moving … again

I’ve gone and done it again. Moved my blog. Back to Blogger. I’m hoping it’s familiarity and user-friendliness AND a snazzy new template will inspire me to write more about this exciting new stage of our lives. (Still pinching ourselves that WE GET TO LIVE HERE and be a part of this incredible group of people.)

Here’s the link … with a new post already!

I’m not sure yet what I’ll be doing with this blog, but won’t be posting here anymore.  R

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so happy together (for real!)

As their parents begin a new season of life and ministry together,

these five little boys are off to a remarkable start

of playing, exploring, adventuring, learning, and growing together.

Some forced exercise really strengthened their bond this week …

they ran a long way yesterday afternoon!

One little boy recorded over 12,000 steps on his pedometer that day.

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40 km/h

That’s the speed limit through the town that we now live in. To say this will be a change of pace for us is an understatement. And when you’re going that slow through town it’s not hard to see the big ol’ black bear romping through the park on the river. To say we’re in for a big dose of culture shock is a major understatement.

And we’re so very excited!

(Purchases of more suitable rain gear and wilderness safety items will be forthcoming.)

(As so will another blog post, after we get through a few busy days of moving in to our new home!)

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Here we are!

Just words today. I forgot the cord I need to move photos from my camera to the laptop. I can transfer the pics via Facebook but it takes a while. No pictures, but plenty of words. My friend and hostess, Sharon, told me that a blogger is only as good as their last post. I’ve been told by a few that my last post was far too long ago already so I had better step it up. And so I shall.

It’s a super rainy day. I’m at the house with a cup of tea and heated blanket. Jax is upstairs watching Bob the Builder. Max and Marty are at their first day at their new school. The morning was a bit hectic as I was so enjoying a snuggle with Max and didn’t realize the time. Getting 5 kids and 3 adults out the door at the same time was a bit crazy. Tomorrow will be better.

On the way through the downpour from the van to the school, Max tripped and fell. Dirty hands and very muddy jeans knees. Big tears but he calmed quickly after I cleaned him up inside. We found his class first. He’s in a 2/3 split. He had met one boy in his class while we were at camp for a week in August. He had come with his mom and little brother for a visit with Sharon so the boys watched the big BMX race together. On Saturday we discovered that the older of the two boys next door to our rental home is in Max’s class as well! They had some fun riding bikes together that day so got a bit acquainted. When we met the teacher today, she told me that the boy in Gr. 3 had told her about Max. That was nice, to know that a few kids already had a connection and would be a familiar face for him.

Marty. Oh, my little Marty. I found out a few weeks ago that his Kindergarten teacher is a man. How strange! I didn’t really know what to think about that. Since then I’ve heard from several people who know or were taught by a male K teacher. I snooped his name on FB and found his picture and may have found his wife and snooped through a few of her pictures. From what I could see, they looked like a solid family. That made me feel a bit better. Well, then.  So I had an idea of what he looked like, and was told by the school secretary that he’s a very tall red-head. Yesterday we went to a church in Duncan and guess who I saw sitting just a few rows from the front? Mr. Kindergarten Man! I was pretty sure it was him, so after church introduced myself. It was him indeed, and he agreed it would be a good idea for Marty to meet him there. Marty was quite shy and I think overwhelmed by being in a new place so wasn’t feeling friendly. We stayed at church for a chili lunch (fundraiser for Teen Challenge), and I caught Marty sneaking peeks at his teacher and Mr. P was smiling and waving back to him. It was great to see him interacting with his own children, and it made me feel much better about taking Marty there today. He went into his class with no fears and joined the other kids on the carpet. I walked by the classroom a few times over the next half hour and he was right in there. I called at lunch to talk to Mr. P. He said Marty was well engaged with the other kids and toys and seemed to be doing just fine. I’ll see how he feels at the end of the day today and perhaps do some half-days this week.  This school has lunch from 11-12ish, and then an afternoon recess. I’ll have to figure out what would be best if I don’t send him for the whole day.

Overall, it feels really strange to be in a new school. It does seem louder and a bit more hectic than what we’re used to at the Traditional School, so that was a bit of a shock to me! I’m eager to find out about how often I can volunteer in the class so I can get a better idea of how things work there.

No one cried until Jaxon and I got in the van and drove down the road. He started crying, so very sadly, saying “I want Marty! I want my Marty!”. He was pretty sad for a bit while we were running a few errands in town. Later he cried again saying “Go get boys! Go get my Max and Marty!”.  So sad. I think he’ll feel left out for the next while at drop-off time, but once we get settled into our own house and arrange some playdates and other activities, I think he’ll be just fine. I’m very much looking forward to being reunited with my rain boots (how could I have left them at home??) and spending time walking around town for errands or exploring.

I have a very special story to tell about a little visitor I had in my bedroom bed last night. That will come another time. Right now time to feed my little man and brew a new cup of tea for myself.

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Last day of school

Today was the last day of school … as we have known it.

As I have read many of my friends’ posts about their kids’ First Day of School, I have been reflective about how our school experience is going to look very different in just a few weeks. While we have been anticipating this move for Paul’s new job, I have been mulling over a few ideas for this school year.  Well, two ideas – homeschooling or public school. Since we didn’t know where we would be living (in town or at camp), and since we weren’t sure of the timeline for our arrival there, I had been preparing myself for the possibility that it might be best for me to homeschool the boys this year (grade 2 and K).  And there were great gasps of “I could never do it!” from some friends and cheers of “You can do it!” from other friends and family.  When we found a rental home in town (can’t wait to give you a picture tour!) and discovered it to be just a few blocks from the local catchment school, my thinking shifted.  While I would have been willing to homeschool my boys if I felt that would be best for our family, I would have done so. But then thinking of the opportunity for our family to get to know people in the community and for me to spend time getting to know my new friends and partners in ministry – the public school option gained in possibility.  So the decision was made to enrol them in the community school. As I was researching online for any information about the principal of the school, I came across a paper he had written for his Master’s Degree thesis – on the topic of homeschooling! Imagine that, hey? I can’t find the link right now, and I certainly didn’t read the whole thing, but I’m encouraged to know that he is mindful of why some parents choose to teach their kids at home. By no means is homeschooling “off the radar”, but we feel that for now, this is the path to take.

Since the school we are leaving (waaaahhhh!) is a ‘school of choice’ and there is a waitlist for new students, I felt it would be best not to take up spots for just a few weeks when new students could start out their year.  Our principal did say that our boys would be welcome to participate for the first few weeks, but I didn’t think that would be a good idea.  I wouldn’t want to put them in now, only to have them get settled and re-acquainted and re-connected here only to pull them out and start all over again at the new school.  So that means we’ve had an EXTRA LONG SUMMER BREAK, the children are squirrely, and I’m going a wee bit loopy. We went to our “old” school for an after-school visit last week, and then today I took one last turn as a noon-hour supervisor.  The boys got to have lunch with their buddies while Jax and I toured our assigned classrooms.  It was so neat to peek into the classes and see my big boys enjoying their visit, while gaining some closure to their experience at the school.  Then it was off to the playground where there was much running and playing and chasing around for all three of my boys. Even Marty and Jaxon know some of the kids through Max being there and from our neighbourhood, so it was nice to see how they are loved and will be missed.

I have cried many tears on each of my recent visits there. I am thankful to have been part of such a special little community, and know that we are leaving before many memories could be made and shared.  I pray that these two years with these kids and their families (4 years, counting Max’s two years of preschool with many elementary school friends) will have made an impression and not fade from their memories too quickly.

One other thing I will really miss? Uniforms! I have a feeling my boys will be wearing a lot of navy blue at their new school as I wean myself off of the dress code we’ve had here.

So long, friends … Thanks for the memories!

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More Than a Maintenance Man

Well, if my Beloved is taking a step back into the realm of blogging – I suppose I should really step it up here! (I know, I know … thanks for all the not-so-subtle prompting from many of you.)

Go visit his brand-spankin-new blog and come back here another time to see if I’ve come up with something new myself.

PS: I see on my handy little stat chart that people still check in here! Daily! My oh my … I hope to have more to offer in the coming months. xoxo

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and so it begins

oh. hello there.

not making any promises that my blogging hiatus is over, but here I am.

a little situation has been brewing here with a certain almost 7-year old that I need to process and mull over and ask all you mamas who are further along the road than I am … WHAT TO DO ABOUT THIS?

How interesting that I break my silence today with a topic I touched on in that post last summer –

He is learning to navigate the sometimes muddy waters of friendships.
He now knows that it’s really going to be okay when someone says
they’re not “best friends” anymore.

There is a core group of boys who all live facing or backing onto the cul-de-sac behind our house. They are {approximately} aged 4, 5 (Marty), 6, 7 (Max), and 8. For the most part, they all play well together.  There is a core group of girls as well.  Sometimes the boys and girls keep to themselves, sometimes all of them or some of them play hockey or ride bikes or come into our back yard to jump on the trampoline or play Lego or laugh at Jax running around sans-clothing or watch Paul gut some fish.

No more that 2 weeks ago, Max came running back to the house just a few minutes after heading out to play in the cul-de-sac with his friends. He’s often content to just do his own thing, but more often than that he wants to see what’s going on.  He came to me in hysterical tears saying that the three boys (the ones who are not his brother) had said he was mean and they didn’t want to play with him or be his friend anymore.  I did my best to calm him down a bit, and couldn’t help but go chat with the boys to get their side of the story.  I don’t remember the specifics of their version, but of course it was entirely opposite of what Max said had happened. It all boiled down to one story vs. another and really, what can a mama do? Max kept to himself for a few days but has slowly re-engaged with the boys.  This afternoon he got an invite to go over to one of his “not my friend anymore” friends and play air hockey.  When he came home I asked if all was well, and he said it was.  He seemed to understand that sometimes kids say things they don’t mean or don’t realize how their words could hurt so deeply. He agreed that he sure didn’t like being on the sad end of that situation, so he would be careful not to say hurtful things like that to make someone else feel the same way.

Sounds like a great ending to the story, right? Life lesson learned early on and will never cause a problem again, right? Not so much.

This evening just as we were getting the boys into bed, I got a phone call from the Dad of one of his school friends.  His boy is very sweet and soft-spoken, and he and Max made an early connection when they met in Kindergarten.  They actually met for the first time in May before school started that September, when we were both at the school for a visit. “The Dad” tells me that his boy is feeling very hurt because Max has not been kind to him at school and avoids him and says he doesn’t want to be his friend.

Hhmmm, sounds familiar.

Then The Dad says that The Boy doesn’t feel comfortable going to Max’s birthday party on Sunday because he’s feeling so sad and rejected.


No surprise here – in our conversation with Max about what happened, he insists he has never said anything like that, and, of course, he still wants to be friends with The Boy. Although Max was receptive to the discussion, Paul had good reason to remind him that Moms and Dads always know how the voice of a boy sounds when he’s maybe not telling the whole truth about something.  We suspect that Max might be feeling torn between his friendships with two boys who don’t jive well with each other.  We have challenged him to take some time to think about how he can show The Boy that he does indeed care for him and want to be his friend.  We hope The Boy agrees to come to the party, and we hope Max doesn’t talk about the party in front of The Other Boy who is not invited.  The friendship with The Other Boy is a bit of a complicated issue itself. I can’t say much more than that right now, but I suspect there will be more lessons on friendships coming soon.

All that aside, my favourite part of the whole discussion this evening was the look on his face when I asked him if it’s true that a certain little blonde girl in his class has been playing with him.  My friend told me that the girl calls him “Maxi-Dog”. He told me she calls him “Wolf-Hound”. I asked him if she chases him.  His grin broadened.  He said yes. He said he likes it – “because I like to run”.

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