Monday, September 3, 2012

A Long Time Coming

Things have changed in our house in the last year.  One year ago today the kids and Tim were just getting home from Illinois.  I had stayed to work since the kids and I had spent a couple of weeks in Illinois in July and August.

One year ago this month we were getting into a great routine with our schooling and it felt good!  Things quickly changed in October when we realized that God had given us an unexpected but much welcome gift.  We were expecting our 4th baby.  As I have with all pregnancies I quickly started to experience some of the not so fun pregnancy symptoms.  My memory of last fall is spotty.

In November and December the younger two girls turned 7 and then 10.  There was no snow so the 10 year old did a birthday sleepover and movie with her best friend instead of the snow tubing we were hoping for.  We never did get to go snow tubing, there never was enough snow!  Tim and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary in December with a trip to Niagara Falls.  We enjoyed the time away and I enjoyed shopping in the States.

In January of this year, 2012 I was so thankful to be sure that those nasty symptoms were gone for sure!!  In February we found out that our baby would make princess #4 for our family.  It was such fun seeing her wiggle and squirm on the screen.  We had the best experience at that ultrasound with the technician taking time to show our girls about the baby and explain different things they were seeing.  I am so glad to have a cd with pictures and short video clips of the baby!

In March our oldest turned 13!!  I can't even describe to you how fast the 13 years have gone.  Unbelievable. She is a lovely young woman inside and out.  Her sweetness and giving spirit encourage me.  God is working in her and it is such fun to see.

In April it became clear that I needed to stop working and come home.  My body didn't like standing on concrete for 3 hours or more at a time.  The Dr. said it was time to come home.  It was about 6 weeks earlier than I had planned.  My goal being to come off work 2 weeks before my due date.  As soon as I stopped working the complications eased.  That is a good thing!

May passed in a blur of school work, swimming lessons, and end of year things.  We were all ready for summer!  And of course, the baby.

June arrived and with it warmer weather and getting ready for the baby to arrive.  Home projects became priority.  Tim painted our youngest's room blue at her request in preparation for sharing it with baby. We cleaned and decluttered and worked on projects like planting flowers in the flower beds, which the girls did for me! Tim also made a smaller garden with tomatoes, onions, and cucumber.  The girls and he kept it weeded for me.

The weeks passed and we were anticipating her arrival at any time since two of the girls came 10 days early.  The week before her due date the Homeschool moms surprised me with a baby shower!  What a sweet surprise and such fun!  With a gorgeous, delicious cake, yummy cookies, Epicure (another favorite thing!), and even two lasagna's for our freezer.  The best lasagna my girls have ever had they said.  In lieu of clothes or toys they gifted us with money towards the tall man friendly stroller we had picked out.  Perfect!

Baby A decided she might like to come exactly on her due date but then she changed her mind and decided she'd rather wait.  So the next day, after being on pitocin for 8 hours, Princess #4 arrived safe and sound.  Her 2 oldest sisters were at Canada's Wonderland having a great time and her older sister #3 was at grandma and grandpa's and came as soon as they could.   She was the first sister to get to hold her baby sister.  The look on #3's face when she saw Baby A is something I will never forget.  The joy, the awe, the amazed look of pure bliss.  There was no doubt that Baby A met her every hope and dream.

In July Grandpa and Grandma came from Illinois, they made it actually in June even celebrating Canada Day with us.  Grandpa brought the kayak he had built and the men and Dd1 went and checked it out a few times making sure it floated and was fun.  It was.  Grandma took the girls to an open swim at the Y, on a walk to downtown, bought fudge twice! and just all around spent a good time with the girls even teaching each of them how to cook a certain recipe.  Yummy chicken is on our Meal Plan now and Cinnamon Roll Cake is a favorite treat!

August passed all too quickly with warm weather and lots of time at home.  With one car and a baby who may or may not be asleep between the hours of midnight and 2 and back awake around 4 or 6 I wasn't able to get the girls to the beach as often as I had hoped.  That and the weather was HOT this summer!

Now, here we are at the end of Labor day and the last long weekend of the summer.  We enjoyed it thoroughly starting with a yard sale on Saturday, a campfire Saturday night at friends til way past bedtime, and waffles for lunch today then time at the beach with more friends this evening.  Tonight we started back with our routines for school. This means earlier bedtime, earlier wake time and jobs to be done before the computer or electronics are available.  But while the school children are heading back to the classroom tomorrow we are heading to the beach!  We will start school next Tuesday.

This year I will  be teaching an 8th grader, a 5/6th grader, and a 3rd grader as well as teaching childcare 101 by way of Baby A and family living.  Ha ha.  I'm looking forward to a wonderful year and am thankful to be having this year at home thanks to Canada's maternity and parental leave.  I'm hoping to make it our best year yet!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Why I Don't Need Roses For Valentines Day

     Everywhere you look about now there are ads screaming out to buy. Buy Roses! Buy Chocolate! Buy Clothes! Buy Negligee! Buy Jewelry! Buy Her Love!!  If you know me at all you know I adore roses and chocolate makes me smile. Sparkling diamonds are so pretty and I happen to really like pretty clothes and negligee.  I don't have a single thing against any of those and most days, most days I'd be delighted to be given a gift of these.

     It's taken a long time and I admit to tears and tantrums even in years gone by.  I bought it.  I bought the lie.  Valentines day.  If he loved me he would. . . . .THAT lie.

   So tonight, the eve before Valentines day I want to talk about why I don't need roses.  I don't want roses, to be honest.  Why I don't need a box of chocolate or diamonds or even a fancy dinner although eating out is always nice.  It doesn't have everything to do with commercialization and the way businesses jack the cost of these goodies up specifically for this holiday.  It has to do with love.  Real, true, lasting, til death do us part, kind of love.

   This afternoon he kept the girls quiet while I took a nap.  He took care of me putting his own desire for a nap aside.  That's love.  I returned the favor later in the day. While I napped he made lunch.  This afternoon he strapped on X-country skiis and for two hours took two of our daughters into the woods in the sunlight of a gorgeous winter day.  He crept through the woods with them instead of speedily leaving them behind and enjoying his own faster pace.  That's love.

  At 3:30 this morning when the dog whined, he took her outside in the winter weather and let me stay in our warm bed.  He did it again at 4:30.  Then at 5:30 he went with a friend to help make breakfast for a local ministry.  That's love.

   It's not just his love for me or for our children that melt me.  It's his love for others.  The way he answers the questions his mom asks so patiently.  The way he will help someone if he knows they need it and he is able, that's love.  It's the way he chooses daily to think of others and to set aside his own desires to put others first. Often that other is me.

   The above are just examples for today.  I would bore you if I continued listing even a weeks worth of things he does that quietly say, "I love you."  But just a few more before I end!

  It's the way he wraps his arms around me in the kitchen and grins a silly grin at me and says, "I love you", after I've done or said something goofy.  The way he puts his hand on my growing belly waiting to feel our newest little one wiggle, whispers it too.  It's grilled cheese at midnight and breakfast sandwiches in the morning.  It's driving me to work to grab five minutes of "just us" time there and back.  It's cleaning up the kitchen before he heads to work so I wake up to less mess.

   He tells me everyday with his words and his actions.  He loves me.  He treasures me.  He thinks I'm funny.  He thinks I'm beautiful.  I don't need gifts given because a calendar hits a certain day and media, movies, etc. say it's time for him to prove his love.  Roses, chocolate, diamonds, lingerie they are all wonderful and if you are given them, I hope they make you smile!

Tomorrow I'm going to be chauffeured to my next prenatal appointment.  He will join us skating and our girls will be delighted.  We will spend the day with our kids and being together is all the gift I need.

Happy Valentines Day,  may all your days be filled with love!!