Wednesday, May 31, 2017

And all that Jazz

Last night was my last time as a Concert Band mom and tonight ended my run as a Jazz Band Mom:

Last time this guy will play his euphonium....

and a fitting last song as their band played "That's it" as their final selection:

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Last Band Concert

When Kaden selected his electives for Grade 11, band did not make the cut. So tonight concludes my 6 year run as a band concert watching Mom.

It was a family affair tonight in the stands as Kiandra joined me at school this afternoon because she was in the area. She decided to stay out this way for the concert. Then Conrad picked up Kezia and they came out too just as Kaden's band was about to start. We stopped for ice cream on the way home from the concert:

Monday, May 29, 2017

Here she goes!

Last ever first day of high school exams for Kezia today as she writes (part 1 of) her provincial English exam. I had to send her off with a little encouragement:

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday Adventures

It was a wet and weary day for the street hockey tournament finals this morning:

The team won the first game of the morning:

Then lost the second. By that time, the rain had really picked up and so the loss wasn't even too terrible. :)

In the evening, Kiandra's young adult mission team shared about their experiences in Cambodia:

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Street Hockey Tournament

Despite a little mix up regarding location this morning, Kaden was able to make it to play in a street hockey tournament. I dropped and dashed and missed game 1 & 2 to plant my flowers because rain was in the forecast. However, I arrived in time to watch game 3:

They had won the first one, lost the second...

and ended the day with a win in the third.

Finals are tomorrow.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Treats with my boys

Kaden and I stopped to get our "Free Friday" treat from 7-11 on the way home from school:

Then it was date night while the kids were off to youth. (Kezia had her last youth night tonight!)

and then BOGO Blizzards for the ride home:

Thursday, May 25, 2017


This morning, Conrad told me to take his car to work so that he could have the van to take his trailer back to his brother's house where they let us park it. Conrad was surprised when the van was not in the garage or on the front street or on the side street. Did someone steal our van??! Then as Conrad traced his steps back, he realized that I had picked him up from work yesterday to go to Kezia's grad event and we had forgotten to swing back to pick up the van on our way home. A little frustrated that he had to add extra time on to his long to-do list (and even more when he forgot his keys for the van at home the first time) but thankful that Kiandra's car was available to drive to get the van. Conrad said he was a bit annoyed at the inconvenience he added to his day until he came upon an accident that must have happened shortly before Conrad passed that way. It was a three vehicle pile up and I borrowed this shot from a piece I found online:

If we had not forgotten the van....If Conrad had left on time as planned...If Conrad would have been passing this spot may have been him in this accident. Thankfully, the news article reported that all drivers ended up with minor injuries. The accident reminded Conrad that maybe it's a good thing to have our best laid plans changed even if we don't always see it at the time. God is good.

It reminded me of the story Kezia and Kaden shared with us last week about their drive home from youth. They were discussing advice and wise counsel and Kezia quoted some scripture to back up her opinion. Kaden rebutted and Kezia said that he should listen to her because she was his big sister. Kaden said where does it say that in the bible?? and Kezia spit out the first reference she could think of: 1 John 2:9. Kaden, knowing she was bluffing, said that he was going to look it up and he did. Imagine his surprise to find:

"Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness."

Hilarious. Lucky guess? Or divine intervention???

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Church Grad 2017

We were surprised to find out this weekend that a special grad event had been planned for this evening. Communication is not always the greatest for some events ;) The event was hosted on a rooftop and it was a chance to honour our church's youth and for parents to read a letter to their child as they graduate.

Thankfully the weather cooperated for the evening:

Here is our letter to Kezia:

Dear Kezia,

I can hardly believe that we have arrived at this part of your life so soon. I can remember the day that you arrived, 5 weeks ahead of your due date, and the worry that I had wondering if you would be healthy, wondering how you would do in the ICU away from me, and wondering when we would be able to take you home. It appears that not much has changed in the last 18 years as I still worry about your health as you work late into the nights balancing a challenging course load and working at your job. I still worry about what you will do away from me as you begin to spread your wings into new experiences, like the mission trip to Mexico, the Encounters trip to Ottawa, and your upcoming time this fall as you travel and spend time in three continents. Instead of wondering when we could take you home now I wonder what journey in your life will take you away from home forever.

Kezia-You have lived by the motto that the phrase "good enough is neither good nor enough".  This motto, which became your standard for everything, is what you have applied to all areas of your life; whether it being your studies at school, your job, your various serving positions at the Church, your babysitting, and even your Christian walk.  Proverbs 22:6 reads, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."  Kezia, as much as your Mother and I have tried to raise you up in the way you should go, I can honestly say that the decisions you are making, along with your motto, has encouraged me in my Christian walk too.  This standard that you have adopted will be something that you can take with you to college this fall which will help deepen your faith in God, allow you to encourage others, and I know that God will be able to use you in ways that today are unfathomable.    

One of the verses I like to memorize with my Grade 1 friends is:
Proverbs 19:20 "Get all the advice and instruction you can so that you will be wise the rest of your life". I think this verse is so applicable to this time in your life. I see you doing this already and I would encourage you to continue to seek out advice and instruction so that wisdom can follow. I'm thankful for the strong circle of godly friends, your youth leaders, your teachers, and so many others that desire to give you good advice and instruction. I am especially thankful for the people who contributed to your birthday book when you turned 13 because I know you have made wise choices from the advice that you were given. 

I remember when you were in Grade 5 and one of your assignments was to take a song and study it and explain the lyrics to the class. We were surprised when you chose a Christian song to share even though almost everyone in your class had never even heard of Casting Crowns. You were brave and boldly shared the song with your class even though Mom and I were both a bit nervous that maybe it wasn't the best choice. Thankfully, you were confident in your choice and we just stood back and admired your conviction. 

I've said this before but I want to say it again. Kezia, your faith in God is admirable. To me. To your Dad. To your siblings. To everyone around you.  I remember that when Miss Mattes was your student teacher in Grade 1 and told me that she could tell that you were from a Christian home because of your actions in the classroom. Again, not much has changed you are still bolding living in a way that others can tell that you follow God. You bravely set out to do things that few people even twice your age would not even attempt. To write a Biblical based essay AND complete a project connecting the bible to evolution in your grade 12 year when marks count for so much??? To go ahead with the topic even when your teacher declares that it would not be his first choice of topic. Few people would be willing to take the chance to get a bad grade. (I know I would not have). It is hard to stand up for what you believe in. You do it well. I am so proud of you. Keep being you.

Proverbs 4:25-27 says:
Look straight ahead,
    and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
Mark out a straight path for your feet;
    stay on the safe path.
Don’t get sidetracked;
    keep your feet from following evil.

I can tell that you will not get sidetracked or settle for less than what you are looking for because of what you have already shown in your life. My prayer is that you will continue to walk the path, looking to God's guidance in your life. However, always remember that YOUR plan might not be what God has planned, a lesson that I have been taught again and again. Proverbs 16:9 says "We can make our plans but the Lord determines our steps". 

As you close this high school chapter of your life and begin the new one that follows, know how proud we are of you and how glad we are to be your parents.

Love, Mom and Dad

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Second Half of the Season begins

It's a short season for ball hockey and here they are entering the second half playing this team for the next three games. It's tough when you take high testosterone in males aged 16-18 and then throw in some loose ref calls how quickly things escalate. Hopefully next game is a little cleaner in actions and language.

It's hard to watch and senseless behaviour too.

Conrad has a tough job as the coach of this crew and it's tough when you play coaches that behave in a way that you can see exactly why the players are behaving as they do. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

The great indoors...

The house is clean.  Laundry is caught up. My Grade 1 book is nearly completed. The to-do list is almost completely checked off. It's been a good weekend for everyone....and of course, as Conrad, Kezia, and Kaden pack up the sun began to shine for the first time all weekend.....

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Relaxing Sunday

After church Kiandra and I went out for lunch:

then we went to a few open houses before coming home. She left for work:

and while she was gone, I worked on this year's Grade 1 book inspired by author Todd Parr:

Then it was an appetizer kind of supper with baked brie and mozza sticks and a side of Gilmore Girls.

It was perfectly relaxing Sunday....

Saturday, May 20, 2017

On our own

Happy Long Weekend Saturday!

Today Kaden slept in.
Conrad and Kezia went to work.
Kiandra and I went shopping at the new outlet mall.
(I found jeans and she bought a cute dress...and was mistaken for a 14 year old when the cashier thought she didn't need to pay tax on the dress)

We stopped at Costco to share a poutine for lunch:

and Kiandra went to work and Kezia came home. These three packed up for a weekend of camping:

Kiandra ended up working longer than she thought and since she is still working on adjusting to the time change from Cambodia she fell asleep during our Gilmore Girl marathon...well if you can call 1 episode a marathon. ;)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Inservice Friday

It's hard to believe we are in the final days of school. Our inservice day today was full of good things to remember:

I might need these reminders ...daily....

I am always reminded that I work with awesome people:

Trying to take a good picture:

close enough:

This afternoon's portion included this quote and it made me think that this just be Kiandra's motto in life:

More good reminders:

and to top it all off...I won a book (the exact book I had my eye on during the afternoon!)

The day finished with some extra time in my classroom as Kaden was invited to a friend's after school and then a birthday bonfire after that. I spent as much time in my classroom after school hours than I did during the day today. It was actually quite nice to get some stuff done in my classroom as we approach the final month of school. I finally left the school at 11:15 pm to pick Kaden up. Happy Long weekend!

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