Friday, July 8, 2011

A weekend filled with the bittersweet knowledge knowing the someone is missing that completes the whole, and yet marveling at the goodness and grace of God and the simplicity of life. We swam, talked, looked at pictures, prayed, cried, swatted horse flies, and listened to the joyful cries of our children as they thoroughly enjoyed each other. Time that will be cherished....

Little Eli is already one. What a beauty!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Winnings and Reflections

It seems like the last few weeks have been filled with insights into Jacob's character and opportunity for him to find out more about who he is. Jacob won first place in 9 out of the 11 track and feild events at his school's track and feild day! He mentioned incredulously to one of the parent helpers that, "I didn't even know God gave me the gift of running until today!" He also did well in his soccer tournement and won a soccer ball for being a "good communicator" and at his kindergarten awards ceremony today he recieved the "responsibility award". It excites me so much that the actitities and the communities that he is part of right now are all contributing so much to shaping his character and care enough to point out his strengths to him. When I was trying to decide whether to start Jacob with music lessons next year, I was thinking a lot about WHY we do what we do. And I realized that a big part of why we do activities like soccer, dance and music lessons is for them to learn about themselves and grow in character, as well as for them to find other adults like coaches and music teachers that will help them do this. My hope is that these adults will be people that my kids like and that we both trust so that as they get older and go through the inevitable crisis of confidence, that they will have other trusted adults to talk to. People that they know love them. And that they will have enough of an idea of who they are essentially and where they are strong so that the enemy of their souls can not convince them that they are not good at anything or worth anything....That is my hope:)

Another highlight was my sisters visit. It was such a treat for me to have her here to talk to and to get a chance to see up close the miracles that are happening in her life. Through the deepest darkness can come the most beautiful treasures....
I've also been reflecting on the value of working together as a family. I have always valued work, working, accomplishing measurable tasks etc. Sometimes I have valued this too much. On the acreage, as soon as spring hits there are a million projects and it can be so overwhelming. Right now there is fencing and mowing, and planting and weeding, and building a barn, deck, garage, not to mention all the normal things. AHHHHH! And I sometimes feel as if these projects pull us away from spending time together just enjoying life and enjoying each other's company. But then as we dug around the barn to provide drainage and the kids were playing and digging along side us and as they got down in the grass to help clean off all the recycled tin for the barn I remembered. Working together is as important as playing together. Maybe an old fashioned way of looking at things, but one that is close to my heart. And as they get older is becomes more possible for them to really be part of these things and take some satifaction and pride in what they have helped accomplish. Mikaela was just thrilled this week when we took a day off school for a "chore day". She basically did the laundry by herself, swept the kitchen and dining room, unloaded the dishwasher and tidied up a myriad of things and helped with the cooking. She was in her glory! Once you've worked hard, the play time is so sweet...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

BIG NEWS in the Olsen household. Bey blades have arrived.
And John and I got away for one night for Jasper for an early anniversary celebration!
Sad news is that our friend's baby who was fighting leukemia passed away last Saturday and that was a really tough thing for everyone.
This is her last October at our house with Eli and her brother in the background. She was a ray of sunshine to everyone she met and we are so glad that we had the privilege to get to know her this side of heaven. Please pray for her family...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Well, I tried to upload one of Mikaela's songs on here from her violin recital last weekend but it was a no go. Unfortunately! She did a great job and she looked beautiful with her new haircut wearing the dress Grandma made for her. She made one mistake but was able to keep going and continue to play the rest of her songs. She observed that "People still gave me compliments even though I made a mistake!" A very good observation and a valuable learning experience!

We finished planting our garden tonight! Peas and carrots, beets and leafy greens, potatoes, onions, squash, zucchini, and pumpkins. With a few raspberries, saskatoons, rhubarb and apples sprinkled in here and there, there should be a bountiful harvest. There was a certainly a bountiful harvest for the mosquitoes as we planted! Today I was parent helper in Mikaela's class and they were making information booklets about different bugs. The one boy who always dawdles and needs all kinds of help was studying mosquitoes so I got a great chance to learn all about them. Thrilling times! All would be well for the human race if we could just get rid of those pesky female mosquitoes. The males are just harmless vegetarians!

And speaking of vegetarians, Eli ate meat this first time this week without spitting it out! He ate some chicken with a relish that I haven't seen for two months since he got the flu. I've been feeding him an egg yolk every morning and lots of avocado, broccoli, and asparagus to bolster his iron and thankfully he loves those veggies. He also loves mango I found out this week. He looks so cute with food all over his face and in his hair :)

This weekend has some exciting possibilities and the weekend following has even more! I am hoping to finish planting my flowerbed and baskets, start on the goat/chicken barn, help in the kitchen at camp Nakamun for the Native Youth conference, have friends out for supper and take care of a friends two little boys. And the weekend after???? Jasper with John for a night! Good times. As I dwell on the beautiful life I have with spring finally here, my thoughts are also with those in Slave Lake who have lost everything to fire, friends of ours whose baby is fighting leukemia and had to be resuscitated a few nights ago, and many other friends dealing with a host of dark and hopeless things. Psalm 34:18 says,"The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." He weeps with those who weep, as do I.....

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Well, we did tear ourselves away from Jacob's all important first soccer game of the season to vote and I have to say that I am quite sucked into what is going on Canadian politics right now. And consequently spending some time pondering the inevitable phenomenon of change. There are some big changes going on in our school right now as well that is sparking these thoughts. It is interesting to me that so many people view change as automatically bad. Sometimes I tend to be one of those people....due to pessimistic tendencies I picked up early in life. But really, I have to say that in the last 10 or so years, I've learned a bit about letting the jury have a say in whether change is necessarily a bad thing. I could go on and on about the changes we've experienced in our own personal lives, everything from moves to different communities, different jobs, CHILDREN (major changes are in italics), 3 CHILDREN, losing teeth and hair, and sometimes friends and family. Many of them I thought they were scary changes, changes that could strip us of our identity, or our sanity :) But really, most of them surprised me. So, I am hoping that we can view these changes with cautious optimism. I mean, we don't really KNOW that they will be bad. So why not let the future decide? And get a little bit excited about the good things change could bring our way....It is possible! And here is a video to encourage opitimism. A babies giggle is so inherently optimistic

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Another election tommorrow! And I don't know if we can tear ourselves away from Jacob's first soccer game of the season to vote......:)This weekend was another whirlwind. There was some special girl time with Mikaela painting nails and doing hair (really NOT my specialty but it was fun), two other guys from church coming by to help John do some fencing and their families joining us for a weiner roast afterwards, a big "to-do" at the church today and cuddling some beautiful babies, and some time at the park. We went to the park at the Tri-Leisure center and it has that recycled rubber on the ground so Eli could crawl around. There were all kinds of kids everywhere and I was impressed to see how he just took off and wasn't afraid at all. I was sure someone was going to run him over but he wasn't worried! It was pretty windy so the picture is of what he thought of the wind :)