cute little child we love so much that we've grown to have faith in disappoints us. The faith is lost, the trust and for a Mother, it's heart breaking. (Then adding a mental illness) For the teen possibly affected I'm convinced it must be difficult and maddening inside to not understand the altering highs and lows in behaviors. For the family, it's also confusing, frightening and leaves the huge question, "What to do?" Especially during what I will call an "episode" Our decisions was to call the police. Mainly to start a file, start some history that can help while getting our child assessed. Also to protect. I felt broken down as a parent this past weekend but everyday is a new day and I truly still believe everything happens for a reason. This reason was our reality of an ugly truth, an underlying mental illness evolving with maturity. Reality is, we just never know. We don't know as soon as we birth a child what their future holds. We can only hope it's full of joy and many successes. So with our somewhat new enlightenment's we're onto different avenues in search for help. Making necessary adjustments and adding more professionals. In the meantime it feels like damage control around here in hopes that our family members can understand, have patience and mostly everyone is loved unconditionally even if it seems we're caught up in different behaviour situations. When adopting and even having your own children, I hope that everyone is aware that it opens your life up to different challenges. Challenges that will sway from year to year with age. I'm definitely not the perfect parent, I'm still learning, I'm still crying but I'm always trying. Besides bulging swollen eyes, I chuckled tonight at our five year old son loosing his first tooth! He was SO thrilled, SO happy to put his first tooth under his pillow. He played with it in bed then started to cry. I asked him, "What's wrong?" He said, "The tooth fairy isn't coming because I lost my tooth!" He lost his tooth while playing with it. So my husband wrote a note: Dear Tooth Fairy, I lost my tooth, can you please still come tonight and I promise I will find my tooth and place it where it belongs. The tooth fairy will show tonight with brighter beginnings hopefully for tomorrow. Another great chuckle I had again tonight was our children spotted a friendly owl. The owl was just sitting there, watching our children play. One of our sons was beneath the owl.....the owl repositioned itself on it's branch and pooped! It was classic, I laughed....but there wasn't any sweet revenge, the owl missed by an inch! It was funny regardless and sometimes that's all a parent needs. A little chuckle and a reminder to take one day at a time. Just like the tooth fairy, she'll be here tomorrow.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Protect yourself with Knowledge

When I was walking our dogs this evening I ran into one of our neighbors. We have met some of our neighbors but they're not what I'd call sociable. (I don't know why) It could be our busy lives and it could be our family. Not everyone enjoys the noise of screaming children or the drama that can sporadically happen around here. The quick conversation I did have was the worry of the continuous cougar sightings and the fresh findings of deer carcasses in our area. Our neighbor proceeded to explain to me every time they hear our children playing (screaming) outside that their noise attracts cougars. I thought it was the opposite; their screaming and our large number of children would keep any animal away. So I decided to do some research. Did you know that Cougars are most active at dawn and dusk? Some of our children are enjoying walking to the bus stop in the morning and cougars hide quietly in the long grass and brush. In our area there is livestock, horses, many small rabbits and dogs. I found out that it's fact, squealing children will attract a cougar.  Years ago when I ran religiously after dinner, I was always afraid of running into a cougar. When I hiked Cape Scott, we were followed by a cougar through the sand dunes, where the grass lands circled us. (I took pictures of the cougars fresh tracks) Cougars are extremely intelligent, quiet while hunting their prey and they're fast during their attack. There was a point in my life where being afraid stopped me from running and hiking. I quickly learned that educating myself about whatever I was afraid of stopped my fear of cougars. Not only did I educate myself, I brought artifacts into our home of cougars so I was always aware of the fear I did have. (Everything in our home has a meaning behind it) So now while the cougars are being spotted, I'm not afraid but cautious. I also know that they're here because there is plenty of food but normally they'll move on quickly. Here is some pointers if any of us encounter a cougar.........(1) give them a way to escape. (2) Don't run. Talk loudly, firmly and face the cougar. (3) Convince the cougar you're not an easy prey, wave your arms, your jacket and appear larger. (4) Protect smaller children. (5) If you're attacked, try to stay standing - cougars attack the neck and head. Fight back..... Trimming your property will help and add outdoor lighting. For us, trimming won't help but extra lighting might. I've also heard if we make scarecrow figures and change them frequently that this might help scare off cougars. (??) (Perhaps I just need to stand out there with back combed hair!) Regardless I'm aware we live amongst them. We also have black bears. We can't put out our garbage until just before the garbage collectors arrive because they've chewed off our garbage can lids. Like anything, we just have to educate and be aware; then we all can live together because after all, we're in their homeland. Most importantly educating our children is foremost. Knowledge is the key for everything, including the wildlife we live with.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Guatemala!

Recently we enrolled our second oldest daughter into a new home school. We are very excited about it! I'm very excited because we're homeschooling the old way. Books and paper! No Internet. I will do all the online copying. (If needed) AND next year some of our other children will join our home school team! It's been another busy week with lots of paperwork. Some of the paperwork included an application for our second oldest daughter to travel to Guatemala for missionary work, to study Spanish and she will be taking a fully credited course on cross cultural missions, which emphasizes leadership. In a previous post I was writing about on how our children need to experience the world's differences and poverty. I'm hoping that many of our children can experience what our daughter hopefully will be! This life changing trip is not only important to me, to her, it's about helping others. She will be living simply with Guatemala families, sharing meals and working to provide better living conditions. Because I don't have enough to do, we are now fundraising for her to go. It's roughly $2800 for the month of February. These costs provide food, accommodation, materials for building and return airfare. I've been spreading the word as our daughter needs odd-jobs and fundraising ideas. My husband's Mother hired her instantly to clean her house. She was able to make her application fee. After explaining to our daughter that she needs to be pro-active and apply herself to make the money, she surprised me while working very hard this afternoon. She instantly handed over the cash and we're sending it away ASAP! I truly believe missionary work will benefit our children and with being pro-active, putting the positive energy forth, perhaps one year our whole family could go! (or maybe one child at a time) Already the middle of September and there is so much to look forward too. So much to do! But my plate is never too full, I'm always going for seconds, thirds and sometimes juggling multiple servings all at once. Again today I was asked, "How do you do it with your large family?" I've always stated that when you live it daily, it can be done. I do add that it's important to have organization skills, structure, routine and dedication. Another explanation I haven't really added to the answer is self discipline. Multitasking is a part of our life but it's a trait to know when to use. There is many times where being focused on one area is crucial, like on our children unless their lined up for haircuts! Like most of my blogs, they jump from one topic to the next but hopefully the ending concludes the beginning! And this ending is hoping for Guatemala!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Smoked Turkey

It's almost that time when I start smoking fish. I smoke enough fish to last almost one year. After I'm done smoking our fish I've been considering smoking a Turkey. There was one year a candied a Turkey in our garage in a cooler. See, Turkey's and I have this understanding that we struggle together. I feel like Mr. Bean. The whole spreading of the legs, the overloaded stuffing that I can't get just right. It's a process in my kitchen that looks quite funny. Even our children are laughing because I'm always yelling for help. "Hold this leg!" I'm always fumbling around with the bird but I can roll nice sushi, make decent salad rolls and cook any East Indian dish! This year I'm thinking about smoking the Turkey! Forget the oven. I've heard that smoking 16 pounders is less worry for contamination risks. For us, I would have to smoke two turkeys. Smoking a turkey is a complete different non traditional experience. An experience that I'm willing to try because after all, I can easily smoke fish! So what struggle could I possibly have? (lol) The main concern would be any contamination's. As long as the turkey registers at a 165 degrees f it is safe to eat no matter what the color! You're probably questioning, color? Well smoking food is completely different then baking it in the oven. The meat may appear pink and might have a smoother texture. This is completely normal. Many people smoking a turkey will do this on their BBQ but I'm going to attempt smoking a turkey in my Indian Chief where my fish is always smoked. As long as I have a temperature of 165 f inside the turkey, we are safe. I'm also going to use hickory chips. My time frame will be at least 8 hours for a 16 pound turkey. (Probably much more) I've heard it's not a pretty turkey but the taste would impress a Mother in law! Anyone who knows me, knows I can get carried away in the kitchen. I love to experiment. With experimenting, I do have knowledge with what I'm cooking. I remember back when I was a young teenager and I wanted to make a meal for my parents. I told them I knew what I was doing........I made this casserole that consisted of vinaigrette potatoes, Dijon mustard hamburger with cheesy crusted noodles on top! It sounds horrid but everyone liked it! It's the contrast of different flavors. It's amazing what our taste buds would enjoy and also come accustomed too because believe it or not, most of our children love the sushi I make with the smoked salmon and avocado. If it's just our family, I don't spare the hot sauce. Something that's really interesting that we've noticed is our newest daughter, she loves spices. In her previous foster home they were Filipino. It's been difficult to get her to eat given her special needs. Another frustrating dilemma, possibly another post from this one but our main concern is nutrition. We have been giving her everything. She loves rice. The Filipino's use hot and spicy dishes with coconut milk. I'm finding our little girl enjoys my most spiciest foods. It's all with what we're accustomed too. For our family we have a variety because one place I like to be is in my kitchen. Our next surprise is smoked turkey! AND you're probably wondering why I would want to spend so many hours on smoking anything, right? It's outside. I love the outdoors. I have smoked fish in the snow, in the pouring rain and I just love the experience. The difference. Sometimes living on the edge from traditional is good. So next up........."Smoked Turkey"

Saturday, September 10, 2011

They need reality

September 10th and we're still boating! We are stretching our summer even when I'm writing my Christmas list, thinking about smoking fish and cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving. Today we spent six hours boating with our friends. It's interestingly relaxing as we supervise on the beach while our children take turns tubing and knee boarding. Our littlest daughter loves anything mobile. She spent most of her day in our boat next to her Dad! Boating is one of our regular summer activities and our children love it. The above picture is priceless, it's one of our sons and our friends son jumping off the dock. It was funny. They jumped several times so I could capture their moment. Their moment was hugging each other in mid-air looking right at me! While my husband circled the lake all day with our children, I was able to visit with my dear friend. One of our conversations was about children's lack of appreciation. And perhaps not so much the lack of appreciation but the realization of what they have or what they are doing compared to some other children. One of the biggest lines we've heard is, "You don't do anything for me" I wonder what circling the lake is? I wonder what driving from a different city to sit supervising on a lake is? Children just don't seem to understand the miles us parents go for them. Sometimes I wonder if it's possible to take our large family six months at a time to different countries to witness the poverty they don't have here. Canadians are spoiled. Our children wouldn't admit that they're spoiled but comparing to the larger landscape, they are in several ways. For us, the necessities is a home, clothing and food. For billions of others it's pure survival from one day to the next wondering where their next meal might come from, or where would it be safe to sleep. Sleeping in the only clothes they own. Here our children demand new clothes while their dressers draws are still full. They have this entitlement that they should receive a car at age 16, if not, they demand rides. It is their right to get from point A to B ASAP! I do blame myself, I blame our government, the media and today's society. Like anything requiring change, it would take generations and generations to un-do what we've created. I think with more education on our world (experience first hand the poverty) this could change the way most children behave. (I don't know) I'm a huge rambling thinker. We've tried every year with donations to the homeless involving our children but the impact, the reality they've experienced is it's homeless adults. The reality they need to witness is children that have less. Which makes me wonder, could it be possible to travel with a large family for missionary work? This I would love to do with our children. Before adopting within B.C. we were looking to adopt overseas. We would still love to adopt overseas but the stumbling block to adopting now is having a large family. Most Countries wouldn't even consider us now from what I was told. With our children now, it doesn't matter what we say.....some will never understand that they have more then most. I feel they need the world's reality. Even with the impact of 9/11 ten years ago, it's not our children's reality. They just don't understand people's losses, the impacts of world disasters, real starvation until it's their own or experienced through travel or like myself, with age. As much as I prepare for "Christmas" we also prepare for a cause in hopes to not only make a difference but to educate our children that they are fortunate and to appreciate a few rides around a lake.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Be consciously aware, it works!

My thoughts of inspiration - I've heard having goals need to be written. Our chances on actually accomplishing something that we say we will is only 45% but if we put it in writing - by our bed, on the mirror in our washroom and on a calendar we see everyday - then there is a 85% chance we will do it. This might sound silly but I'm going to try this to motivate myself to get back into the gym. I'm a busy Mother but I'm not busy enough to dedicate one hour a day to myself with no exceptions or deviations. I've written a post on a "Happy self" This is one area I enjoy doing that I didn't mention. I can't stress enough that if you don't find time for your own mind and health - you are no good to anyone else.

I have been thinking about how life can sometimes be complicated. The reality is things aren't complicated, people make it that way. I'm not an exception because with everything or anything, it's to re-learn on how to deal with what's presented. We choose as individuals if it's going to become a complicated situation or not. Stress and anger is only held within yourself, anger only eats at and effects the person carrying it. (Not the ones that perhaps cause it) So if we make a conscious decision to be stressed or angry - no one can control that but ourselves.

My second oldest daughter learned something this summer, she learned that if you're always pleasant and approaching with a smile, you will either baffle or break anyone who seems unfriendly. Today her and I went on a huge grocery shop. It was one of those days having conversations with strangers seemed appropriate. I really really didn't want to go get groceries but our day seemed full of positive energy. I accidentally bumped into a lady with my grocery cart. I apologised and demanded that her husband massage her later - this spiraled into a great conversation. Later in the parking lot while loading our van, strangers were continually commenting about our loaded carts. Instead of ignoring comments, I had two different people engaged in a conversation with me. During our second grocery store, we bagged up twenty-ish apples, twenty-ish pears and a gentlemen asks, "Baking pies?" "Not in this heat sir, this will average two each for our children" I answered and explaining that we have a larger family. My biggest smile of the day was when he said, "You're lying" I laughed reminding him to have a great day thinking to myself after my grocery bill, "I wish I was!" Basically it's on how we choose to handle what's presented to us.

In conclusion, learning to just accept what is and have compassion for differences solves most stresses, relieves tension and saves most heart-aches. I can write about it but it's a conscious awareness to have everyday to turn anything negative into a positive. People can't argue or fight against smiles. Having an active engagement attitude and supplying education will smooth over whispering comments. Remembering the most important person is you. Yes our children - BUT without a healthy you, you can't look after who's most important to you.

When I write, I'm reminding myself. Like above, write it down and place your reminders where you can see them. It can be about anything and hopefully 85% of the time it works!

"Be kind to unkind people - they need it the most" - Ashleigh Brilliant

"Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree" - Marian Edelman

Finally, "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion" - Dalai Lama.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My husband and I dating.......?

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=EVwlMVYqMu4&vq=medium#t=125 

A funny, I laughed thinking this could be my husband and I dining together. Just had to post, hopefully you can open the link above outlined in black. (Just double click and sit back with a tea)

Love through Adoption

We have faced and will face many challenges with our children. I'm hoping with our numbers we'll come out on top with some of our challenges. I can write and write about what we deal with , how we manage and over come some issues but this post is about the other side not everyone sees. The love I've personally witnessed through adoption. The picture above was taken when they weren't expecting it. I didn't provoke this hug to happen. I was just standing near supervising and when I looked over they were hugging. I quickly pulled out my cell phone and took the picture. They didn't know the picture existed until later. It's currently one of my favorites. It just shines love. This picture represents three different birth families that are now siblings. Siblings that are best friends and clearly have love towards each other. I knew as a Mother I could love unconditionally and I had only faith that our children would too. This picture proves that children can indeed love unconditionally and accept new siblings into their lives just as much as a Mother can accept a child. What's really beautiful is that our children embrace and accept new siblings with special needs. In our family, no one is different. During our first couple of days of school, our five year old son started kindergarten. Every time he leaves and returns home, his new little brother hugs him. This is what adoption is for us, it's not only about having a family, it's about feeling accepted, a connection with each other - no matter what our children have somebody. A Mother, A Father, A sibling to embrace with. It's moments like these that make any stressful challenge worth it. I as their Mother won't be here forever but they will have their siblings to stay connected with when they're adults. Hopefully on whom they will still call their brother or sister. No doubt our large family has it all but most importantly we do have love.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September

Back to school......we were ready! All our children have new clothing, backpacks and school supplies. With sharp new haircuts we headed off to school! All our children are excited. I wasn't thrilled at first but now that summer has come to a close, I'm gratefully welcoming back our structure and routine of our life! If anything, our children need the structure that education provides. We were starting to get bored, restless and everyday was always something. That something seemed to be out of control behaviors! We have an extremely busy week ahead then hopefully our routine settles to a normal roar! This September it's a huge transition. Our five year old is starting full time kindergarten, four of our eleven year old's moved into the middle school, while one of our sons is graduating this year. Our oldest daughter is in her third year of University and we're still home schooling! Then of course there is the rest of our children in different scattered grades leaving two of our youngest at home. I'm feeling really good where we're all at for now. I'm looking forward to spending more quality time with our youngest two with different therapies, swimming and possible dancing lessons while squeezing in my time, education and first aid training for Mommy! You're probably wondering where I will find time to bake, cook, clean, do laundry and blog!? Honestly, it's from 7am to 8pm daily where everything can be done. The television isn't on, sitting down doesn't happen until 8pm. I am as routined as I routine my children. Life works marvelously this way. As much as I love summer and the break of our structured life, I love what every day looks like on our calendar from September on. Every one's focus shifts and that's a great attitude to have while moving on into another season of change. My husband has fully recovered from his infection during July and now is ready to finish what's remaining on our home, including moving the mounds of hardened dirt piles growing weeds blocking our driveway! It's been beautiful hot weather, weather that I absolutely invite to stay but a piece of me is sighing heavily, waiting for signs of fall. For the leaves to drop, greens turning to orange and having candles lit watching the windstorms blow. And most excitingly another favorite time of year, thinking about Christmas! I knew there was a reason why I loved September........

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Boston Terrier search



Recently my parents lost their beloved Boston Terrier due to cancer. We are currently looking for a Boston Terrier breeder or puppies that are for sale.


If anyone knows a breeder or hears about Boston Terrier puppies for sale, please send the contact information available by either posting directly onto this post or emailing me.


Thank you so much...............

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A happy self



I've been having a week. I would like to think that I'm a strong Mother with no fear, no worries and definitely no question about how I raise our children or questioning my path I've chosen. But I'm only human. (Maybe I'm an alien from outer space and I've completely spun out of my orbit!) I keep wondering if it's just me feeling time warped and out of my element!? It's September, I can feel fall in the air and usually I welcome the new season. Right now I'm physically doing everything I need to do for back to school, different appointments (Pediatricians, specialists, orthodontists, dentists, Occupational therapists, Speech) Neuro-assessments, equipment exchanging, you name it, I'm on it. I'm even on Christmas! Although emotionally I don't feel as strong. I feel time is moving too fast, summer is now a memory with many changes that happened within it. Something about me is "that I take great pride in our children's success" Our family's success. So when even one of our children struggle, so do I. I don't want or need our children to be Lawyers and Doctors. I just want them to be happy and healthy. When I write about health, health means physically and mentally. So while the air is cooler and the excitement escalates for more learning, I'm thinking about my own health. I haven't stopped and never will stop thinking about our children but, I would love to educate myself with more parenting workshops, (including mental health) Creative writing, journalism......I have been searching for online counseling courses. I'm a Mother but I also feel I have more to offer then just taking care of my children. I love First Aid and every year I continue to keep up my tickets. (Outdoor emergency) OEC has been a favorite of mine for over seven years! October is a huge study month for continuing cycles of OEC, CPR C and AED. Practical outdoor training. I think mostly, as much as I dedicate myself to my family, I don't ever want to loose who I am as an individual. I believe this makes a better wife and mother. So I'm picking up my interests and incorporating them into my daily mothering dedication. Mentally I feel more empowered not only helping our children to be successful but myself. A long story longer; that's my advice today. If you're a parent and feeling slightly lost, perhaps caught up with different behaviors, teenager drama, too much laundry - whatever it is, start thinking about yourself. "A happy self" makes a happy wife and mother. This summer was mainly about making memories for our children......in fact every day is about creating positive memories but sometimes those memories for our children should be witnessing their parents individuality. Because I know when they become parents, they won't want to loose theirs either!