Friday, November 18, 2016

Deeper Things: Unexpected Gifts

This week has been filled with unexpected gifts from unexpected places. They began on Monday when I found a lovely bouquet of flowers tucked behind my windshield wipers at the grocery store. A girlfriend I had seen at the gym earlier that morning must have seen me in the grocery store afterwards and had somehow managed to buy me flowers and find my car in the parking lot before I had finished paying for my stuff.  It was SUCH a thoughtful and meaningful gesture.
Just thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes, especially when I think about what this incredible woman has been through the past two years.  Fresh flowers bring me a ridiculous amount of joy.

The second unexpected gift occurred when my friend's husband offered to watch all six of our children so that his wife and I could capitalize on the 50% off sale at Value Village. Not only was it nice to have a child free outing, especially since my hubby is away on a nine day hunting trip, but is was also nice to spend time with my new friend Melissa, whom I grow more fond of each time I see.

The third unexpected gift was finding an exquisite pantsuit originally priced at 525$ for 20$ at Value Village. When I checked the size my initial thought was - "it's too small".  For some reason I seem to have a difficult time gauging whether something will fit me.  I often assume that I am smaller than I actually am. It's a nice way to think of oneself, until you try to pull an item over your head only to find that it is not going to get past your shoulders or thighs. I thought for sure that this would be case with said pantsuit. Nevertheless,  I felt the Lord whisper "just try it", so I tossed it into my cart and headed to the change room. As I tentatively tried on the jacket in front of a mirror since the change rooms were all full, I  cringed inwardly, convinced that it was not going to fit. But it did! It fit me beautifully. It was only after I tried on the jacket that I noticed the original  tags still attached. I didn't recognize the brand, but the label said that it was made in Canada and 98% wool. SCORE!!!! I have never owned something so expensive and fancy in my life so I was pretty thrilled to find it. The neat thing is, I was able to wear to an interview the following day. My God is such a good God.

The fourth unexpected gift took place this morning when I got home from walking my children to school with two grumpy toddlers in tow. Levi had woken up at 5am and had refused to return to sleep and my five year old had been incredibly defiant and difficult that morning.  I felt grumpy, bedraggled and tired. All I wanted to do was curl into a ball and cry. To my surprise I opened my front door to discover some unfamiliar boots in my entryway and voices upstairs. My initial reaction was panic since I was certain I was not hosting mom's group until the following week and was completely unprepared.  And by unprepared I mean that I had not brushed my hair or teeth, swept the floors, put out chairs, made coffee....ect. Thankfully the two mom's that had arrived before me had already started washing the dishes and making coffee. My panic gave way to joy when I realized that spending the morning in the company of some incredible mommas and enjoying a cup of coffee I didn't make, was exactly what I needed. So, despite being unprepared, mom's group went off without a hitch. Chairs were arranged, heart's were shared, tears were shed, babies were snuggled and everyone left more uplifted and encouraged then when they had arrived.

The fifth unexpected gift arrived just  as I was finishing this blog post. I heard a knock on the door and opened it to find my neighbor handing me a large box. Inside: three HUGE play Mobil advent calendars for my children, each calendar thoughtfully selected for their age and preferences. I was blown away. BLOWN AWAY. More than the cost, which is significant, was the fact that she had taken the time to order them months ago. Not only that, this particular woman has her hands FULL.  I am in awe of her ability to work full time, provide a safe and loving home for  foster children, take on eleven puppies, several horses and do so with apparent ease. She is nothing short of amazing!

That being said, I can't help but feel immense gratitude, not only for my friends, but also for my heavenly father who cares about the intimate and seemingly insignificant details of my life. While I was the recipient of kindness this week I was reminded how He loves to partner with us in encouraging and uplifting those around us. We are, essentially, called to be the hands and feet of Christ. When he places things on our hearts to do for someone, it is because he knows exactly they need. Life is not always easy, sometimes it is heartbreaking, but we can lift one another up and breath hope and life into eachother's weary bones. Go and be the blessing that you are.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Currently: November

"Home By Choice" by Brenda Hunter and "Reading The Bible AGAIN For the First Time" by Marcus J. Borg.
(Both books frustrate and challenge me for different reasons)

My old Lasenza jogging pants and a "Doug and the Slug's" T shirt I somehow acquired in University. ( My throat is sore and I have ZERO desire to leave the house today)

the quiet........... (Levi is napping and the girls are at school)

about sleeping through the night consistently and having heaps of energy

a little nervous about my interview with Victim Services this week

to "Since Your Love" by Brandon Hampton,  "Undeniable"  and by TobyMac
Come to the River - Housefires II (Featuring Kirby Kaple)

to get some fancy eyelashes and a functioning dishwasher

so many oranges!!!!!

to go shopping at value village with a girlfriend this afternoon
(50% off clothing today!!!)

how to finally French braid my daughter's hair

catching up on three months worth of project life

about what to get my hubby for Christmas (he is SOOOOO hard to buy for)

on putting up Christmas decorations this week. (EEEEEEEEE!!!) Goodbye fall d├ęcor.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Summer Recap: Part 1

I seem to take a break from blogging during the summer and this year has been no exception. Life was too spontaneous, full and unscheduled to find time to sit down and blog on a regular basis. Now that summer is firmly behind us, Hello Fall!!! I thought I would take some time share some photos from our summer. While we made many great memories this summer, I think my favorite was our trip to Camp Ferrier with the Vage family.

Other than the mosquitoes, which were vicious and unrelenting, it was blissful. The children ran free and explored to their heart's content, while us adults, visited, ate chummis and suntanned. We could not have asked for better weather.

Our voyage to Ferrier was a bit rough. Heidi and I smiled bravely whenever the children looked at us with concern, even though I we were feeling a bit nervous too. I love this photo of Steiner navigating the high seas. He did a great job getting us there safely.

Oh the sweet relief of relief of arriving at our destination.  One boat, six children, four adults and a ridiculous amount of gear. We had to dump most of our fresh water just to get our boat to plane. I was so nauseous by the time we arrived at Ferrier I nearly kissed the sand.

This is the rustic cabin that we called home for several nights.

And this was the spectacular view from inside...

I loved watching our children explore, bond, play, giggle, and run themselves ragged in the great outdoors.

I found the jagged pieces of this wreck captivating.

The boys set up an outdoor somewhat "private" outdoor shower area for us. It was just what we needed by the third day.

A perfect spot to journal in the morning.

While we were there we saw bear tracks, cougar tracks and wolf tracks. Pretty awesome and terrifying.

We took a hike up to the old military base and the children had a blast on the zipline.

One afternoon we hiked to another beach and just spent the day collecting shells, burying each other in the sand and sun tanning.

Packing up for the boat ride home.

The boys carried the small humans to the boat when it was time to bid Ferrier goodbye.

On our way home from we stopped at a place called Peggy's Cove. I had been there once before with a workgroup as a teenager so it was neat to go back and see how much it had changed.

WE arrived just in time to enjoy the MOST delicious blackberry upside down cake and peanut butter cookies.

While we were sitting outside on a picnic table I got to see a humpback whale breach TWO TIMES.  I just might have screamed with joy!

Back in Esperanza the boys took turns hauling all our camping gear and remaining groceries to Heidi and Steinar's home.

What an incredible adventure. Hopefully we can do it all again next year!