Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Shane & Alli

Well, I have been meaning to write about our really nice Thanksgivings we had this year. It all started early in October when by chance I checked my blog on myspace only to discover that a person I had met on myspace a year ago had contacted me to say they were coming thru my neck of the woods and would I be available for coffee.

I was using MySpace mainly to contact people living in Northern Ireland to find out how things are over there to live and work. We were considering moving back over as I was born there and have dual citizenship. We were itching for a change both for ourselves and our kids but as things worked out it was not to be...right now.

Anyways, I found the individual websites of Shane & Alli MaGee and learned that they were planning this big trek through North America which included Canada...but I assumed that meant the east coast would be included. I said hello, told them to drop in if they ever came this way. But, I learned that they had no plans to come this far east.

I truly believe it was God's hand that made me check myspace that day. I hadn't checked my blog in so long and had lost interst as things here were so busy. To see that message on that very day was exciting and timely.

Shane and Alli are travelling across North America on a couch surfing/ drive across North America. They wanted to meet up with me for a coffee. So, instead of a coffee I invited them to dinner. I figured they would be ready for a good home cooked meal as they are travelling in their mini-van and eating on the road...not so appetizing on a good day!

When they arrived we were waiting for them and when I saw them walking down my driveway it was like seeing a family member coming home after a long trip away...I believe it was my spirit responding to two people it was already friends with and connected brain just had to catch up.

Our dinner was fun and easy and filled with laughter. There was no small talk, we moved from the normal question and answer phase to pretty deep discussions. I felt safe to share my views and fears and struggles with my faith. My husband who doesn't know what he believes felt totally free to be himself....though that isn't actually all that hard for him but the nice thing was...Shane and Alli were fine with that!

We ended up inviting them to our Thanksgiving dinner which was truly wonderful! My friends and my brother also came and it was a fun, lively discussion over a nice big turkey dinner. They then stayed with us till they moved on to the USA on the next leg of their trip.

In marriage, you can often have one spouse begging the other to suck it up and be nice to the company that is coming...instead, both Andy and I were in total agreement to keep them here as long as they needed!! We both felt comfortable with them here...which is odd for us as we are pretty private people.

Shane also had an opportunity to preach/teach at our church (for a sample of what our pastor is like click on this link). This was his opportunity to make contact with our church & Pastor.
We had another great dinner which included my pastor and his wife plus two of my closest friends. Shane and I got into some heated discussions on feminism and homeschooling which we never did finish....but I will write about that at another time.

When they left we all felt such a huge sense of loss! We even felt kinda silly for feeling that way because the time flew by so quickly and in all likelihood unless we take a trip over to Ireland, we might never see them again.

My three year old ella still asks when they are coming to dinner and that she misses them. She adored, adored Alli! Ben my oldest enjoyed the conversations with Shane and makes a point to read the book of poetry that Shane left him.

After the rough year we have had, when they came it was like a page turning in a book...I felt we were moving on towards better days. I just wish I could shake this sense of loss from them leaving.

Things would be lovely if they were actually close by as we all feel like a piece of our family is missing now...However, Shane is going back to University to get his Ph.D and Alli has been accepted into school to become a lawyer focusing on human rights....
We miss them much!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Year in Review...

Something about the Christmas season always makes me stop and look back over the year that is quickly coming to an end. Christmas is also a time that old memories flood back, triggered by such simple things as a Christmas song, a smell or an ornament you hang on the tree. The memories can suddenly leave you in a puddle of tears or with waves of anger and resentment but mainly melancholy for those beautiful moments that have gone by in a blink of an eye.

I tend to over compensate at Christmas for my own kids. I try so hard to provide memories for them that will leave them with happy memories to look back on when they are grown. Today we all made gingerbread houses. We have been doing this for years now....even Ben who is 14 was excited to start the Christmas season doing this favourite tradition which we all love and enjoy!

Today as we worked on our houses, I told them how one year when money was especially tight and we couldn't afford to buy the kits, I figured I could make everything from scratch and just buy the candy. By the time the kids finally got to prepare their houses, I was a basket case! I discovered how lousy I am at making is laughable now but at the time I wanted to cry and scream....thankfully the kids only remember how much fun it was even when I ended up gluing some of the gingerbreads together since my icing was to thin.

Thankfully, this year my husband worked some overtime so we splurged and bought these wonderful kits at Cosco. Ella was in candy heaven and we had lots of fun and it was fairly easy and stress free! Though, do note the jenga building blocks we use to keep our roofs on till they harden...

We also bought our tree today from a nice old man whom we met last year and bought our tree from. His trees are freshly cut and he had lots of fun stories about his time in woods. Hopefully in the spring we will buy our wood from him for the year.

So, as I gear up for another holiday season and commit myself to pleasing others...and I do enjoy it...though I wish I wasn't so tired....I pray for peace within. This year has been one of the hardest years I have gone through since my teen years. I felt like I was kicked in the stomach over and over and I keep trying to get up and catch my breath but it can all be so over whelming. But I do get up. Everything happens for a reason and our purpose in all things is to find God in the midst of it.

Spiritually, I am bone dry. I am deep into the desert. However, even in my weakest moments I never doubt Gods existence... but I have questioned why I feel so cut off from him. Why is he so this a time of discipline for me, an attempt to finally make me suck it up and learn my lessons...maybe...Tough love I understand.

I watch and see how easy others seem to have it in their walk with Jesus. Their lives seem easier or at best I wish I could trade my troubles for theirs...but I know that is silly. People only share what they want you to see...I know that...but at times I feel like I will never fit into the mainstream of life.

Lately our pastor has been preaching on grace, and trusting in God even when you are dry or in a desert. I took comfort in what he said today. He said not to allow the doubts of God to rob you of your peace. You can be in a desert, you can be depressed, you can even feel God's silence but even in that, to keep praising him...or to simply lift your hands in prayer even when your arms are heavy and tired.

1 O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.

3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.

4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.

7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.

8 My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Peeking in Windows...

(Like all my older posts on this blog, I wrote this one on myspace which wasn't listed in the directory.)

When I was a kid I used to enjoy walking home in the evening because I could see inside the windows of strangers homes. I would often wonder what type of family lived there...were they happy, what did they eat for supper, how many kids did they have...

Mainly as I walked by, I wondered what secrets might lurk inside these homes. These cosy looking homes that glowed brightly from their livingroom windows on cool dark October nights. It only suggested a lovely, cosy homelife...but we all realize that things are never what they seem.

It only dawned on me today after Shane challenged me on why I hide behind my blog...why I won't list my blog in my own community or give my real name....I have thought of many reasons and as I write them out none of them make sense and they seem silly...but for now I can't. So... I will ponder that one for a while longer.

I am now wondering if I should end this blog on myspace? The last thing I want to be is two sided. I write what I feel and I have no fear of standing behind what I say. As I write this I realize that some of my venting is in part due to the fact that I have not had the opportunity to say what I feel to the people I want to say it to. However, I won't be saying anything to Michele's parents anytime soon because they wouldn't hear me.

The internet is a big place but at the same time is is also like a small town. I won't be using this spot to vent about people close to me because it is no different than shouting at your can't undue an unkind word...I don't want to be unkind and if I have something to say that needs to be said I had better do it after much thought and prayer...and if needed, to the individual that is causing me turmoil. Maybe it is time to just start sending emails to myself the way I used to...for my eyes only!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Saw a Bear in my Yard

I can't believe it....we had a bear in our big deal to many but I have a deep fear of bears and have had it since I came to Canada when during my first year here I saw the movie Grizzly and from there always nurtured this fear of being eaten by a bear!

My neighbour called to tell me that a black bear was in her driveway and had taken off going in the direction where my youngest son was playing. I took off up the street in my car and got Jack to throw his bike into the back of the car and we went home.

Jack tells me when we get inside that he heard snorts...I didn't believe him until I see the bear in our front yard meters from our entrance. Our property is wooded but we are in the middle of suburbia! We get deer wandering into eat apples of the apple tree. But, this totally unnerves I can only hope to get a photo of him before they trap the bear and remove him from this area....I wonder why he wandered in so far?

The funny thing is...Shane & Alli also had a couple of bear scares during their trip to Nova Scotia and they have photos of bear prints on their van windows.

We won't be taking Maggie the dog for walk tonight or tomorrow until I know the bear is gone....

update...well couple more sightings in the area and he never was caught...I was nervous when I was out planting my garlic waiting for a bear to come crashing out of the woods!

Saturday, August 12, 2006


This was an amazing day we spent at Melmerby Beach in New Glasgow, NS. That day the waves were huge..often as high as the older kids shoulders. They were not allowed into the water beyond the depth of their knees as the waves

were so high and the current strong. The water was warm but the wind was so strong that the kids were cold everytime they came out of the water for to long.

Before my sister had arrived to meet me at the beach, I walked down the beach with Ella so that she could chase the sea gulls. I had left Sam and his cousin behind and warned them not to go near the water.

I suddenly had a weird feeling and went back to them because I realized that I was really foolish to leave these two crazy kids alone with the waves so tempting. I was glad to see they never budged from their spots on the beach...but the very next day, a mother drowned trying to save her son who was pulled out with the undercurrent from the high waves....

It stays with me...that in an instant, a moment of joy and sheer fun can turn dangerous with a blink of an eye.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Nobel Acceptance Speech Delivered by Elie Wiesel

I recently finished this small but extremely powerful book. The pictures his words created will never leave me. However, what moved me most, was the speech he gave when he received the Nobel Peace Prize. If ever there was a time to remember why we need to keep Israel in our prayers, this speech reminds you why Israel must protect itself from terrorist groups.

Coming from Northern Ireland I certainly never experienced war such as what we are witnessing on television...however, there were many nights I went to bed hearing bombs go off in the night. You became accustomed to bomb threats in stores, even seeing stores you had just been in blow up in front of you.

I have often wondered would we have chosen a side...or as I hope and pray, would we have chosen peace...I like to think so since I am opposed to violence? It is hard growing up in areas where your history, going back a thousand as important today as it was then. Often, kids grow up believing what their parents believe and this is obvious in the middle east and other areas in the world including Northern Ireland. Though, thankfully, things are changing for the better!

War is is the absolutely the least effective method towards peace. However, I guess I honestly don't believe we will ever have a world without wars and conflict.

The Nobel Acceptance Speech Delivered by Elie Wiesel in Oslo on December 10, 1986

Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, Your Excellencies, Chairman Aarvik, members of the Nobel Committee, ladies and gentlemen:

Words of gratitude. First to our common Creator. This is what the Jewish tradition commands us to do. At special occasions, one is duty-bound to recite the following prayer: "Barukh shehekhyanu vekiymanu vehigianu lazman haze" "Blessed be Thou for having sustained us until this day."

Then thank you, Chairman Aarvik, for the depth of your eloquence. And for the generosity of your gesture. Thank you for building bridges between people and generations. Thank you, above all, for helping humankind make peace its most urgent and noble aspiration.

I am moved, deeply moved by your words, Chairman Aarvik. And it is with a profound sense of humility that I accept the honor the highest there is that you have chosen to bestow upon me. I know your choice transcends my person.

Do I have the right to represent the multitudes who have perished? Do I have the right to accept this great honor on their behalf? I do not. No one may speak for the dead, no one may interpret their mutilated dreams and visions. And yet, I sense their presence. I always do and at this moment more than ever. The presence of my parents, that of my little sister. The presence of my teachers, my friends, my companions.

This honor belongs to all the survivors and their children and, through us to the Jewish people with whose destiny I have always identified. I remember: it happened yesterday, or eternities ago. A young Jewish boy discovered the Kingdom of Night. I remember his bewilderment, I remember his anguish. It all happened so fast. The ghetto. The deportation. The sealed cattle car. The fiery altar upon which the history of our people and the future of mankind were meant to be sacrificed.

I remember he asked his father: "Can this be true? This is the twentieth century, not the Middle Ages. Who would allow such crimes to be committed? How could the world remain silent?

"And now the boy is turning to me. "Tell me," he asks, "what have you done with my future, what have you done with your life?" And I tell him that I have tried. That I have tried to keep memory alive, that I have tried to fight those who would forget. Because if we forget, we are guilty, we are accomplices.

And then I explain to him how naïve we were, that the world did know and remained silent. And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant.

Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must at that moment become the center of the universe. Of course, since I am a Jew profoundly rooted in my people's memory and tradition, my first response is to Jewish fears, Jewish needs, Jewish crises. For I belong to a traumatized generation, one that experienced the abandonment and solitude of our people.

It would be unnatural for me not to make Jewish priorities my own: Israel, Soviet Jewry, Jews in Arab land But others are important to me. Apartheid is, in my view, as abhorrent as anti-Semitism. To me, Andrei Sakharov's isolation is as much a disgrace as Joseph Begun's imprisonment and Ida Nudel's exile. As is the denial of solidarity and it's leader Lech Walesa's right to dissent. And Nelson Mandela's interminable imprisonment.There is so much injustice and suffering crying out for our attention: victims of hunger, of racism and political persecution in Chile, for instance, or in Ethiopia writers and poets, prisoners in so many lands governed by the Left and by the Right.

Human rights are being violated on every continent. More people are oppressed than free. How can one not be sensitive to their plight? Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere. That applies also to Palestinians to whose plight I am sensitive but whose methods I deplore when they lead to violence. Violence is not the answer. Terrorism is the most dangerous of answers. They are frustrated, that is understandable, something must be done. The refugees and their misery. The children and their fear. The uprooted and their hopelessness. Something must be done about their situation. Both the Jewish people and the Palestinian people have lost too many sons and daughters and have shed too much blood. This must stop, and all attempts to stop it must be encouraged.

Israel will cooperate, I am sure of that. I trust Israel for I have faith in the Jewish people. Let Israel be given a chance, let hatred and danger be removed from their horizons, and there will be peace in and around the Holy Land. Please understand my deep and total commitment to Israel: if you could remember what I remember, you would understand. Israel is the only nation in the world whose existence is threatened. Should Israel lose but one war, it would mean her end and ours as well.

But I have faith. Faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and even in His creation. Without it no action would be possible. And action is the only remedy to indifference, the most insidious danger of all. Isn't that the meaning of Alfred Nobel's legacy? Wasn't his fear of war a shield against war?

There is so much to be done, there is so much that can be done. One person a Raoul Wallenberg, an Albert Schweitzer, Martin Luther King, Jr. one person of integrity, can make a difference, a difference of life and death. As long as one dissident is in prison, our freedom will not be true. As long as one child is hungry, our life will be filled with anguish and shame. What all these victims need above all is to know that they are not alone; that we are not forgetting them, that when their voices are stifled we shall lend them ours, that while their freedom depends on ours, the quality of our freedom depends on theirs.

This is what I say to the young Jewish boy wondering what I have done with his years. It is in his name that I speak to you and that I express to you my deepest gratitude as one who has emerged from the Kingdom of Night. We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them. Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately.

Thank you, Chairman Aarvik. Thank you, members of the Nobel Committee. Thank you, people of Norway, for declaring on this singular occasion that our survival has meaning for mankind.

I copied this speech from the pbs site

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Church Again....

I found this from another site and it resonates within me...

It usually begins when we become attracted to a particular style of ministry, be it 'fire and brimstone' or 'quiet and subdued'. "Why do they have to yell?", one will ask while another wants them to "speak with authority". While the true Word can come through either expression, we become accustomed to a preferred style. This preference leads us away from the living waters until we become dry and empty. Increasingly dissatisfied we eventually come across an anointed Word in the opposite style. We then embrace this alternate form not realizing it was the life and spirit which touched us so deeply. It is neither the new slant, the clarity of presentation or the force of the message which gives life. The tone or theme of the message is only the container for the spirit and life. When we are distracted by the container we will eventually become susceptible to 'death' simply because it is delivered in the preferred style.

The problem is our distraction with "church"...the container rather than the content.

I want content...I don't really care about the fuss over the container! When you are worshipping God does it matter where you are?

Friday, June 23, 2006

June and Graduations...

So many people that I know who have children in public school are watching their kids either graduate from middle school to high school or beyond.
With homeschooling you don't notice these significant milestones because learning is part of our daily routine and is as routine at times as brushing your teeth or eating.

At times, I miss the milestones...the plays, the pageants, musicals, even the dances...but all in all, I have no regrets and the kids up till now love homeschooling.

For me the milestones are measured in moments. I am with them or close enough to hear them talk about issues or interests that I might have missed out on if they were gone all day. Our conversations are relaxed, not rushed...yet time is rushing by.

If and when they choose to go to highschool I will encourage them and support them...but it will be kinda cool to see who they become without the waste of time spent doing busy work when they can be concentrating on discovering who it is they want to be and do.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."--

Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

War in Iraq

No matter what your opinion is on the war in Iraq, keep all the soldiers and innocent civilians in your thoughts and prayers....

Monday, June 19, 2006

Tear Down those Walls

Today a good friend of mine visited me. We don't see each other often as we are both busy mothers and now live in different communities. She appeared on my door with a coffee which is a favourite thing for me!
During our conversation, I was telling her about my mother and her illness and then sharing with her my grief at losing my friend and all the pain and regrets that come attached to a death...let alone a suicide.
During our coffee, we revealed some very private things with one another...we dipped our toe over the line of not revealing to much to one another in the event we would regret it later.
I know we left feeling like we knew and trusted one another better and I have an even deeper respect and love for this friend than I had before! Being real is scary...but today was a wonderful reminder that it can also tear down walls, remove superficial barriors and allow you to be more authentic with one another. That is rare and a true gift from God.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


As I look back on all that's happened....growing up, growing together, changing you, changing me---there were times when we dreamed together, when we laughed and cried together. As I look back on those days, I realize how much I truly miss you and missed much I loved you like a sister. The past may be gone forever....and whatever the future holds, our todays make the memories of tomorrow. So, my lifetime friend, it is with all my heart that I send you my love and my grief for losing you....I hope that you will always carry my smile with you, all the laughter we shared, for all we have meant to each other and for whatever the future may hold now that you are gone. A prayer is constantly on my lips that you are happy and your soul has been set free and you rest at the feet of Jesus.

Adapted by me from an annonymous poem on the net.

Friday, June 09, 2006


Michele and I met in highschool and became instant friends. There was nothing that we kept secret from one another as we both met during really difficult times in our life. We were fearless and believed we could do anything....all things were possible and we dreamed big!

When Michele became pregnant at age 18, her mother was furious! When she found out, Michele was thrown out. We (my parents and I) took her in. After a couple of weeks she returned home and then the pressure to have her abort the baby began.

This went on till the 20th week had come and gone. We both were opposed to abortion and her baby was kicking strongly and it horrified her the thought that her parents wanted her to do this.

So, we planned on getting an apartment together since I was now working full-time and she could go on welfare until the baby was born. We really believed she could raise the baby herself and get her GED at night. I started collecting stuff for the apartment and Michele seemed confident that she could do it.

However, her mother informed her that if she kept her baby she would never speak to her again and would offer no financial assistance. In the last hours Michele caved into the relentless pressure from her parents. She truly believed her baby would be better off without her. It was soo sad.

During this time, I had started dating my now husband. Michele went on every date with us and we would joke with her that we would pay her to go home early so that we could be alone! I have photos of us sitting in Mother's Restaurant in the bar. Michele is drinking Shirley Temples while we are having a beer. Andy and Michele got along great and he was so good in accepting the package deal of dating both of us!

Michele gave birth to a baby girl and named her Chelsey. Her birth was difficult and scary. The nurse that she had was cold and indifferent to her fear and anguish. I tried my best to be a good birthing coach...and to be honest, her birth experience shaped forever how I wanted my own births to be. She spent almost a week in hospital and would not hold or see the baby. I really wanted her to see the baby and she did finally choose to hold her but it was so hard for her...the decision to let her baby go was so horribly difficult yet she almost didn't have a choice because of all the pressure around her from her parents and social worker.

The other thing that stands out so clear to me was when I went and saw the baby in the nursery she was so little but that baby had the oldest eyes. It took my breath away...I believe that she absorbed the stress that Michele went through and it showed in her little eyes....

After giving her up, Michele was like a wounded animal. At first she seemed able to keep it together. Though together, we started getting more and more daring in our adventures when we hit the town. Fortunately for me, I realized that Andy was going to be in my future and I settled down. Michele however, just seemed to spin out of control.

She would call me all hours of the night crying and moaning for her baby. She wondered how she was doing, she imagined she had seen her, thought she might even be able to get her back. Through the whole process, her family failed her, her boyfriend failed her, the nurses in the hospital failed her and finally her social worker failed her.

Ultimately I failed her too. We stayed friends for many years, she was my constant side kick during the time I dated my husband to be...she came on almost every date we had and Andy would pay for both of us and never complain! She was the honourary maid of honour at my wedding as my sister was the official one! But, it was the only way to make it fair for both my "sisters"!

We continued being close for many more years. It was during the time I was struggling with infertility...I needed her but she needed me more...and I had nothing to give her. I begged her to get professional help as I obviously wasn't able to help her get over losing the baby. She ended up in hospital to help her with her deepening depression. That led her to the quick fix of phsychiatrists....drugs....dull the ache, talk for 30 minutes and their off to the next appointment.

Michele went on to struggle with harder drugs...part of it started when she had work done on her teeth and the pain was so bad she ended up addicted to pain relievers. This caused her to spiral into other drugs. I visited her at rehab, met her uptown different times, gave her money and picked her up at times when she was stuck. Sadly it wasn't enough. I now had three little babies, Michele had a son a bit older than my own oldest son whom she left in the care of her parents. She then had another baby girl thru a relationship/marriage to a guy who scared her and controlled her...she gave up custody of that child too.

The last time I had visited her in Ridgewood, we talked about someday meeting her little girl...who would have been almost 18 at the time. We agreed we would get together and start fresh....when Michele first gave her up, we used to imagine someday meeting her...what we would tell her, what it would be like...we would wonder what she looked like....

Finally, her daughter that she gave up all those years ago called me last Thursday. At first my reaction was "at last, I have been waiting for this call" I assumed all three of us would get together and forge a new relationship....but just as quickly, it was shattered when she told me of her death.

I am struggling so hard with this...Michele talked about me constantly with her daughter. Wanting us to get together, reconnect but she couldn't because in hindsight, I feel I put a lot of pressure on Michele to do good, to get her life in order for when her daughter would come back...she probably felt she wouldn't measure up. Amanda knew that Michele would want it to be her that called me to break the news of her death...of her suicide and it truly meant so much to me to hear it from her.

Michele was buried with only her family around friends were included...supposedly Micehele's wishes. A death notice was not placed in the paper. None of her friends from her youth or those who cared and loved her know of her passing. This breaks my heart.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

My Friend Died Today

I just received a call today...and learned that my best friend from highschool, soul mate, sister in spirit died! I am grief stricken and want to tell everyone how wonderful she was but I am frozen. I don't even know why I am writing...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I turned happened! Not that it was great day...nope, my life is nuts! For some insane reason my husband opens his mouth and says we should get a dog. Something was unleased in all of us....
I researched the breeds, settled on a Shih Tzu and found one within our budget. Of course, all the money in the world wouldn't have helped me....I still ended up with a needy dog. This dog has serious anxiety issues!

Then on the day of my birthday, he wakes me in a panic at 6am telling me that he has lost the dog!! He let her out without a leash and she was freaked out by him and bolted. He chased her all the way into town and he finally gave up when he thought he was going to have a heart attack!

I found myself running down the main road at 6:15am calling for my dog...freaking out because the kids would be so upset, the dog would totally have a mental breakdown and I felt like the biggest loser in town!

We searched for two full days...I almost caught her on Sunday morning at 7am...but she got away. I realized that only God would bring her home. I prayed for her to be delivered to my door. She was to traumatized to come to us and we hadn't exactly bonded...and guess what...late Sunday evening a man brought her home to my door!

The only thing I got out of the whole horrible experience was a reminder of the incredible kindness of strangers. So many people tried to help us, drove around, called to express was really touching. Close friends helped search for her...but finally it was my prayers answered that brought her home.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


" I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I wish to be. I am not evenwhat I hope to be. But by the cross of Christ, I am not what I was. "

John Newton

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Some Homeschooling Thoughts

I've really been pondering things of late. My life has changed so much these last few years and so have I. I really struggled for a while wondering if I could homeschool. I knew my kids needed to be homeschooled because my gut told me so but I didn't know if I had the patience or stamina to do it.

It isn't that I don't enjoy having them around. I guess it was only recently that I realized that I was digging my heels in because as the kids have gotten older I have felt the pressure to "teach" versus my vision of natural learning and day to day moments of discovery.

Looking back, I can't say that I enjoyed school. I know that I did up until we moved here to Canada...nothing against the school system here, just major culture shock and homesickness. Back then being Irish wasn't cool, the accent wasn't cool and certainly my clothing wasn't cool. The whole early experience made me wary and cautious about what I said and how I said it.

But, like most school kids you adapt. I had friends, but I kept my nose in a book in classes. I never went anywhere without a book. I spent mindless hours on school buses and resented every moment. I skipped school when I could to be anywhere but cooped up and bossed around by boring teachers and boring subjects.

I did have some amazing teachers as we all have. They are the ones that make the difference, shape your future and you will remember them forever. Which brings me back to my current thoughts. I realized that I was struggling with resentment in having to relearn subjects that "I" considered stupid or a waste of time or worse...I just didn't like them and doubted that I was dedicated enough to relearn them.

Take geometry. I know I am smart enough to master geometry. I remember learning it and I know I passed it. But mostly, all I really remember is all of us sitting in rows in a silent dismal class with Miss A. sitting up front glaring straight down at us daring any of us to speak or sneak a note to one another.

The major realization for me is the understanding and acceptance of the fact that I can and will learn this stuff "again" in the quest to provide my kids with a well rounded education. With a math master as a husband and his dire warnings that math is the international language I realize its importance.

However, I'm still not sold on the idea that we have to teach our kids every single subject and teach it well in the prescribed manner set up as scope and sequence. So far, I have only had one child fit that slot and acutally he doesn't because in the earlier years he was way ahead and remains so.

Even though highschool looms close I still believe that when my kids see the need for certain skills they will learn. That being said, they will be ready for university (hoping and praying that is their choice) and I am putting complete faith that the Lord will guide me as my children change and grow.

There are so many areas in life that I value. I love how my kids saw us struggle to build two houses and with the next one actually help us frame it up. I want them to understand that we live in this neighbourhood not because we fit in financially but because it was a wise investment for our future. I don't want them to make financial mistakes as we did. Money sense will be a subject in this house. Cooking is another subject that holds importance, then gardening, that is very relevant. Giving of themselves. Volunteering within the community will be a requirement.

Oh, and independence...from herd mentality. The one area I hope I have nurtured is their ability to think on their feet. To step aside from the herd and ask is this right for me, is this something Jesus would do, would my parents approve?

They are destined to blaze their own trail....I just pray they do it on their own terms....

Saturday, January 07, 2006

A Great Quote

"We are not called to the easy life. You either carry your cross, or you're crushed under the weight of it."

~ James Caviezel

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Awakening

I found this on a website and you may have seen it before. It spoke to me.

"The Awakening"

A time comes in your life when you finally get it...when, in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out...ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying and blaming and struggling to hold on.

Then, like a child quieting down after a tantrum, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through new eyes.

This is your awakening.

You realize it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for happiness, safety and security to magically appear over the next horizon.

You realize that in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings, and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you... and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are... and that's OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions.

You learn the importance of loving and championing yourself... and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you - or didn't do for you - and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that everything isn't always about you.

So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself... and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties... and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. You begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.

You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with.

You learn that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You learn that alone does not mean lonely.

You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO.

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs.

You learn that your body really is your temple. You begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin to eat a balanced diet, drink more water, and take more time to exercise.

You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear, and uncertainty and so you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you believe you deserve, and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different than working toward making it happen.

More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone, and that it's OK to risk asking for help.

You learn the only thing you must truly fear is fear itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your own terms.

You learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.
You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people... and you learn not to always take it personally.

You learn that nobody's punishing you and everything isn't always somebody's fault. It's just life happening. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls.

You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Then, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle for less than your heart's desire.

You make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

You hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind.

Finally, with courage in your heart, you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best you can.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year 2006

What a relief that the holidays are over. I feel wrung out to dry. It was weird...I was so grateful and happy to have my family around me yet I couldn't stop thinking about the Christmas before when all those people died due to the sad.

I've been in this house for 6 weeks and I still feel a bit shell shocked with all that I had to pull off.