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!

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.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Happy 40!

I really need to write.  Seems like my head is full and I need to let my thoughts find their way out through my fingers, through the keyboard, in to the computer.
First of all, I turned 40!
Yup.
Just like that.
It just snuck up on me, without a warning or gentle nudge.
I just woke up on Sunday morning, and there I was, a decade older...

I really can't say I've had any kind of crisis, or stressed about it, but because age IS a topic of discussion, it's hard not to ponder, even a little bit.
I had hopes of being "Fab at 40".  And although my hubby thinks I am (thanks!), I had hoped to feel "more" fabulous.  And it has bothered me a bit that I'm not.  I'm not even sure of what I picture it to be, but I guess in better shape, better looking, better.... just, better.
But then my brain got thinking.  And remembering.
And I felt fabulous, as in "fabulously dumb".
I look back at my lab work that I had done just before Christmas, following a physical.  ALL my levels were perfect.  My Dr told me "You are healthy as a horse!".
My weight is, well, considering I've carried 8 babies to term, within reason.  I have hair on my head and a smile on my face (I'm aiming for laugh wrinkles as I age, rather than the frowny ones).
I eat well and I enjoy food.  I am able to nurse my baby and keep her nourished.
I do not suffer daily pains or aches.  Most mornings I get out of bed without problems (unless you consider "sleep deprived due to nursing baby 3-5 times a night" a problem).

I AM FABULOUSLY BLESSED WITH GOOD HEALTH!!

Yes.  I had to shout that out like that.  Because it is often so easy to take this good health for granted.  And I shouldn't.  I should start each morning with a grateful sigh, thanking God he's kept me healthy.  Healthy for myself and my family.  Because that's a huge blessing.

I suffered from depression and severe anxiety some 10-13 years ago.  I wasn't able to go grocery shopping. I'd have anxiety attacks just reading my shopping list.  Even if I went without kids and had all the time in the world to end the task.  I just couldn't.  Thankfully my hubby could.
I stressed easily and would get splitting headaches from it.
I had days when I sat on the couch.  I'd feed the kids, make sure they were safe and fine, but I wasn't happy.  I didn't enjoy many things in life.  When I was around people I was pretty good at keeping up a brave face.  But I wasn't happy.  I was depressed.
I was, however, thinner and younger, and maybe even better looking than now.
But I wasn't happy.

God has been with me and my family through those times, and I know, I really do know, how very blessed I am to have strong mental health these days.
I laugh a lot.  From my heart.  Big, real, belly laughs, that reaches every crow's foot by the corners of my eyes.
I am way more relaxed.  I am more patient.  I judge less.  I love life.  I am older and heavier and well, not so great looking any more.  But I feel fabulous, and that's a fabulous feeling!

Wishing all of us a healthy, happy year.
And if you feel the way I used to feel, please take care of yourself.  There's no shame.  You deserve it, your family deserves it.  Life is short, don't forget to live it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hello, 2015!

I turned around, and next thing I know, it's a new year!
Happy New Year, all of you.

We celebrated a very nice Christmas with my husbands parents and some of his siblings.  Fun as usual!  Our oldest daughter LOVED her trip to Sweden, I'm so glad she was able to go.
After celebrating Christmas, we spent two relaxing days at a hotel.  The kids swam and we all just chilled, went to a huge mall and had some well needed family time.

We spent New years eve at home with some friends, ate pizza and goodies and visited.  Our oldest daughter came back from Sweden the same night, so it was so much fun catching up with her, and getting some Swedish candy!

Since last time I wrote, our 2nd oldest daughter has been doing so much better. She is more relaxed and happy, something we are all very thankful for.  She still has a lot to learn, but she's an eager student, so she is already trying out various ways of how to deal with her challenges.
I'm glad she's blessed with a positive nature, that makes any challenge easier to handle.

Our baby is now 8 months old and is getting busier, getting around and making lots of noises. She can also stand, on her own!, for brief moments at the time!  Crazy how fast they grow up.

This past weekend I did something I've wanted to do for many, many years.  I booked a trip for our whole family to go to Florida in March!  We are all so very excited and I can't believe we are actually able to do this! We'll be flying down and stay at a house we rented, close to a beautiful beach.
It seems like a dream and the kids are thrilled!

This last week several of the kids have had the flu, and a few are still running fevers and coughing, so a trip to the south sounds heavenly!

Well, that's pretty much it for now!
I am excited to see what this new year brings, our last few have not been boring!
Oh, I have to add, living here in the Soo is going so well, I really like it :) and last time I checked, my family members agreed!



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Pray more, worry less....

So here we are.  It's December.  I am 100% positive that somehow we skipped a month this fall.  Because, truly, how else do you explain that it's already December 9th???
See.  I told you.

Outside my window we have a beautiful winter day.  Sun is shining and we have lots of snow and it's only around freezing, so not terribly cold.  I like.

Another week and a half left of school before Christmas break.  Our kids will have one semester under the belt in their new schools, and over all, it's gone quite well.  It's easy to get caught remembering the lost books, the forgotten homework, the missed opportunities to study, moments of frustration oven papers misplaces etc, but when I look at the big picture, I realize those are minor bumps.  If I have time to worry about those things, my life must be pretty easy, and normal!
Our kids that are in elementary school are all doing fine.  The younger girls are not gonna win any spelling bee any time soon, but they seem to be making friends, having fun and are keeping up OK. Our Kindergarten boy is doing so awesome!  I went for an observation visit in his classroom and talked with his teachers, and they only had good things to say about our little guy.  I am so thankful.  The night before he started school my hubby and I hardly slept, but prayed a lot on his behalf... We were both so worried about sending him away.  Would he listen?  Would he behave?  Would he be happy?  Would he enjoy himself? Fortunately we can say yes to all of the above.

Our 13 year old is preparing for high school next fall and she's getting excited about being a "big kid"!  She's reading all the information they are getting and wondering what courses to pick.  I am SO happy to see her excited about high school, especially since she for a long time was resisting anything that applied to "growing up".  She didn't want to become a stupid teenager.  High school seemed scary.  Well, she turned 13 and somehow she's managing just fine  ;)

Our 11 year old is plugging along as usual.  She's spunky and fun and our most reliable kid.  She does well in school and does what she needs to do without being reminded very often.  1 out of 8 like that! Not bad!! He, he.

Our teens.... Well.  Our 16 year old is off to la-la-land.  Also known as "boyfriend land".  Yup.  Our oldest is dating.  We had 17 years old for age limit, but since she's always been pretty advanced, she started dating 4 months early, so she's right on track according to "her" normal.
It is weird.  Really weird.  And I wasn't prepared for it at all.  She has always maintained that she wasn't going to start dating before she was well past 20.  Like, 25, or so.
Silly me.  I believed it!!  And I think she did too!  Until this tall, charming boy made her head turn into a balloon on a string!  Fortunately for her (and him!!) we approve of Prince Charming.  He really is a very nice guy.

Our 15 year old has had a pretty rough 6 months.  We moved away from where she loves to live. She had to start a new school and get to know new "everything" (she's doing well with friends etc, so that's nice). Then her pesky older sister, who has been her best friend since babyhood, starts working = gone a lot.  To top it off, this same sister goes and finds a boyfriend!  Without permission from her.  NOT easy.
It's like all the things she relies on, keeps getting ripped away from her.  She does like to go to school though, and that I am very grateful for.  However, her grades are dropping fast and hard.  She does what she needs to do in class, and she does it very well, but she does NOT hand in assignments, does not study for tests, does not do her homework. (we are working on these things and she's making progress)  This girl has always had a great big temper.  She has always been very sweet and sensitive as well.  There has been a lot of many things.
We are now finally figuring out what most likely has been her challenge for many years, and are waiting for a diagnosis of ADHD.  She's very open and positive about this, and can't wait to feel better.  She also struggles with OCD and anxiety, so there's a lot on her plate.
The ball is now rolling though, and she's starting therapy and might need to go on some medication.  It's hard not to worry.  It's hard not to feel guilty.  It's hard not to feel pain and sadness.
I hope and pray this will be a turning point for her.  She has so much potential.  In her construction class she has the highest percentage.  She's so good at so many things.  My heart goes out to her and wish she could see herself in my eyes.  That she could see how awesome she is, how smart and beautiful she is.  She has the most generous, thoughtful nature, but sometimes a switch goes off in her head, and all those wonderful things get overshadowed by some real struggles.

I need to remember this great, awesome saying that a good friend of mine sent me

"If you have time to worry, you have time to pray"

I need to remember to pray more and worry less.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Life is full of changes.

I am actually writing another blog entry again!  Only a few weeks since last, wow!!  But a lot has happened, so I figured I share it with you.

First off, yesterday I started my 5th journal!!  OK, what does that mean?  Well, four years ago, when we'd lived in Finland for about 4 months, I found myself looking back, wondering what in the world had just happened, and realized that I remembered very little of what had taken place in the months that had past.
SO, I decided to start writing a journal.  I purchased a simple journal containing a page for each day of the year, and I more or less filled each page with that day's events and happenings, little things that the kids would say or do etc.
This has now become a habit!!  (and I am NOT one of those who easily stick to anything that resembles a habit, so be impressed, please!)  So, yeah, since the first day of writing in my first journal happened to be Nov 3rd, 2010, that has now become my informal "Family New Year".
So yesterday I started my 5th book!  It's actually sort of exciting to think about when I in the future have these books to read. I will be able to look back and smile, cry, laugh etc at what our life was like "in the past".  I don't think my life is any more interesting or unique than the next person's, but it is MY family's and MY life, so to ME it is interesting!  And trust me, the things I write aren't earth shaking by any means, it's the ho-hum of our daily lives, but even the smallest events are fun to read about later on.

OK, enough about my secret diary.

Two weeks ago I spent 5 days on the US west coast, visiting my sister and brother and their families.  It was kind of a sudden trip, my sister had enough points for me to get a really, really cheap ticket for me to fly out there, so YAY!! I went!  I brought baby along, of course. It was a nice break away from the day to day chores and so nice to see my siblings again!  I hadn't seen either of them for several years.  It was also awesome to come back home.  Being away from my family and my everyday life reminded me of why I love my life so much!  I have it good.

As of Monday a week ago, my hubby is now his own boss!  Very exciting and I can't say how happy I am for him.  He signed a contract with some local guys and he'll be doing business modelling for them.  He also works on an hourly basis doing aircraft financing/analyzing for buying and leasing airplanes for his old boss (that he worked for before we moved to Finland).  These kind of challenges are the ones he loves to do.  This is when his business degree comes in handy, and he truly enjoys what he does.  So, yeah, exciting and fun!

It feels like our life is taking a turn for the better in many ways and knowing that our future is an untold story, I try to remember to embrace the good that we are experiencing at the moment and thank God for the way he is taking care of us.

We have a few trips planned by the way, so maybe I'll write about them "next time"!  Until then, take care.

Friday, October 17, 2014

......hello?

I feel like I've been totally forgetting about this blog lately.  Blame life.  You know, that thing that takes place somewhere between diaper changes, running errands, house chores, filling up gas, making dinner, talking with my kids and hubby....
It's been a steady stream of life going on.
It has also included me running a long and stubborn cold, ending with me needing antibiotics and a puffer!! Never used one of those before, but the cold went down in my lungs and I was wheezing. Yukk. I am finally feeling better. The kids and Hubby have had the same thing to different degrees.

So, what's been going on?
In September our 2nd oldest daughter turned 15.  She didn't know what to do for her birthday, but was very lonesome for her friends in our old locality.  So, I was able to arrange for her to meet up with them, about half way between our cities, and we had such a fun day with her friends and a few of the moms. We enjoyed a yummy lunch and then went shopping at the outlet mall.  Our family spend the weekend at a hotel right by the outlet, we had some free nights to redeem from points we'd collected when hubby worked out of town last winter. Nice!!  It was so nice and fun to just chill for a few days. Kids swam in the pool and we ate pizza in the hotel room.  Such a typical family get away!

The fall up here was spectacular. The colours of the trees have been simply stunning!  I have never seen it like that before, way awesome!  I really like that.
Now I am bracing myself for a long and cold winter with lots of snow.  I have to admit, even though I love every season and do like snow, I am not really a winter person.  So, a challenge it will be!

The kids are all doing well.  We have 7 in school now and so far, so good.  Our little guy in Kindergarten turns 5 next week, and he LOVES school this year.  I am SO happy and thankful for that. He is starting to read small words and his favourite "subject" is gym.
Our 2nd grader is a typical school girl.  She loves to do "quiet" things.  I think she alone has used up more tape and glue than the rest of our kids combined!  She seems to keep up OK with the things they are learning as well, so no big worries there.
Girl #5 is in grade 3 and she has made many friends and is enjoying her days.  If she could she's be on the monkey bars all day, she is quite athletic and loves to move around.

Then we have #4 in grade 6.  She is an easy kid that is very chill and laid back.  She's also very goofy and giggly.  She has a few really good friends already and school comes pretty easy for her.
Our 3rd oldest is going to be a teen this month!!  She has suddenly started to grow so much faster, and is not a little girl any more.  She has always been tiny, and I can tell she's quite excited about FINALLY starting to catch up in size with her friends.  She really likes her new school, friends and teacher.  SO good to see!  Her grades are coming up as well, I feel so happy for her. This is her last year of school before high school, so it's good if she starts to pay attention to her education a bit more!

Our 2 oldest are in grade 10 and 11.  At times I want to put the break down hard.  My eyes actually mist up when I think about it. Kids. Grow. Up. Fast.
It is NOT cliche. They really do.
I've been looking at some old pictures this last week that the kids dug up from somewhere, and there was one of them going to the first day of school in JR and SR Kindergarten.  11 years ago. Sigh.
I bet the next 11 years will bring way too many changes along with them. Our oldest is now 16....in 11 years she'll be 27!!  She got her first job this fall, at HM, (the clothing store), that they just opened at the local mall. She's pumped!!  She also got her driver's permit.... Yeah. Scary.
I know my kids are not perfect, and I don't expect them to be (then I'd have to live up to the same standard myself, and that would be impossible!!), but I do think they are pretty awesome kids.  For being teen girls, I really couldn't ask for much better.
They have some really decent friends around here, so that's a big help. I have much reason to be thankful.

Our youngest girl is already 5 months old. She's our daily dose of sunshine.  She's my remedy when I look at the big kids growing up too fast.  She keeps my days busy, and I LOVE to snuggle and hang out with her. Yeah, she's pretty fantastic.
She is starting to scoot and has almost mastered sitting.  I am introducing some baby food to her (mashed up bananas and avocados), and she has had some interesting experiences trying to eat them.  I swear the food inflates when you put it in their little mouths!! The amount she spits out is like 4 times more than I TRIED to put in!!
All the kids love her to pieces, even our little guy that had to give up his spot as the youngest, he's so protective of her, I love it!!
And yes, hubby is VERY smitten by his youngest girl. ;)

Talking about him, he's been plenty busy with work, both physical and mental.  He has been doing construction but also a lot of work from home (accounting related).  He likes that he's busy with both!
I am busy at home and over all I enjoy our new city.  I have to admit I've been a bit homesick though... Fortunately we are planning a trip down there in a month, to attend a wedding, so that'll be awesome!

That's it for now!  I hope you all have a wonderful fall!



Friday, September 5, 2014

Hello, September!

It is quiet in here.
Baby is taking a nap, hopefully long enough for me to get a few things done.  All the other kids are in school, and hubby's at work.
Weird.
This summer sure went by fast, and I'm not sure if I'm ready for fall, but, ready or not! Here it comes!

Our little guy started Kindergarten.  So far he likes it.  His teachers are nice and fun and the kids all seem like a good bunch.  It wasn't easy sending him off, both hubby and I were nervous and a bit worried, and I don't think either of us slept very well the night before school started.  We did pray for all our kids though, starting new schools, again...
Sometimes I wonder how they'll be effected by all of our moves and constant changes in their lives.  But I have to trust that they'll be OK and that God is with them.  As a parent though, I find that I question my actions, and I often feel that I might be doing the wrong thing.  I guess knowing I am TRYING to do my best, is some comfort.

My parents were here for 9 days, and we enjoyed their visit.  My older brother and his family came for a few days as well, as did my in-laws.  While they were all here, we held our baby's baptism.  We had such a nice and fun last weekend of summer!

Tomorrow we are planning to hike up in Hiawatha National Park (only a short drive from here).  It's been raining a fair amount lately, so hopefully tomorrow will lend us some sunshine when we head out!  I love exploring this new city, especially the nature around here!  So beautiful.

Well, I need to get some stuff done, while I have a chance!  Have a good weekend and happy new school year to all of you who have kids in school :)