Monday, May 25, 2015


Hello last Monday in May.
Hello Bible in a Year post
Hello full and busy day.
Hello 24 school days left of this year.

Hello Summer temperatures (finally!)

Hello supper on the table when I arrived home.
Hello quick eating and off to soccer.

Hello cool photo taken by a Mom on Kezia's team:

(It's kind of hard to believe that this is the net size they started playing on!)

Hello tied game 2-2.
Hello game tied by a super goal from Kezia.

Hello first soccer game of the season without a sweater or blanket needed:

Hello perfect timing of two sports events this evening
Hello ball hockey
Hello 3-1 loss

Hello Monday.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

These are the days...

It's a rare occasion these days when all the kids are at home and doing the same thing. Conrad and I were treated to a rare trampoline acrobat show by our kids. Kezia landed her very first ever forward flip. Kiandra managed to stay on the trampoline, even without the safety net! Kaden got some good air time as he tried to land on his stomach.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

On a mission...

Grad season is a month away! Today, while Kaden was at a friend's house working on a French project, the girls and I went shopping. 
 I was still looking for a dress for the grads. I know I just spent some time a few weeks ago teaching my grade 1 friends about wants and needs and I don't NEED 3 dresses for the three grad events (Kiandra's grad, Kiandra's convocation, Kaden's farewell) I justified my want by telling myself that if I bought the dresses at the thrift store and only paid what I would have if I had bought one dress new then it would be the same. :P

Here's a cool one I found for just $14.99:

My favourite part was the back:

I even texted my friend Janice the pic for her opinion (she is a style expert and gives super and honest advice) but decided against it before I got her response when I realized that the back slit went a wee bit higher than I would have wanted it to be. :O

This one was Janice approved and I did buy it:

and it was $17.99. I bought a different black dress awhile ago for $19 and a black and white polka dotted dress more casual dress for $10. Three dresses for $47. 

Kezia was able to find a pair of soccer shorts. I picked up some groceries. The girls found a pant romper that they loved (and I thought was very interesting). The girls thought this chair was fun:

Kaden was able to get a good chunk of his French project done. I returned the last Princess movie from our marathon last weekend. Kaden watched a friend's lacrosse game. We had a family supper. I planted some flowers in our yard. Kiandra found a dress for convocation. A busy productive Saturday? Mission completed.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Planting Memories

Today was Volunteer Chapel at our school. We host the event once a year to honour the many volunteers we have at our school who come out to help in a variety of ways over the school year. I have been so fortunate over the last few years to work with so many awesome families.

This afternoon, I planted flowers with my grade 1 class in the planter boxes in our school's back yard. The boxes were placed in there just a few weeks before my first year of teaching started. The following Spring, one of the Mothers who regularly volunteered in my classroom (and happened to be on the playground planning committee to help put in the boxes) said she was tired of seeing them sit empty. She offered the bring in flowers, shovels, and everything else I needed to plant these boxes with the Grade 1 class. I am not much of a gardener and the idea of taking my class out to plant and play in the mud was something that scared me a little bit. However, with that Mom's encouragement, we did it (see?) and it was a blast! The kids loved it. Ever since that first year, it has become a tradition...thanks to that Mom's encouragement that first year.

I'm thankful for that Mom and all she did to help me during my first year of teaching.     She was diagnosed with a brain tumour the following fall and passed away in April of 2013. The last few years of planting have been a way to honour her and her memory as a whole new group of students get to fill the boxes that she did not want to see stand empty. This will be a grade 1 tradition that I plan to continue that she started so many years ago. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Kiandra's Big Adventure

Today was the day that Kiandra had been dreaming about (read about it here)

The day started early with Kiandra's bright and sunny smile at 3:45 in the morning:

We made great great time with a quick and traffic-less ride to the airport and plenty of time to spare to make sure Kiandra knew where she was going:

My friend Layne works for the airline and was able to check Kiandra in yesterday and so Kiandra had her boarding passes all ready to go so she was just able to head straight to security.

Conrad and I both got up early to drove her to the airport:

and then she was off. Gone. On. Her. Way.


It was a surreal feeling.

Conrad and I arrived home by 5:00 but I didn't actually fall back asleep before the alarm went off at 7:00. I was able to find a live tracking website to "watch" Kiandra's plane land. 

We were thankful that Conrad's brother's girlfriend's brother (did you follow that??) lives in Toronto and was able to pick Kiandra up at the airport and drive her to the studio for the audition. He actually works only a few blocks from where it was so that worked out pretty well. I had printed out a few maps and details about the area for Kiandra as she had a few hours to hang out between arriving and the audition time.

Here are some photos she took (I have no idea how I raised a child to be gone all day and come home with only 9 photos to show for it, lol! I think I took 9 today and I didn't even go anywhere ;)

She was able to spend some time at Starbucks, McDonalds, and Second Cup (to enjoy their free wifi) and then she headed to the audition. She was an hour early but there were already people there and the auditions began about half and hour earlier than scheduled. 

I was anxiously awaiting for news....and then it came...

Kiandra was in one of the few groups to perform a routine. After the routine, the announced the numbers that were moving on to the next round. Kiandra was number 21 and her number was not called. She thinks only about 10 of the people from the group moved on. In typical Kiandra fashion, she put a positive spin on the situation. She truly is an amazing person...always looking on the bright side. I was grinning from ear to ear and was glad to have a few hours to practice my "disappointed" face. :)

Kiandra hung out for a few hours more near the audition studio until Conrad's brother's girlfriend's brother and his girlfriend picked Kiandra up. They took her on a driving tour of the city and out for supper and stopped by a cool bakery. They even took her to meet the girlfriend's parents on the way to the airport.

Kiandra had some time at the airport before catching her late flight home. 

I may have been tracking her route home on my computer and I may have been so relieved to see her when she landed.

What a day! I wasn't sure what to expect. It was a roller coaster of emotions for me as I was nervous for her travel safety, excited for this opportunity for her, anxious for her to audition, sad that she might actually get this position that would take her away from home so soon, happy for each update, and so many more. Each emotion magnified by the lack of sleep the night before. 

Three things I've learned from today's experience as a Mom: 

1. We have raised an independent, positive-minded, adventurous young woman. I am so proud of her. She did it. She flew off to another place by herself and had a magnificent adventure and loved every second of it. 

2. You don't know what you can do until you try. Yes, this experience was a long shot. Yes, it was a waste of money. However, she would have always wondered "what if" and now she knows the answer. Kiandra said on the ride home from the airport that this will make a really cool story to tell her kids one day.

3. I can let her go. There comes a time as a Mom that you just need to let them go. It's hard but today I realized I can do it. This opportunity didn't work out but another one might. I'm so incredibly thankful that for now she is staying at home but you never know what adventure may lead her away from home and one eventually will.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

First goal of the season!

It was a wee bit more enjoyable on the sidelines of Kezia's game last night although it did cool off a bit as the evening went on and her game ended at 9:00pm.

I love this shadow shot of me and Conrad on the sidelines:

Kezia's team has been doing too badly with a few 0-0 ties, a forfeit win, and a 1-0 loss. However, they had yet to score the first goal of the season.

Tonight that changed when Kezia's team was able to score on the other team's awesome goalie...too bad they also had good shooters and got two goals on Kezia's team. :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dream Big

Conrad and I bought Kiandra a copy of "The Little Mermaid" on VHS (lol!) for her first birthday. She watched that movie over and over as a young girl. She watched it so much that I can basically recite the movie by heart. There's a scene in the movie when Ariel  has a fight with her Dad and has become a human after trading her voice to the Sea Witch and Ariel's father, King Triton, is looking everywhere for her. He hangs his head and says "oh...what have I done...what have I done?"

I'm kind of feeling a little bit like King Triton right about now...

A few weeks ago, I happened to find out that Disney was holding an open casting call for being a character on a Disney cruise ship. I mentioned it to Kiandra thinking that she would think that would be cool and fun-but-I'd-never-want-to-do-that. Ummmm...nope. Her eyes widened in excitement and she exclaimed "I'd LOVE to do that!" and I realized this was going to be very bad. What have I done?

At the time of this posting, my newly adult child is a mere 31 hours away from boarding a plane (alone!) and jetting off to an audition that may lead her away from home for a year or longer...deep breaths....*clutching chest*....gulping...

As I researched a few things at school today about where she needs to go and how she'll get there, the reality of this is setting in. But:

and Mothers too.

A big part of me (the part that is ok with letting her go!) is thinking that there are going to be 100s of perspective people at the audition and the chances of her actually making it through each round are pretty slim (Sorry! I know you're reading this Kiandra). Also, Kiandra's braces won't be removed until next month and if they can't see past that, she might be one of the first people cut. It's a long shot but I'm ok with her trying out because she'll always wonder if she doesn't try. Besides, she's an adult...with a big savings account...and so there's little I can do to stop her if she wants to go...

An even bigger part of me (the part that I imagine myself sitting in the corner rocking back and forth and sobbing if something comes of this) thinks that SOME of the people auditioning are going to get it and so why not Kiandra? If you know Kiandra at all, can't you just picture here surrounded by little children, smiling, and waving, and posing for photos?? Seriously...she'd rock this job. I can actually see her loving every single second of interacting with kids as a Disney character. I think about the money she'd make to save for university whether it be just a year (or....yikes!-longer!) in a job that offers a salary AND room and board. 

Impossible. It's impossible to believe that I am letting this happen. Is it impossible that something big might come out of this? We will find out soon...

Each morning, our principal shares a verse of the day on the morning announcements. Today's was so timely:

"The Lord your God is with you wherever you go." 

He is with Kiandra as she travels. He is with me as I worry about her all day.
He is with her if she makes it through the audition. He is with her if she doesn't.
He is with me if she makes it through the audition.

Another little comfort today is the reappearance of some eggs in a nest by our garage. Six years ago, we had a robin build a nest and lay 4 eggs in it. You can read the story about it here. After the annoyingness of the protective Mother during that time, we decided to leave the nest in hopes that birds wouldn't use it again in favour of building a new one. The nest sat empty for the last few years. We've noticed a robin in the area and today Kiandra decided to peek with the mirror and this is what she saw. What a perfect day to find this surprise. A tiny reminder that an empty nest does not always stay empty. A tiny reminder that life goes on and changes. A tiny reminder that we don't always know what the future holds but that doesn't stop us from moving into a situation (even if we didn't build it) and making ourselves at home. 

Please pray for safety as Kiandra travels this week. Pray for this Mom's heart as she lets her travel this week. Pray for a positive experience regardless of the outcome. Pray that Kiandra will feel God's leading in the direction she is supposed to go. 

Oh...what have I done?

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