Monday, December 27, 2010

Wishing I could do more....

I LOVE roller coasters. I have been on too many to count.  I have loved them from the first time I rode the Dragon Coaster at Playland I think I was 5 maybe 6, waving grandparents watching from the sidelines, all smiles, camera ready. Ever since, the roller coaster is my favourite, be they, steel, wooden, small, large, hilly, inverted, fast, slow, outside, inside, strapped in by the shoulders or just a simple bar, I love them all.  The faster the better.  All provide some thrill, excitement and lots of laughter.  To say I have met a Roller Coaster I do not like would be an understatement, however this roller coaster called life sometimes leaves little to be desired.

True, it is full of ups and downs, thrills and laughter, however, sometimes you feel like you are strapped in by the shoulder and others, well,  you feel like you are holding on for dear life with little restraint at all.  Sometimes it just feels like the dips are too deep, the turns are too quick and just when you think you are coming into a smooth patch, you are jerked along again dipping and speeding .... with little response time. Sometimes you just want to stand by the side, camera ready, wave and smile.  To just have a different perspective, a rest, a chance to catch your breath if you will.... Deep breath... a deep deep breath. 

I am feeling a little like that right now, not so much my own life but that of friends,  I want to help, to be able to reach out and offer a steady hand, or a platform in which they can stand on just to catch their breath.  Sadly distance prevents that from happening, I offer support from a distance and that is good, BUT it is not the same as a shoulder to cry on or a hug, or the simple silence of a friend who is just there. 
Prayer, a connection of faith, is the only thing outside of words that I can offer, and offer them I do, to the point of tears, wishing, praying hoping things today will be different.  Hoping beyond hope that they will have a chance to come up for air, to breath in deeply.  I wish I could do more but do not know where to start without stepping on toes and getting in the way.  So I pray - trust that they will call when they know what they need, KNOWING that we will be there at the drop of a hat to do what is needed.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Birthday musings.....

46 random facts should count as Little-Bits-of-Random don't you think?

1.   I had to do the math to figure out what birthday this was.  2010 - 1964.  (kind of funny, but 46 is just a number to me... )
2.    I think Faith is a very key ingredient to a great life.
3.    I was delivered to my mom in a Christmas stocking.
4.    2 of my 3 daughters weighed the same as I did at birth
5.    I think that Peanut butter should be it's own food group!
6.    I like the dark hours of the day (well I guess that would be night...)
7.    I love sleeping in a tent when it is raining                                                                                             
8.    Christmas is my favorite time of year
9.    I LOVE to travel
10.  That being said, I would go almost anywhere if I were given a ticket!
11.  I have dipped my toes in the Pacific ocean from the West coast of one country, and the East Coast of another.
12.  Sauerkraut is one of the nastiest things that people call food.  Sent shivers down my spine just typing that.
13.  I received the same comment on almost every report card I received in elementary school. "Dianna needs to spend less time staring out the window and more time concentrating on her work in front of her"
14.  I loved the 11 years that I co-owned the scrapbooking store, but I rarely miss it now.  I miss the people, but not the daily store stuff for the most part.. some days yes.
15.  I read every night before bed
16.  I rarely talk on the phone without a pen and a piece of paper in my hand (there are scraps & doodling by every phone)
17.  I collect snowmen - I hung almost 200 on the garland in my stair well this year. 
18.  The pull tabs on the Minute Maid frozen juice with the ones with a finger hole make me happy.
19.  Salty over sweet most days.
20.  My all time favorite Christmas movie is "It's a Wonderful Life"
21.  We wrap gifts and watch the above movie every year on my birthday.                                                
22.  I can only recall one time receiving a combo birthday / Christmas gift. (well until this year, but that is o.k T it really is!)
23.  I love the smell of a brand new book
24.  Love Love Love walking beside the open ocean
25.  I with the help of some great Doc's and God's healing hand.... kicked breast cancer to the curb
26.  Yes, I do dye my hair
27.  Disneyland is one of my happy places.
28.  Silver over Gold
29.  I have made snow-angels in the snow (in my bathing suit)
30.  I like to shoot people with my Canon
31.  I rarely dream at night.. daydreaming is another story see....#13
32.  Long road trips with 3 kids ARE FUN, I look forward to them and treasure the ones of the past.
33.  I have laughed so hard at my kids that stuff has come out my nose
34.  Walking on the beach is one of my favorite things to do
35.   Bath over a shower any day, preferably with bubbles
36.  I am a self professed chocolate snob - dark baby!
37.  I believe that laughter is truly the best medicine... Laughing every day is a goal
38.  I can get lost online reading blogs and looking at photography sites... 
39.  I may not dream, but I have been known to sleep walk and wake up in a closet
40.  Was the best birthday party ever... Rollerskating with 100+ friends and family members- SO MUCH FUN!
41.  I have slept under the stars
42.  My most favorite piece of Jewelry is my charm bracelet - so many stories.. so many memories
43.  I really like red shoes but sadly only own one pair (might need to change that this year!)
44.  I am blessed to have many friends near and far.  I may not see them often, but we can pick up where we left off and go from there, no questions asked...
45.  Is how old I thought I was until I actually did the math.. Man that year went by in the blink of a calculator flash.
46.  I actually like making lists like this.  It does not start with "TO DO TODAY"

So there you have it 46 slightly random things you may or may not know about me... 
One more.. Today was a great birthday, and that flash of a year was great too.. No regrets!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What's his is more mine than mine is.....

It's true.  Royd's extended family is more my family than my own extended family.  I suppose that distance, different views of life, divorce, adoption, and in the extreme case not even knowing we had extended family on mom's side all add up to cousins who I rarely see or have anything in common with. 
My dad is one of 3 boys.  Bob, did not have any children.  Larry, has 7 and the last time I saw more than one of them was at Grandma's memorial service - 12 years ago.  Gulp!  I do have one cousin that I keep in random contact via Facebook, he is likely the only one who would recognize me if we passed on the street.  However it is a contact in the case of family emergency... Sad, yup, but that is the reality in the world of the Rogers boys. My mom, well that is a long story and you can read more about that here.  Suffice to say, I have more cousins on that side than I even knew existed before 2008.

Royd's family on the other hand feels like how I always imagined family should be.  Certainly not perfect, and there is certainly some disconnect there as well, however the ties that bind are much tighter. Royd's dad is one of 10. Royd is one of 30 grandchildren, 15 boys & 15 girls.  When Ashlynn was born I think we calculated that she was the 30th great grand child - since then that generation has exploded and I have lost track.  Last weekend as many who could make it gathered for a Christmas get together, it was a loud, happy, joyous affair.  By Hilstad standards there were very few there (33 I think) but those who were not there were certainly there in spirit, talked about (in a good way), remembered and cherished. 

I remember my first ever Christmas gathering, there must have been 50 or more gathered in Art's house (Royd's dad's). To say I was overwhelmed was an understatement.   At the time Royd and I were 'just friends' truly, and honestly 'just friends' good friends albeit, but just friends. I was feeling a little shy and just wanted to observe.  That did not matter to the aunts and uncles... I was as good as married to the guy - after all at 20ish he had never brought another girl to the shin dig, grandpa & grandma loved me, and I sassed a few of them back (in a most playful polite sort of way)... I was invited back the next year by Uncle Larry then and there. I am sure that Royd had not thought that far in advance.  To say the least I was welcomed into the fold and totally engulfed by the love that is this family.  20 some odd years later, it truly is more my family than my own is. And you know what that is o.k. my family is what it is and I am happy to embrace my husbands extended family in the same way they have embraced me.  I am glad for my girls, that they can be a part of it knowing that they have a place to belong, aunts & uncles who look forward to seeing how much they have grown each year.  Cousins, to play games with, tease and interact with or little ones to entertain.  This is what family is supposed to be.  Even if there are months or years between visits.. you pick up where you left off, give a hug and in the Hilstad family, grab a coffee and a piece of Lefsa and settle in for a good visit.   Looking forward to this summer when we will gather for an Aunt & Uncle's 50th anniversary - now that will be a party!  Watch out Saskatchewan the Hilstads are coming......

Monday, December 13, 2010

I think often....

about blogging, I have ideas constantly running amok in my head.  Sometimes I even start to write and do not finish. Or I start with just a title in hopes I will return to put the thoughts down.  Sigh... what is it that they say about the road of good intentions....  Oh, I just went to look for that quote not sure I like it now, however maybe there is humor in it....
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions"

Good thing I am pretty clear on how to avoid the road to hell.  That however is a post for a different time.  Earlier today I was looking at my list of posts since I started blogging and realized that I have a lengthy list of "drafts"  posts started but not returned to... it was actually quite entertaining to read so I thought hmm, what a great thing to just list here, just in case I need inspiration in the future.
Here it goes:

I confess...
Breaking the Chains
What a difference a day makes
Time to breathe
What a week
Down to the Crunch
One week away
Life with 3 teenage girls
Dates, changes & life in general
One day you blink & so much time has passed
There are times when
This is my life
We are all just one decision away from Stupid

There you have it my list of good intentions. When I read the list I have to confess, some I have no clue what was running through my brain, on others I thought .. Oh shoot that would have been great, and yet on others I really do need to go and revisit and actually put the thoughts down. 

Oh and then there is the one rolling around in my head right now, it needs photos, and I have to get those onto the computer then it will get written
"What's His is more MINE than mine is......" 
So for today I sign off, and I will not walk the road to hell, I will blog the above mentioned story VERY soon!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Who knew????

There is such a thing as WORLD TOILET DAY

Certainly not I.

Nor did I know that I missed it!

November 19th of each year. 

I do however understand the need for awareness.

2.6 Billion people in this world do not have access to proper sanitation

We here in North America are fortunate, and in most cases we have no clue what those in underdeveloped nations face.

I am all for WORLD TOILET DAY, for making me more aware of the plight that many live in. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Privileged, beyond measure

I have been blog silent for a few weeks, not because of lack of things to post, simply because the words would not come.  This is what has been pacing back and forth across my brain the past few weeks. Hard things to grapple with, hard things to write about, important things to share...

On Friday October 1, 2010 a friend and I boarded a B.C. Ferry to head to Campbell River. Not a pleasure cruise by any stretch of the imagination, leave on an 8 am, return at 11:20pm, home after midnight.  Travel up island about 2 hours, attend the service, mingle, then return to the ferry terminal, journey home, it was a very long day in deed.   A very draining day, both emotionally and physically but a very privileged day.  A day to stand beside friends in their grief, to support, to love and hopefully by merely just being THERE encourage just a little.  A day I will not regret ever!

Cancer - oh how I hate you, oh how the mere mention of your name sends shivers down my spine, tears well up and my stomach knots.  As much as I hate to say it you won again... I have no choice, you stole precious life, sucked a mommy from her kids and a wife from the arms of her adoring husband.  The hurt is deep, the journey to recovery long.  When will you stop?  It has to stop! 

Cancer may have won this battle, but Victory was sweet in a life well lived, well loved and well blessed. I did not know Sandy that well face to face but learned to love her via her blog.  Her husband is a long ago friend from our college and career days at church, her brother & sister in law some of our dearest friends "aunt & uncle" to my kids.  Our paths did not cross often, but the connections are there, the connections are deep, the pain is there, the pain is deep.  Sandy and I were first diagnosed with in the same year, different forms, different areas of our bodies, very different treatment plans, sadly very different outcomes.  In all honesty I feel a little guilty, why do some survive and others succumb? So not fair.

An insert in the service bulletin asked us to write our first memory, or a fond memory of Sandy.  What a great idea, what a great treasure for her family for many years to come.  As I sat thinking of what to write, or even what my first memory was, I recalled... 

My first job out of high school was at a Christian book store in Burnaby, a 30 - 40 min bus ride from home.  Almost daily about 2/3 into my trip, a red headed girl would get on, we would smile and just recognize that we were route regulars.  For months, she would get on we would smile, I would go back to reading my book and she would pull out hers.  There is something comforting in the familiar.  Then one day at a college and career function there she was with her boyfriend... we looked at each other and smiled, then started to laugh - and introduced ourselves. Surprising those there with the instant connection. We now had names to put with the faces we saw almost daily.  That boyfriend became her husband several months later and they moved away.  It is a small world, one never quite knows how the pieces of the puzzle are going to fit together, or how many degree's of separation there truly are, and it never ceases to amaze me how it does. 

My heart broke as we sat and her 11 year old son's sobs could be heard through the 100' & 100's & 100's of guests present.  Then rejoiced as her 8 year old daughter got up and danced, then later sang with her grade 3 class songs about heaven.  Family, long time friends & students spoke of a life well lived, a heart that loved God above all and her family next to none. Of a woman who loved words, music and the arts but most of all loved to share a good meal and laugh with friends.  Privileged were those who knew her face to face, as well as I who have known her from afar.  Rest in peace Sandy.  May you enjoy many days of dancing and singing and much good food, free of pain, free of illness free to be you!  We know you are there getting the party ready for that day we are all there to enjoy it with you.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Confession is good for the soul... right?

Well, here goes nothing.  Apparently I am a little daft when it comes to the dashboard lights on the new van.  My daughter would say, I am not the brightest bulb in the string.  (or on the dashboard in this case!)Sigh, it would appear to be true.

Here is the story.
Monday night I was out, and a light came on in the van. One that I had seen but not recalled what it was. I decided that I would deal with it in the morning, in the day light. After all, nothing was blinking or beeping - both sure signs in this van that something is seriously wrong.  We had dealt with that problem the day before, thankfully it was just hungry, and some70$ later worth of fuel the blinking and beeping stopped. 

No the new light looked like this....

Well, on the dash board the image is much smaller and the bottom of the image does not look like tire treads or I might have clued in.  (Or MAYBE if I had already filled the prescription for my BIFOCALS, another story for another time, I would have noticed... made the connection! I mean Duh. right?) Thankfully the manual that comes with the van is so easy to read, understand, even if you have to go from page 263 to 2 other pages just to find the picture.  Really, I do know that correct tire pressure will provide the optimal performance of your vehicle, just show me the pictures.  Once again.. Duh.  But what is the optimal tire pressure?  I have to read 2 more pages to learn that there is a sticker on the "b" frame of the driver's side.  What the heck...What "b"frame? driver's side I know, but "b" frame????    Oh, you mean the sticker that is just above the door latch.. Why not just say the sticker inside the door frame.  Again, if I had above mentioned Bifocals, I would have had much more success reading said sticker. Once my eyes adjusted, I figured it out.  Pictures and all.

I have now figured out that the tire pressure is off.. here is where the truly bright light bulb moment comes..... We all know that there are multiple lights on a dashboard, and for the most part they only light up when there is a problem, or when you first start the engine. Please keep that in mind as you continue to read.

In my mind, if the van is so smart that it can tell you when your tire pressure is low, then it should be able to tell you which tire is low right?  So in my not so bright moment.. I think.. oh, o.k.  low tire pressure, front drivers side tire - as the light looked like it was for that side (think stove lights... 4 lights, 4 burners, 4 locations connected), truly it makes sense in my brain.  Now I'm not totally useless, I do know how to put air in a tire, heck if needed I even know how to change a tire - not that I enjoy it, but I know how to do it and have had some practice.  

Off to the gas station I go...  I pull out the tire gauge, test the pressure of the tire, yup it is low, only at 30 psi, needs to be 36psi... so I add air.  Good to go....
Into the car, start the van and drive off.  Then a few minutes later the light comes on again.  I think great, I picked up a nail or something so it is a slow leak and I will have to return to fill it more often, I can handle that... And I did, and the process repeated it's self. (same tire, different gas stations, thankfully!)  So I go home and tell Royd of my adventures.  His response.. um, Di, it is the rear driver's side tire that has the slow leak.  Seriously? 
Questions that came up,
When you went and put air in the front - did you think to check the pressure in the other tires? (um no - remember bright bulb right!)
How did you think that it was the front tire? (I explained the light theory.. it was all he could do not to erupt in gales of laughter!) 
I then told him that I did add exactly 36psi to the front tire.  Which he went out and checked.. yup you sure did, however it only needs to be 35 psi (apparently that is "standard" for most tires... whatever!) I know I know all above questions make total sense, well except to me at the moment who truly thought I was dealing with the issue at hand, trying to save my dear hubby from having to do so. Oh well, we (ehem.. I NOW KNOW) the issue is with the rear tire, and I should check all tires.  However the front tire, which was low,  is now filled to exactly 36 psi, which is what I read on the side panel sticker, honest that 5 really does look like a did I mention that I need bifocals?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Remembering.... and kicking some butt...

Today friend posted would be happy birthday wishes to her momma on her Facebook page. I say would be because her momma WOULD have been 63 today had breast cancer not taken her years ago.
It reminds me to be thankful, thankful that my discovery of a little lump was taken seriously by my family doctor, that my appointment with the specialist took less than a week, that action was swift when it came to my treatment. My road to discovery and recovery was relatively quick , certainly much easier than some and a far cry from what it could have been. (if you want you can read more here & here)I was one of the "Lucky Ones". I will forever be thankful. I do not know why I was one of the lucky ones, and why others close have suffered so deeply. I may never know, but either will I take it for granted. I choose to be grateful, to continue on my journey forward despite the niggling almost always present little voice in my head that whispers... cancer... cancer... cancer you had it, it could come back. I refuse to live where that voice resides. I have to tell myself.. that was before I KICKED it in the butt, and was declared well. The mind games are tough.
My heart goes out to this friend, to other friends who have lost, mothers, fathers, children, spouses, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, in-laws, cousins and friends, to this nasty beast called cancer. Cancer knows no age limit, does not take into consideration,...well anything, it just hits and when it hits no matter how soft the blow it is a SUCKER PUNCH right to the gut. To those who are walking this road of uncertainty right now, my thoughts and prayers are with you. May your journey be short and your victory sweet.
All of this is especially fresh in my heart, September marks the anniversary of my surgery, but even more than that this year, this past week, we received news that a friend on the island has lost her battle. Last Friday she went to heaven into the waiting arms of Jesus and heard the words, well done my good and faithful servant. What started out as Colon cancer which was treated, was later re-diagnosed, it had spread to her liver and other organs. It was a hard battle, a long battle. May you rest in Peace Sandy, you fought a valiant battle, with courage and grace. My heart grieves for her husband and 2 young children - for them the journey is just beginning, and it will be long and at times very painful. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Our paths do not cross often anymore, but my heart remembers, despite the distance and lifts you up in prayer. It is not fair, but it is life, I wish that cancer could be kicked in the butt once and for all. For the cure to be discovered and the whole nasty disease laid to rest... Good riddance you big bully.
In the mean time, October is National Breast Cancer awareness month, there are many things we can do to aid in finding a cure. This Sunday is the CIBC Run for a cure walk, run, donate. We can all do a little. Find a cure for one type and we are closer to a cure for all and kicking cancer to the curb once and for all.
If you can do nothing else... DO THIS ONE THING.. and do it TODAY.
Do a self breast exam , do it today, do it again in a week, do it again in a month, then again the month after that... Get to know your boobs. They feel different at different times of the month, sometimes even at different times of the day. Tell your doctor with ANY change you notice, they will be key in good breast health as well as if needed, working with you if there is something found. My lump showed up with in a month or I should say , it grew in a month to the point I could feel it. It only takes 3 min in the shower, really no time at all. THEN MAKE SURE you get your regular mammogram! A a few moments of pain is nothing compared to the options you might face if a lump is detected too late. Remember we live in a country where this is a service offered to women at no cost - it is a privilege that many in this world do not have access too. We are the fortunate ones! Make your appointment today - It could be the best thing you ever do for your self! (That was me gently kicking you in the butt... go out and get them squished!)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Conversations around here....

I have 3 teenage daughters, saying that conversation is stilted would be very much an understatement. Topics of discussion range from the very practical, to the very obscure then there is one like this one that happened on the way to church the other day....

S "I had a dream about the Jonas Brothers last night"

(that brought a few chuckles and a very loud groan - I may have 3 female teens in the house, but Jonas Fever never really hit. and in one case there is a severe dislike of most things Jonas. They are deemed to be a LG band, and those who go all goo goo need their heads examined)

S "Yup they were knocking at the door then came in the house for a visit, we were all just sort of hanging out."

A "Eww.. where was I"

S "Hiding in your room"

A "Good"

T " Kind of random S, where did that come from..."

S "Don't know - it did seem a little odd"

T "Yup.. weird, so what else happened"
(there was a little more random back and forth... then...)
S " I do not remember that much more, but it went on for a bit...."

R " Ya S what happened.... "

(A little bit of silence......)
Then my straight faced, often quite, rarely sarcastic, husband out of the blue, pops out with....

"Really S what happened... or is it private..."

At which point we all erupted in gales of laughter..... and there were more groans and eww's and gross Daddy's coming from the back of the van.

Yup those are the kind of random conversations that happen around here all the time. 'Gotta love it.
I would not change a thing.
I am thankful that we can laugh together (not at each other but WITH each other)
I am glad for time in the van where conversation flows, however odd it can be at times.

This is one of the reasons I continue to pick up the girls after school. Sure they are old enough to make their way home, and that happens on occasion. However it is those few min in the van each day where I hear about what is happening at school, who likes who, who is partying too hard, who's parents are around or not, what happened in class, what homework needs to be done, who gives too much homework, who visited the liaison officer, the office, the counsellor. it is how I stay in the loop, and in high school that is much harder to do. I know that one day it will all come to an end.. all too soon I might add. So for now, I drive back and forth, and enjoy those moments each day and hide them in my heart. It is a rare treasure I would not trade.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dear Mr. Spider

It is that time of year again, when the outside world tries to enter my warm happy inside world. Not going to happen!

Dear Mr. Spider:

This is not your home. You are not welcome to visit or invade our personal space. We do not find it funny when you dangle in front of our faces. Neither is it humorous when you "jump" out from your hiding places and make us scream and scurry. This is our home, not yours.

I am sorry to have to evict you from the premises, you have not been a good tenant. You continually disrupt the peace, you meddle in our stuff, and make your bed in the oddest most hard to get at places that simply put, get in our way.

It is not our intention to disrupt your home each day when we exit each day. BUT your invisible threads across my face, neck and even in my mouth is unacceptable & unwelcome. I might also add a little gross.

We have tried a relocation project, found you a very nice tree far enough away that you should have been comfortable - you seem to have returned, or sent your relatives in protest. So we are sorry, at this point in time we have no choice..... You have to go, we wish it did not have to come to this, but enough is enough. We hope not to see you on our stoop ever again.


The Hilstad's

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Moral compass or lack there of....

Some days you just have to wonder what this world is coming to. Today was a rare occasion, I picked up the newspaper and read something other than the obituaries or the comics. I usually find the news to depressing, but this story head line "Rave Rape Outrage" pulled me in, as I read I was thoroughly disturbed.

Maybe it is because I am a mother of 3 teenage daughters, maybe it is because of the horrid actions of others, and the inexplicable lack of actions on the part of others. Maybe it was because of the apparent lack of concern from those in attendance, some even laughing. All of the above apply. But it was the quote from one young man who wrote, "if you knew the whole story you would find it funny." I highly doubt it, there is NOTHING funny about this, humor is not a word that I would use to describe such a event. More like horrific, disturbing, frightening, sickening, sad, appalling, heartbreaking, nauseating, inhumane not to mention STUPID! It makes me wonder what drives a community (that being those who were at the event) to be so heartless and uncaring. Do not even get me started on the young man that used his cell phone to TAKE VIDEOS and PHOTOS instead of phoning for help. What was he thinking.... makes me want to vomit! I thought of this for hours today, where have we gone wrong?

My heart breaks for this 16 year old girl, her family and her "friends" that were with her and now have to live with the horror and consequences. EVERY day for the rest of their lives, it is so hard to put things like this behind you and move on. This will never go away, this is the sad reality of the downside of the inter-net, the speed of which information gets out there and how hard it is to retract once it is.

What is our moral compass????

Moral - 1:of or relating to the principles of right and wrong 2:forming to a standard of right behavior.

Compass - 1: a devise determining direction

Is teen culture so absorbed with being accepted, cool and self centered that the do not respond to the needs of others? Are they so desensitised that they do not see this as wrong? Is their moral compass is so screwed that what is right and wrong is no longer known? It is sad on so many levels. Some people truly have no compass at all. Are scruples a thing of the past? Ethics?

However I feel strongly that all l teens and not be lumped together. To do that is wrong. There are many who strive to live a moral life to make a difference in the world around them to make sure that their life matters in a bright and positive way. They have a world view and a strong desire to make a difference, to change the world and make it a better place.

As a parent my hope and prayer and RESPONSIBILITY is to raise children who know the difference between right and wrong AND to do the right thing even when it is not the popular thing. To give them a compass that points to truth and rightness in the world and the fortitude to act in a way that matches that compass point. To take risks and do hard things, that they can rise above the mediocrity that seems to be the norm. That will CHANGE our world, Lord willing. As adults we need to give teens the chance to shine, to expect great things and not stand in the way when they have big ideas that they want to follow through on. One right decision at a a time..... May it be so!

Some further reading if you are interested..... Do hard things, the red one, is one best books I read last year. I highly recommend it to any parent with teens.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blog re-railed

My brain needs to catch up to my blog

My blog needs photos

My camera needs to pass along photos to my computer

My computer needs more memory

It is a vicious circle time, technology & memory like trains passing in the night = blog de-railed.

Brain... hmm is there any hope? I think it is more like my brain needs to slow down and decide what to blog. There are so many ideas, stories and antidotes I think about putting up, it just never happens.

Pictures, when I remember, to clear up the memory issues on the computer so there is room, there will be pictures!

Summer came, summer seems to be gone, summer was fun. Gone, gone , gone, the girls are back at school, well 2/3 are back at school. Ashlynn is looking for work. Dance has started. The routine of fall is upon us. School meetings, dance meetings, church meetings.. meetings of the great minds no worries I have not been invited to that one... see above sentance about memory. Enough said on that.

Summer highlight bullets....

*Selling KICS Lemonade at the Burnaby Farmers Market

*10 days on the Oregon coast.

*Blowing a glass float

*Camping with friends who had never camped.

* A freezer full of local raspberries, blackberries and blueberries


*Good books

*Great visits with good people

* A few good movies

* Iced Cinnamon Dolce Lattes.... I had the first hot one the other day. That is a sure sign that summer has drawn to an end.

Hopefully one day soon there will be photos, if I remember. Also I am working on another Idea for a blog, that will hopefully launch soon. (Scary, now that I have put that there I have got to get cracking.... )

Much more to come on that at a later date... not too much later.

Happy Wendy????

Monday, June 14, 2010

5 min... really?

There are a lot of things that can be completed in 5 min.
Sweep a floor
Read a picture book to a preschooler
Clean a toilet
Phone the doctor to make an appointment
Put in a load of laundry
Make a good cup of coffee
Write a thank you note
Write a cheque
Listen to phone messages
Decide what to make for dinner
Make a phone call to a friend
Take out the trash
Answer an email
Read a short magazine article
Make a bed
Water a plant
Dust a shelf
Catch up on a favorite blog
Put on hand cream
Checking Facebook status' (or update) wait, who are we fooling, no one can go on facebook for just 5 min.

However one does not expect to wait 5 min at one of these......

Last night we found out that you can indeed wait at an intersection for a light to change for 5 min. Yup, we timed it (that is the sort of fun we have in our house on a Sunday evening!)
This is an intersection close to our house, a very common route for us to drive, me more so during the day, Royd in the evening. During the day it changes quite regularly however, Royd has noticed is quite slow on the change, especially later on in the evening. So last night at 11:40 pm, when we arrived at the intersection, he pulled out his watch and timed it. ... one min, two min, which is about how long Royd thought the change took on a slow night. Three min, at 4 min I remembered that I had the small camera in my purse and took a picture. Not too sure why I did not take one of the clock on the dashboard, oh well. At about 4.5 min a bus pulled in behind us. We thought about jumping out of the van and asking the bus driver if he does this route often and if he has noticed that this particular light is extremely slow in changing at this hour. At the moment we were discussing this option, the light in the opposite direction turned yellow... 5 min. We got the green arrow and go. Now we are wondering, if the bus had not pulled up how long we really would have been waiting. My guess is tops 20 min, that is how often the buses run!
Oh, I could walk home from that intersection in just over 5 min!

Friday, June 4, 2010

No where near 40 days and 40 nights.....

However it is likely around 40 seconds that saved us from a minor not so natural disaster. Whew, timing really is everything. No harm done, and oddly enough it caused gales of laughter, well maybe that is not so odd around here!

Teryn and I were watching a "My Life in Ruins" as Ashlynn was doing dishes. Distracted because she had never seen the movie, she was standing in the living room watching as the kitchen sink filled with water. A fair bit of time passed as she stood there, all of a sudden it dawned on me, hmm I hear water running and all bodies home are in this room. I yelped.... "UM... the water is running who is in there" Which snapped Ashlynn out of her dazed distraction with a dash to the kitchen that could have broken world records, to rescue the kitchen from flooding. The soap bubbles, were not quite at the Brady Bunch legendary laundry episode level, but very close to spilling onto the floor. The water less than a cm from the rim of the sink. Whew, one not so natural avoided.

This is what brought the gales of laughter

Then this, poor unsuspecting soul, still very much distracted by the movie......

Yup, pretty much a typical day around here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Story of the dress...

I had heard HORROR stories about grad & the costs. Dress, shoes, hair, nails, makeup, limo, photos, flowers, jewelry, dinner tickets, the list could go on and on, oh my! Some spoke of 1000's of $$$$ - YIKES - there is no way we could do that, not even close, nor do I see the need for such spending. However as a parent you do not want your child to be gypped, and honestly, you want them to feel a little spoiled, or at least I did. Graduation is a big deal, a major accomplishment and it deserves to be celebrated well. So I budgeted, tried to save, and in the end was very surprised, and very proud of my daughter for the decisions that she made. We came in under budget WAY under - As in our total was less than I had though we might have to spend for a dress. WHEW, one down 2 to go, but now I know it can be done, and done well, and I must add without conflict or drama.

Right from the beginning Ashlynn stated that she wanted to have a vintage dress, she had her heart set on it. Preferably a 50 / 60's era short we looked online to get an idea of what she wanted so I could actually be of some use in the stores. We set out one day in the middle of the Olympics and hit EVERY vintage, second hand store outside of the downtown core (excluding VV been there done that OFTEN already) saw some "possibilities" but nothing that screamed take me home.. wear me to grad. Several take me homes, but not for grad. Disappointed we headed home. Knowing that with vintage shopping they get new things weekly and the selection changes quickly, also knowing that when you see something you like you should buy it then and there because even if you come back the next day it could be gone. The key to vintage shopping, know what you want, do not settle and be willing to go back over and over. Sort of hard when you are on a time line. Day one, we learned that some vintage locations are far better than others, but then that could just be luck of the draw on that particular day.

On our second day out we decided to go back to the favorite of the favorites - Deluxe Junk, a Hilstad haunt from way back, Royd's sisters often took him there years ago when they were shopping together. Just to see if one of the "potentials" from the first trip happened to be there, sadly it was gone. However there were several other options, so the trying on began (I did not have her permission to take photo's there...sometimes the mamaratzi has to give into the wishes of teens) when she slipped on the 3rd dress of the day we all knew it was the one. Even the sales clerk said.. "Oh honey that dress is yours!" It fit like it was custom made for her, was in perfect condition and she loved it. Loved the style, loved the bead work, loved the colour. Momma loved the $85.00 price tag! BUT there is one other shop around the corner that she wanted to check out first before making the decision... The "perfect" dress was put on hold for an hour, we walked to the other store looked around tried on a few more that had potential but eventually headed back for the orange dress. WHEW! Done.. it was coming home with us.

While we were checking out, Ashlynn and I were having a discussion about shoes, what does one wear with an orange dress.... not black - too Halloween, white is boring! There is lovely sequin and rhinestone work on the upper bodice of the dress and I was making comment about if we bought silver shoes it would "bring out" the rhinestones... The poor sales clerk only heard the "bring out the rhinestones" part of the conversation and almost had a heart attack because she thought we were talking about taking OUT the rhinestones. She was ready to tell us we could not buy the dress if we were going to rip them out.... I was horrified, the rhinestones are stunning, and it would totally ruin the dress to remove them. I am sure that a great number of items purchased in such stores go home to be altered and changed, in some cases for the better, in this case it would be very sad. (Although it could be shortened and be quite beautiful at 3/4 length instead of floor length) It took a few min to explain we were discussing shoes and what colour etc not about altering the dress. She let out a HUGE sigh of relief when it was all figured out. Then we all laughed about how coming into a conversation part way through can be so
miss- leading, and in the end was happy that the dress was going to a home where it's authenticity would be valued.
Dress $85

Shoes $89

Hair $55

Tickets $90

Princess for a day PRICELESS!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I blinked....

I remember this like it was yesterday.

And this like it were the day after.

And here we are today.

13 years of education in her back pocket = Graduation.

A day of dress up & of friends

A day of sunshine and smiles

A day of limo rides and photos

A day of dancing and remembering

A day to feel like a princess and celebrate

Today I blinked and days, moments, flashed before my eyes.

The day I held her for the very fist time

The day I dropped her at Kindergarten and cried

Days in the campground when she could not walk

Laughter and giggles

Slides and Swings

Days of dancing in sheer delight

The days they are a changing. Today marks the first graduation in our home, this is a big deal. It represents change, change as it is supposed to be. Right? Our goal as parents is to love nurture and teach our children how to sucessfully soar. To find their place in this world, to adventure on their own journey. True, but in that sucessfull soaring we will be left behind, and that makes me a little sad. I am excited for what the future may hold for my precious daughter. Travel, education, employment, Love... Today I am a very proud momma, and will celebrate and rejoice my daughter and her accomplishments. Marvel at how far she has come and the delightful young woman she is. Enjoy her friends the laughter and giggles. Tell her I love her give her a hug.

For tomorrow, I will blink yet again, and likely shed a few tears - but not today. Today is for fun & celebrating & in true family fashion a little bit of sillines.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Here we go again...

My dad is in the hospital, YET again. Here we go. . let the fun and games begin. I wonder when it will stop, when it will end. I have no answer for that, no one does. This is dad's second visit this year, and we are not even to the 1/2 way point. His first visit lasted 6 weeks, involved surgery and a steel pin in his hip, DT's, nicotine with drawl, not fun. There were 2 visits last year, with more of the same. There is no-one that can answer the underlying question, how long this time? Is this the beginning of the end? Or is it simply round.. what ever # it is? Will he even come home? Or will we be playing this game for awhile longer? We certainly do not know, the doctors do not know, this is the slow, unpredictable, and painful death that is alcoholism. We were told years ago that it could be quick or it could be slow and painful, there were symptoms, ugly symptoms that would start appearing, they have, they are growing in intensity, and it is as the doctor said ugly. Despite them all he chose to continue down the same path, choosing the easy road, drinking to forget, drinking to avoid living life.

For those of you who know me know that for lack of a better words my relationship with my dad is at best strained. For those of you who do not I will ask you to trust me on that one. For years I held onto hope... hope that one day he would see the light, see that there is life beyond the beer bottle, local bar or 19th hole at the golf course. I guess until the last breath is taken there is always hope, and I will hope that just once he will want to see me, to talk to me, to repair what was broken long ago - hope is all I have. BUT ?

Is it wrong to hope that it is over soon? Is it wrong for a daughter to hope that time will be short for her dad. It sounds so cold, so wrong but I want this roller coaster ride to be over! And sadly it is not because I do not want him to suffer, which I do not, it is a selfish wish, I just want it all to be over, finished for once and all. For the games to stop, for the lies to stop, for the weariness to end. I am tired of wondering when it will end. Just plain tired of it all. Tired of the sorrow I see in my mom's eyes, the evasive answers when I ask her how she is doing, tired of seeing her held back to care for him. Tired of how his choices even now shadow my life.

I know that there are those of you out there that would not even remotely understand those questions, those of you who have great relationships with your fathers, those of you who will feel a hole when they are not here. Those of you who have lost your daddies and wish for just one more moment with them. For you who are in those shoes, you are blessed beyond measure, hold on tight, treasure that! It is a gift of gigantic proportions. I wished, and I dreamed of that for years, but I am not one of those girls.

I will always regret the fact that my dad chose the beer bottle over relationship with his family, that the draw of the drink was a greater draw than his children. I will always regret that, but I refuse to let my life be guided by regret, especially regret that was way way beyond my control. Forgiveness is a gift I gave myself a long time ago. Forgiveness for missed dance recitals, school programs, teacher meetings, promised rides or trips, I let it all go realizing that it was way out of my control. That there was nothing left for me to do to repair that relationship, it is crazy out of my control and only he could make those changes.

The whole thing just makes me sad, that deep in your heart achy kind of sad...sad for what should have been, could have been, what would have been if he made different choices. Yes I want it to end, but mostly I wish it could have been different.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Left on a jet plane....

Royd has flown the coop! No worries, no tears, if all goes according to plan he will return next Sunday morning. However when travelling one has to be flexible so we will see.....

The alarm went off at this morning EARLY (or late depending on your perspective)....

3:10 am!
What a good wife / friend I am. I was the designated driver, to have Royd and 2 others to the airport for 4:30ish AM....Yes that reads AM, and that is when my day started, or was it ending? The jury is out on that one as I really did not sleep much before. Being the night owl that I tend to be sometimes I thought that it would be worse to go to bed early and get up than it would be to stay up. I know many of you out there are groaning, knowing that it would not work that way for you. It has been o.k. I came home and had a Longish (3.5 hour) nap, or a short sleep depending on how you want to look at it. That worked quite quite well, it will not be a regular bed time tonight.... I am off to bed very soon. (and right now it is before 11:00).

Actually I quite enjoy going to the airport and time of day truly does not factor in. I have been known to drive from Vancouver to Seattle with an infant to visit a friend from the East Coast of the USA, who is on layover for a few hours, simply because I had not seen her in a few years and well, it would be a fun adventure. So do not feel too sorry for me I volunteered for the adventure, and would do it again in a heartbeat.

However it is all a little bit odd, there is something wrong with this picture...and it is just starting to sink in, Royd left today for a week in Cuba. On a plane, travelling further than he has ever gone before....without me. Do not get me wrong, it is about time he had the opportunity to go, to spread his wings, to see something new and I am happy he is able to go and truly happy that he is able to to this without me. Not that I would not love to go to Cuba... One day... down the road.... my turn will come. It's just odd, roles have switched.

It is odd being the one to drive away from departure drop off and standing on the curb watching the car drive off. It has never happened in all the years we have been together. It is usually me suitcase in hand, business trips, school trips, excited to be going. This is the first time I have been looking in the rear view mirror to see if they he is in the terminal or if he is waving. (there was no wave!) It felt a little odd, not bad or wrong, just odd. I know that this will be a great adventure and I am so glad he is able to go, however I am a little sad to be left behind, but it is all good. We will have adventures of our own while he is away. It has been a very full day, and one full of adventures for sure, more on that later when my brain is not so foggy from odd sleep patterns of the day.

So here I sit, at home...
The plane should be landing in Cuba in a few hours...
I wonder what the day will hold, if he will remember to put on the sunscreen, if he really did pack a hat? Oh well there is little I can do about that now. I do know that the 374 bracelet kits I made and sent for them to make with the kids they meet are in the suitcases and he has a camera.. I just hope that he actually takes it with him and uses it!
Now I am off to bed and one thing I know for sure is that the alarm will NOT be set for 3:10AM.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

ENOUGH already.......

It can end any time...
I have truly had ENOUGH...
Cancer, sucks.
Before I jump into my rant, let me say, so far I am still good. My health is good and my followups have been clear. (so far!) I am thankful, grateful to be sure, but in the back of my brain it always niggles away... will it return? Once you have faced this monster I think you will always have that niggle in the back of your head.
I am tired of hearing yet another person who has touched my life being attacked by this disease. New cases, some after being restored to health, others so young that they have no clue what is going on. Friends who have friends I do not know but hear about because they are dear to someone I care about. Diagnosis' , memorial services, treatment plans, questions because I have been there... It just seems like there is no end. . .


October, my new little friend Joey was diagnosed with Leukemia, he is 4 years old. His mom a long time friend lost her sister 17 years ago to the ugliness of the disease, now looking at her precious son and reliving it all again.

December - a friend sent me a Facebook message. Di... I have to come to Vancouver for tests at the cancer clinic can we get together for coffee. She stayed here, we laughed, we cried, we talked for a very long time. She now is on round 2 of chemo. Last week her great niece was diagnosed with cancer wrapped around her spine.... she is just over a year. Her Grandma, my friend dealing with her sister and granddaughter fighting 2 forms of this nasty beast. My heart breaks. My own fears are brought to the front of conscious thought.


Last night was the icing on the cake for me... As I heard a friend who had battled for a long time, had ugly treatments, been separated from her family for long periods of time, far from the comfort of home,who we thought was restored to health, has just been re-diagnosed. The ugly beast has reared it's ugly head, in a different location in her body, this time there seems to be not much they can do. It breaks my heart. She has 2 young children, has dreams to see them graduate, get married, have children, she wants grow old with her husband. She likely will never see those dreams come true. My heart screams.....


Thankfully we live in a country where treatment for said beast is available where we can visit a doctor, or a cancer clinic and receive treatment, where options are discussed and treatment plans set. At least for Cancer it is so. There is comfort in that, but sometimes not much. I long for the day we hear that a cure has been found.

For another acquaintance, living with Lyme disease this is not the case, 18 years ago we were in the same prenatal class, and she is a dear BFF to a cousin. I regularly read her blog and am humbled... her fight just to be treated here is daily is nothing compared to what I thought were my darkest days. Doctors refuse to treat this life threatening disease, she has been literally fighting for her life for years, then discovers her 2 sons also have Lyme... a disease that is said NOT to exist in Canada and doctors refuse to treat. A disease that attacks at the very core of one's being, disabling, searing pain... not only does she fight with all her might for her self, NOW she has to fight on behalf of her sons as well. It is not an easy fight....


I read their blogs & caringbridge sites, and all I can do is pray. It seems so little, yet I know that there is so much power in it that I swing from that rope regularly. I hang onto faith - grateful that these friends share that same faith, that they tap into this source of hope and power. Still feeling that it is so little to do, yet it is all important that I do. It is in that faith that there is hope.. hope that cures will be found, systems will be changed, lives will be restored.
Last night I simply prayed ENOUGH ALREADY because no other words were needed to express what my heart was feeling.

Each of these stories have touched my heart deeply, reminding me that our stories, weather good or bad, happy or sad are just that our stories and they need to be told. Need to be shared because those stories are part of my story. Their lives touch and will continue to touch mine, I learn from them, I am humbled by them, I am in awe of God's grace and the strength that each possess in the midst of difficulty. These stories, interlocked, entwinded into my life, my STORY.

If you wish to join me, there is never enough people petitioning the throne of God... here are their stories. Each of them would covet your prayers. If you read them, I am sure their stories will touch your lives, entwine with your own story as we all are touched far too often by cancer.

I will continue to pray because I firmly believe that through Prayer all things are possible and it is truly ENOUGH ALREADY!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I miss her still...

Today I was thinking about posting my top 10 Olympic moments then I noticed the date, March 1st. My Gran would have turned 96 today, had she not passed 12 years ago. The Olympics will have to wait, as my head is full of Gran memories...

12 years
Oh how they have flown by, truly in the blink of an eye. Memories are held much dearer, the tears flow less frequently, but they still sneak up at the oddest times. Like when I open my recipe book cupboard.. It smells like her house. Or sitting in the middle of a theater performance and the actress says or does something - even humorous - that is just like Gran, the flood waters open up! No warning.

Someone once told me that the depth of your love and caring can be measured by the number of tears that you shed. I shed LOTS of tears, my kids tease me often about them - forget the simple eye roll, I get the whole body roll. Oh Canada gets me every time, as do sad stories in books or in movies. Oh well! I make no apology for them at all. They are as much a part of my personality as is my being left handed. There is little I can do or choose to do about them.... I just let them flow. One would think I would always remember to carry tissue, sadly not so much....

12 years
I wonder if she would recognize the girls, now 17, 16 and 14. They are beautiful young women, then they were adorable little girls. Interestingly enough each of them have their own unique memories of Great Grandma P - I love that. Though she is gone she is often talked about. Her zest and love of life, people and places are things I want to instill in my girls. Much of who I am today is because of who she was, and how she viewed life.

12 years
The world is a different place and as much as I would love to spend just one more day with her I would not wish her back to a 96 year old body or life in a nursing home. I am thankful for the life she lived and she lived it well. I am thankful for the time I had, the lessons I gleaned and the laughter we shared. 12 years or 20 I will always have that.

12 years and 12 memories...

My first movie in a real theater was with my Gran. Disney's "Song of the South".

Sleep overs at Grans were met with homemade waffles and milkshakes for breakfast.
(sshh do not tell your mom you had a milkshake for breakfast!)

Trips to the flea market at the drive in theater where she taught me the skill of bartering. She could get anyone to come down to a dime on most items (likely not really, but it seemed like that to me way back then)

She gave me my first camera. My love of all things photo related were encouraged by her, nurtured by hours sitting side by side on her couch looking at all her photo albums.

Trips to Stanley Park, riding the miniature train and going to the Zoo.. yes there really was a zoo at Stanley park. We would mimic the monkeys and avoid the bat cage. (She understood my great fear)

Gran always had our best interest at heart... Each visit usually netted a dollar or 2 with a hushed no go out to the garage and visit with Grandpa and do not tell him I gave you any money.... So off to the garage we would go and Grandpa would hand us a dollar or 2 and pretty much tell us the same thing... Do not tell Gran. Too funny, I am sure they knew what was going on but for me it was a great game. Not to mention profitable.

Never did we make it through a dinner with out the announcement of dessert, often we did not even get our food on our plates before she was telling us to leave room for dessert. It often went like this... Butter Tarts (her signature), Apple Pie, Lemon Pie (my fave), Flapper Pie (my Dad's favorite)and if my uncle was there Raisin pie (eww still makes me cringe!) and there was ALWAYS ice cream just in case no one wanted pie. Dessert was a big deal to Gran.

She taught me how to crochet. She tried to teach me to knit, however my being left handed hindered that in a big way. My 12th birthday gift - my first grandma made afghan is still one of my faves, snuggling under it is like a hug straight from her.

Long road trips (from Vancouver to 100 Mile) stopping at every bus station (we were driving) for snacks (she brought 3 10 gallon pails full of snacks... but never felt like what she packed at the time the bust station came into view) The 4 hour trip must have taken 8.

Hours and hours of singing silly songs at the top of our lungs. Songs about peanuts & rail road tracks or Pickles and nickles... Good times for sure.

One of my all time favorite Gran moments happened at the airport. Gran had been visiting a nephew in Korea for an extended length of time and we were at the airport to pick her up. We waited and waited, we knew the plane had landed, but there was no sign of Gran. We waited and watched the monitor some more, Dad was getting impatient, Mom was getting a little worried. Then I heard laughter that sounded like Gran.. Looking around I did not see her, then I heard my name. There standing not 4 feet from us was Gran... Grey hair and all! Grey, WOW, when she left it was her traditional jet black. She could not get to a hair dresser in Korea so she decided to let the black grow out. She walked right past us at the airport and stood and watched us stew. I laughed even then.

My Gran never met a stranger, each person that crossed her path was a potential friend and a friend was a friend for life. She taught me the value of laughing at yourself - if you can laugh at yourself, when others laugh at you it will not hurt! No one could cook like Gran but I learned a few tricks.

Yes it has been 12 years and I still miss her, I still occasionally shed a tear, but I have memories that will last a life time and for that I will forever be grateful!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Haiti on my heart.....

As news coverage fades and people return to what was normal for them and try to forget the tragedy that happened in Haiti, my heart swims with the desire to help. For fear of sounding like a broken record... Haiti NEEDS our help.. will NEED our help for years if not decades to come. We in North America are in a position to help in a powerful way and likely not feel the pinch of it, and you know what, so what if we do feel a little pinch, sometimes feeling the hurt, suffering and tragedy of others makes us better because of that experience. Remember our little "pinch" is nothing in comparison.

I am blessed with a wide circle of friends and acquaintances people who have crossed my path, walked a while, or are still trudging with me in this journey called life. Amazing people with stories to tell, hearts that want to help and creative ways to make that happen.

Natasha, a friend and former employee at Remember Me was part of a "FlashMob" Dance at a local mall last week - done for fun as well as in hopes to raise $$$ to send to Haiti. Check out You Tube here to see the dance, but also to be counted as a viewer. They are hoping to have corporate sponsorship match dollar for dollar the number of views the video receives. It will only take a few minutes of your time and is fun to watch.

Another friend Jacki has asked me to help on another amazing adventure - Saturday Feb 20 & Sunday Feb 21 - a container truck will be located at Coquitlam Center to collect diapers, formula, powdered baby food etc to send to Haiti. They have a sponsor to cover the $10,000 shipping costs, connections in the Dominican Republic who will get the goods to orphanages in Haiti where help is desperately needed. For more information see the Facebook Events page that has been set up, Tricities Helping Haiti's Babies. We are hoping to fill the 40 foot trailer (also donated) in those 2 days and have it shipped ASAP. The Facebook events page lists specific items being accepted.

Just two more little ways we can help that honestly will not pinch us too much.

On a happy note, our friends who have been awaiting their arrival of 2 Haitian boys are pinching themselves to make sure they are not living in a dream. After 4.5 long years of waiting, piles and piles of paperwork, trips to visit, sad goodbyes the boys are safe in their arms. They arrived this past week in Ottawa, where Jen and Travis flew to meet their plane and welcome them to Canada. This is just the beginning of the journey for this family, please continue to pray as they adjust to life together, it is all new and though they ecstatic to have the boys here with them, the reality is the boys come from a different culture, have seen things that many of us can not even imagine and are now in an environment that is totally foreign to them..... the journey will be long but one filled with hope and tons of love.

It is good to know that some good can come out of such tragedy... 2 small boys in the arms of their new mamma and daddy or those of us who have been challenged to give and who are blessed in knowing that even just a little bit we have been able to be a part of something much bigger than our normal narrow everyday lives.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A super easy way to help and offer HOPE

Help Haiti..... it will only take a minute of time (serriously, you will never miss the minute!) GO now. Please!

Then pass it on to all you know - we can help make a difference to so many.
That's all for today.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I have been stewing over what to write in regards to the situation in Haiti. I do not even know where to begin..... so I will start with a link to Jen's blog " A Nickle's worth of Common Sense". Jen is a cousin by marriage, a woman with a huge heart and one who spent time in Haiti many years ago. Go see the video that she put together it is worth 4 min of your time.

My heart aches!

I can not fathom this level of despair.

I want to help.

We have in small monetary ways.

We pray.... I know it all helps, but I want to do more. It seems so insignificant.... I am speechless, I look at images, I want to wrap my arms around those who are young who have lost parents, parents who have lost children....

I read of locals who sit and wait to hear from loved ones who are there - communication is sparse.

I have never been to Haiti, but know people who have... Who's stories have pierced my heart.

I have friends who are in (and have been for quite sometime) process of adopting 2 boys from a Haitian orphanage, who fear they will have to start the process all over again because their paperwork is likely buried under tons of twisted steel and concrete.

Thankfully they have heard that the boys are o.k. . This is good news - but o.k. somewhat a relevant term. The orphanage they call home is damaged, food and water supplies scarce... but they are o.k. physically. Emotional scars from such a tragedy will be deep and long term.

Here in Canada we really have no idea, even the poorest of poor can not grasp not knowing where they can get a glass of water. Right now in Hatti the MAJORITY of the population does not have access to a glass of water..... think about that. We want water, we turn a knob and have water. INSTANTLY....

Last week our water was cut off for about 2 hours due to an "OOPS" by some guys working on some pipes., we were wondering how dinner would come together, if we should flush or not flush, and how long we would be inconvenienced - how petty on my part I think those worries are now in light of this tragedy.

I encourage you to step out, to give to help. To give out of your great wealth to help where the need is great.... there are lots of great organizations that are already there in Hatti, on the ground in the middle of it all who are set up to help.

World Vision (Donations made before Feb 12, will be met dollar for dollar by the Canadian Government - that means your dollar will go twice as far to help)
Christian Reform Mission (this is the organization that Jen refers to in her video - the Church she goes)
Compassion Canada
Red Cross
Samaritan's Purse (These are the people who distribute the Operation Christmas Child boxes at Christmas time - world wide)
Salvation Army
His Home (This is the orphanage that our friends boys call home, for now! Hopefully soon Burnaby will be home.)

I encourage you to step up, to give, to help. To give out of your great wealth to help where the need is great. Donations of any size can make a difference. The organizations listed above are reputable, there in Haiti right now offering aid, they can be trusted. They are registered charities and in most cases donations will be issued a tax receipt.

I know that there are many other great things happening to help all in Haiti. It is not important how you give or through whom, what is important is that we do. Heck, even Walmart is taking donations to be sent via the Red Cross. I found that out when I went to return a duplicate DVD we received at Christmas, I just turned around and told them to give the refund cash to the Haiti efforts... I certainly did not miss $$ it was painless, and the least I could do.
What will you do?