WELCOME!!

this blog is a place for me to empty my brain in a diary sort of way, but also to share various family news, house building progress and whatever happens to pop into my mind! a place to ventilate! since I live in a country where I haven't grasped the language all that well yet, and I happen to be a person who really likes to socialize, I guess here I can get the "yakking" out of me! if you happen to have a good time "listening" - I take that as an added bonus! have a good day - it will only be as good as you want it to be!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Update...

Hello there!!

So, it's suddenly July and the last month was a blur of activity.
We have done our fair share of house prep and planning, our 3rd daughter graduated with much pomp and circumstance from elementary school, there was a work trip for my hubby that I went along for (just one night), we've had visitors and over night company, and guess what?
Summer.
Glorious summer.
It arrived!!
I think I'm going to subscribe to this beautiful weather for a long time, it feels SO good!!  Visiting the gorgeous beaches, playing in the park, swimming in our pool, eating ice-cream, tanning on the deck...we've done it all.

Today is a big day!
Last night the digger arrived and today they are excavating our lot and house building is starting within a short amount of time!  Still seems a bit weird that we are actually building again, but also really exciting.

I just wanted to leave a brief update to let you all know what's going on at the moment, and I'll try to keep updating as the house project advances.



Thursday, May 21, 2015

Never a dull moment...

Our life is usually pretty busy.
The last few years have been especially so.
As many of you know, we've moved overseas twice and moved twice in addition to that, since summer 2010.
We built a house in Finland, and before that we had a house that was built for us, but that we finished the basement, deck, fence, driveway and yard on. Our first home was a tiny shoe box that we lived in for 3 years that we did some major renovations on, while living in it.
Anyway, with life being so full of constant change, you get a bit addicted to things happening on a regular basis.

This last year included a new baby, a move, hubby starting his own business and lots of snow.
Not sure what the snow had to do with this, but it was worth adding.
I have maintained that "We are not making ANY big decisions or changes for at least another year!".
But between breaths we have of course talked about all sorts of big plans, mostly regarding our next house. We have realized that buying an older house is not worth it where we live now, so we pretty much "have" to build again....
So, since we are fairly crazy and often forget what we just "decided" only a few days ago, we bought a lot!

Oops....

So yeah, we are building a house!  Chop, chop, here we go again!!  Wish us luck!
I am actually very excited, this will give me something to do, and to blog about ;)


On a side note I'd like to add that our friends that had the apartment fire are doing really well.  The husband has made some remarkable steps forward in the last 24 hours, and we have much reason to Thank God for this.  Please keep them in your prayers.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Luxury problems.

We went on a trip this past weekend.  On Saturday we attended a wedding (it was beautiful!) and I realized that our 7 year old daughter only brought her high top sneakers along for the trip, so no dressy shoes to wear for church.
A luxury problem.
We enjoyed some really warm days during our time away, however, with 10 people in our Suburban, and no AC, we did't enjoy driving a whole lot.
A luxury problem.
I got frustrated upon returning home, to literally freezing temperatures (think, snow in the air).
A luxury problem.

I could go on and on, but you probably get the picture.
Our days are filled with these luxuries.  
"This coffee isn't that great!"
"How did you manage to wreck ANOTHER pair of pants?"
These are things that are a real annoyance at the moment, and I think we wouldn't be human if we never complained or vented for vain reasons.

But what if one morning your whole life was turned upside down between going to bed and sunrise? 
What if a fire caused this change?
What if you lost almost everything you had to this fire?
What if your spouse was in critical condition from hot, toxic smoke inhalation?

I'm not saying we should walk around in fear all day, waiting for something terrible or sad or scary to happen.  That's not a way to live life.  God wants us to be happy and enjoy the life he blessed us with.  But isn't it easy to get caught up in all the little silly things?
Isn't it easy to compare oneself to others in many ways.  They have more of this, they have a nice car, how could they afford that house?  How are they raising their kids?  Why this and why that?
Well, so far I haven't received any medals for doing so great.
I have however been blessed with a lot.  In every aspect of the word.
That's why this terrible fire that changed our dear friends lives in just a few minutes, have been such an important reminder for me.

It is hard to write about this accident, and I sure hope that this dear lady who lost so much will be OK with me writing this.  I know she'll read this at some point and she'll shake her head and think I'm silly for writing this, but I will write it anyway.
This lady IS one of the sweetest, most thoughtful and gentle persons I have ever met.
She is quick to smile, laughs easily, has a fun sense of humor and is liked by everyone that knows her.  I have never heard a bad word spoken about her.  
When I moved to Canada she was one of the people who really helped me feel welcome, always making a point to talk to me.
Now, seeing her in this sad and heavy trial, she is inspiring me again.
I saw her this weekend and she still had her amazing spirit intact.
She happily went through all the bags with donated clothing, amazed by the generosity of her friends.  She felt like it was Christmas!
She told some funny stories and we had some good laughs.  
Her heart is heavy though.  Her traveling companion is in the hospital.  In lots of pain.  My husband and I went there and it hurt to see him in pain, heavily sedated.
It must be so, so hard for her to see him like that.  

Times like these help keep things in perspective.  You realize what matters.  I have had a few trials that affected me like that during my marriage.  When our 3rd daughter was diagnosed with diabetes at age 2, and she barely made it. When I suffered my miscarriage at 20 weeks.
I look back at those times and realize that the pain is still there.  Those days and weeks were hard.  But despite sometimes wishing things would have turned out different, there's a part of me that's so thankful for those trials. Without them I would have never experienced the amazing outpour of love and care.  So many prayers, thoughtful cards, text messages, phone calls, gifts etc, somehow I wouldn't want to have NOT had those trials, since I learned so much from them and in the end they strengthened my faith.

I hope, wish and pray our dear friends, who are now going through such a hard time, one day can look back and say "Despite it all, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way!"

So, today I will try to remind myself to appreciate my health, the sunshine, my lukewarm coffee, sticky floors and loud kids.
Things could truly be harder.  Much, much harder.

 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Spring is my thing!

Hello!

I hope I have enough time to compose a little something.
I realized exactly a whole month went by since my last entry, and although nothing too earth shaking has taken place since then, I figured I'd at least say a polite "Hello!".

Guess what?  The snow is gone.  Yup.  True story.  It sure didn't look like it had plans of leaving, at all, ever. But it did!!  (Let's all give the snow a round of applause for realizing that it was time to bid farewell, for this time).
I have spotted spring flowers.  Yup.  Just like that.  They hardly gave the snow enough time to depart, before they decided to greet us with their lovely selves.  Thank you, spring flowers, for arriving, you made me very happy.

We are still enjoying temperatures around freezing, but we have also had a few "heat waves" when the kids enjoyed wearing just short sleeved shirts outside!!
They have had time to ride their bikes, play soccer and football and other sports.
I have had time to enjoy driving on bare roads and taking walks, feeling pavement under my feet!

So, I guess we can safely say that the arrival of spring has been the most important happening in the last month!  I appreciate all seasons, really I do, but between you and me, I think winter overstayed its welcome this year.  It can be a bit rude like that.

What else?  Our adorable baby is walking, started a few weeks ago, and it's SOOO cute!!  She'll be ONE on May 3rd.  And no, I have no clue where that time went.  I do know that we have enjoyed her so very much though.  So much so that my old self is almost catching a case of the baby fever.  Almost.

Hubby has been blessed with more work than he has time for.  When you are running your own business, the most assuring feeling is knowing you have enough work ahead of you, so we are feeling very blessed.  And the fact that he works from home sure is an extra bonus.  We have traveled some lately, and he just brings the laptop along and works while I drive!  Pretty neat!

Oldest daughter is doing well, between 11th grade, work and boyfriend.  She dreams of moving out soon, and I am getting ready for her departure!  Nothing is happening yet, but maybe this summer!  I used to wonder how you as a parent get ready/prepare for your children moving out/growing up.  Well, now I know. Them becoming teenagers, never being home in the first place, and acting like a 3rd adult in the house (but not paying any bills), help.
I love her so much and we have such nice visits, but at some point, your little princess becomes BIG!  And this new, bigger child, needs to try her own wings, and I want her to do that.  Not so I can say "See!, it's not that easy!" (well, maybe a little bit because of that too...), but because LIFE!!  You need to learn to stand on your own two legs, and I feel that she's very ready to do so, making her own mistakes, forming her own habits.  So whenever it happens, I'm ready to send her on her merry way!

Daughter number 2 is doing so, so well, but we have our ups and downs.  I just found out some things she'd done when she wasn't feeling so well. (last fall)  Things that made me sad, upset and surprised to hear about. It's one of the worst feelings as a parent to find out stuff that your child has done, and you feel like everyone else knew, but you.  I don't want to seem like the kind of parent who thinks that MY kid could never do wrong.  I know they can.  I know I did.  But it's still hard when you realize that bad things happen.
Fortunately all is taken care of and she corrected what she did wrong, what more can I ask?
In school she's gone from failing 2 classes (pre adhd medication), to being in the top of her class!! (post medication).  Quite amazing!, and I'm so happy for her.
She literally LOVES going to school.
So, over all, she's doing amazing.  Her mood is great, almost all the time, she's way less anxious, and she just seems HAPPY!!

The rest of the gang is chugging along.  2 more months of school, and we hope to enjoy a LONG, nice and waaarm summer.  I'm eyeing the pool, waiting for the last layer of ice to melt away.  We have lots of stuff going on in the next few months, our 3rd daughter will be graduating from elementary school, and in the fall we'll have 3 kids in high school!  Weird how fast they grow up.
Good thing we have our little girl as a reminder of the baby years, otherwise I might have already forgotten about the night feedings, dirty diapers, teething etc.  But just like the seasons change, so does our life, and I'm doing my best at enjoying these years, since I'm starting to realize just how fast they go by!

Happy spring wherever you are!


Friday, March 27, 2015

We had a great time!

Time to play catch up.
This month sure went fast, and I can not believe Easter is only a week away!  We still have LOTS of snow around here and the nightly temperature goes well below freezing.
But the spring sun is showing its face on a regular basis now days and the evenings are getting longer, so somehow it does after all feel like SPRING!  And it smells springy.
Yum.

We had a wonderful, amazing, fun, intense and busy trip to Florida.
We left our town on Sunday the 8th of March.  I started the morning with a trip to urgent care, since I in a very untimely manner managed to catch mastitis (breast infection).  I was running a fever and felt like a truck had hit me and then run me over.  So by the time I had gotten antibiotic for my infection, it was 1 pm before we hit the road.  I rested during the drive and the kids were thankfully great travelers.  We made it down to Windsor around 8.30 pm and visited my husband's brother and his family.  I was pretty wiped, but it's always nice to see those familiar faces.

We were fortunate to spend two nights at my in-laws, and my husband worked from their house while I recovered and thankfully felt better by the time we left on Tuesday.
I appreciate the fact that my husband can work from anywhere these days, it makes our life very flexible. Such a blessing for us.

We came to Detroit airport around 12.30 pm and checked in and ate lunch and hung out, watching planes take off and land.  Our flight was a bit delayed, but after a 2 hrs 50 min flight, we landed safely in Fort Myers, Florida, at around 6.30-7.00 pm.
When we walked out of the airport our 7 year old daughter finally got to see a REAL life "pom" tree (she thought until recently that's what they are called), and she ran up and hugged it :)
We picked up our rental van and drove the 35 min to our rental house.
It felt so amazing to actually be there!  The house we rented was really nice, nothing fancy, but perfect for a family with lots of kids.  We picked up pizza and some groceries and made beds etc, and then crashed for the night, quite tired after a long day.

The following week was filled with fun!  My hubby was able to get some hours of work done during the days, but otherwise we visited many beaches (they are SO beautiful!), went to a nice little zoo, spent a very fun day at a water park and did some mall strolling and a bit of shopping.
Leading up to our trip the kids had earned "Florida Bucks", a few cents here and there for helping out, so now they got to spend those money on little things.
One evening we went to the pier in Naples and watched the sunset.  A gorgeous evening!

We had a few visits to the Dr's while there, and our baby was sick with a cold, that led to a burst ear drum, but fortunately she was well by the time we headed home.
We had to get up at 4 am on Wednesday March 18th (our oldest daughter's 17th birthday!!) in order to catch our flight back home. We spent the last night in a hotel close to the airport, so it wasn't a far drive. We landed in Detroit at 9 am and I drove most of the way home, after sleeping for all of 2 hours!  It was not super awesome to return to lots of snow and cold, but hey!, I'm not going to complain after being able to go on a trip like that!!

Seeing our kids by the ocean, feeding a giraffe, riding on a camel and many, many other neat moments, I feel so fortunate and grateful.  This was my 40th birthday wish, and I can't believe it actually came true!  So I will try to handle a few more weeks....or maybe even a month?? of snow.

Happy spring everyone!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Live and bloom!

I am very fortunate, in many ways.  One of the ways is the fact that I have good friends, like, really awesome friends who love and like me, are there for me, no matter how pathetic, whiny, down, sad, happy, weird, corny I am.
My number one friend is obviously my Hubby, but besides him, I have many others.
Some of them are my siblings and my "spare sister", she's a really good friend of our family, and as close to a sister you can be, without actually being one.
She laughs at us (us being my siblings and I) when we act weird or typical for our family.
She's also a very funny, sarcastic and honest friend, and she will tell you how it is, the good and the bad, and remind us to cheer up when we are down, but at the same time shows empathy and understanding for our sometimes pessimistic moments.

Anyway, this last month was rough for me, due to the cold and snow.  I already blogged about it, so I won't lament on how much it dragged on.  However, my good friend reminded me to "Live and bloom where you are planted!"
It hit home.
Such simple words, but also so true.
I know that God guided us to be where we are for a reason.  We were meant to move here, and in many ways it's a really good place for us to live at.  But I felt like I was wilting lately.  I forgot to water and nourish myself.  I allowed myself to look at the negative and dwell over things I have no control over and can't change.  What a waste of time!  Or maybe not.  Because it also gave me time to vent and reflect over many things, and that is important, I think.
Reminding myself to "Live and bloom", put my mind in a good place.
It made me think "What can I do to improve my situation?" (Because no one else will do it for me)
"What can I do for others, to help improve their lives...?"
Well, that list is endless.  There's always something you can do for others.  And when I find myself spending too much time dwelling on things that drag me down, I try to do something for someone else, and it pretty much always make me feel better.

Don't start thinking I am this great person who do all sorts of great stuff for others, because I'm not.
It might be small things, like reading a book for one of the kids, asking one of my teens about their day, taking time to really listen, and before I know it, my focus has shifted and I feel uplifted.

Talking about feeling uplifted.  Last night I had a great chat with our 15 year old.  Our daughter that had a really hard time last fall.
It's been about 3-4 months now since she was at her lowest.  Back then I felt so much inner turmoil, so many questions unanswered.  What was the best thing to do?  Will people judge?  Will people think we picked the "easy route" if we put her on medication?  (which in NO WAY is an easy route, trust me!).
There are so many kids now days that are diagnosed with "something".  If our daughter got a diagnosis, would she be a number in the statistics of families hopping on the bandwagon of some new "trend"?

Well, I can not answer for anyone else but ourselves.  And it IS startling how many kids are diagnosed with something and given medication these days.
BUT!  That doesn't mean our daughter shouldn't get the help she needed.  Maybe she's a number in some book.  But she's also our child.  She also needs to be able to feel happy and be able to succeed in school.
So, together with several professionals, we decided to give her a low dose of antidepressant for her anxiety and give that some time before doing anything else.  We could all see a change for the better, and she felt better, happier and less anxious, however, her ability to concentrate in school was still very poor.
Our daughter was recognized as a "gifted child" at age 8-9 after going through several hours of testing in grade 3.  So we know that learning comes easy to her, in pretty much all areas.  But her lack of ability to focus, put many of her strengths to shame.
So after trying several other changes, including removing wheat and sugar from her diet (which did help her to some extend), making sure she got enough sleep, ate well, moved around a lot etc, we decided to put her on medication for her ADHD.

I had tears in my eyes when I walked back to the car, carrying her prescription in a bag.  What was this stuff that I was going to give my child?  Had we really tired it all?  This stuff is a narcotic.  It just sounds so BAD! No, it wasn't easy.  And the Dr did not prescribe it without a thorough evaluation and many visits and counseling.  And maybe way too many kids are given medication... but there and then, I prayed that we were doing the right thing for OUR child.
We are very fortunate that she has a positive nature and an optimistic outlook on life.  We are blessed with her having many promising talents and gifts.  She's blessed with a strong, healthy, beautiful body, face and personality.
She's a great, funny, sarcastic girl, and I truly enjoy being her mom.
I have also spent many hours, especially in the last year, crying on her behalf.  Seeing that she was struggling. Her schooling was suffering.  She was not happy.

Two weeks have gone by and she's taken her meds on school days.  She's not drugged up or out of it. She's eating and sleeping well.  She's smiling and is way calmer and a lot more focused and collected.  Last night we had a good chat.  I felt such great happiness for her sake.  Her beaming face, telling me how math is now "SO EASY!!!".  She can finally stay focused enough to get through each class, ahead of all the other students (not like that really matters, but just to show what an improvement it has been for her!).
She said she gets upset when lunch hour rolls around "Because then I can't do anything academic!".

So today I am happy.  And I shall do my best to bloom and live, for my sake and for my family's sake.  And I am thankful for modern medicine.  When used properly, for its intended purpose, it's a wonderful blessing in a young girl's life.








Friday, February 27, 2015

Stupid feelings....

Ugh.  Feelings can be so frustrating.  I sometimes wish I could switch to robot mode.  Just "function" and chug along and not question anything.
But that wouldn't be living, would it?

First off, I like living where we live.  Minus 5 months of snow.  5 months is a big part of the year btw, so it does get kind of long.  I didn't grow up with long winters, and although I truly enjoy all the seasons of the year, and would not exactly want to live where there's summer all year long, these winters get to me.  I am not dying to hit the slopes or skating rink.  I prefer taking walks without slipping on ice and freezing my nose off.
But, I can live with it.  It's OK, life goes on.
I love how close everything is here.  Within 10-15 minutes I can get to most places.
People are very friendly, in the stores, at the schools and at the various Dr's offices I've been to.
Life is at a slower pace in general.
I like all those things.
There's enough shopping, and if I need to cross over to the US, it's a quick drive and hardly ever any long lines at customs.  I can easily tank up the car, do some shopping and run errands and be back in Canada in just over an hour.
We have lots of great friends and the kids like their school etc.
We hope to buy or build a house and are looking in to different options.  My husband likes his job and the people he works with and for.

Yup.  That's all really good and dandy!

So why do I get homesick for Windsor?
I find myself daydreaming of living there again.  It's hard.
It would not "make sense" for us to move back there, although we would be totally fine living there too, but we'd give up a lot of conveniences if we did.

Well, this is just a vent.  I need to get it off my chest.  I guess it's good to be open minded in life, knowing that we are able to live in many areas and be happy.  And over all I AM happy here. I am.  I'm just homesick for home....
Fortunately we are heading down there soon, so hopefully that'll give me my "fix" and I'll be good to go for a while!!

Anyway.  Time will tell what's meant to be, but today I will be homesick for home.