• Archive for January 2015


    Wednesday, January 28, 2015

    Some time ago, amidst the mid of summer’s heat, humidity and full abundant greenery, Roger brought me south, sweetly coaxing me away from a home I loved, that dear home in the mountains with character and tranquility and a whole host of beautiful memories. 

    We rented a car and grabbed a coffee and talked me through the nervousness of the day ahead 
    ‘what, just what would we do if we couldn’t find the right, perfectly right home’? 
    I’m a home person, he knew and I knew it wouldn’t work, just wouldn’t work for me or the children to be moved into a suburb of a huge American city. 

    I listed it out, all the unusual requests for land and home, trees and shrubs,
     some manicured but mostly wild overgrowth, 
    a few plots of dirt, spots to plant and watch roots grow strong,
     birds and quiet to hear them sing, 
    walking paths, and wildlife. 

    And the house… 
    windows, giving view to the seasons, bedrooms because bedrooms are nice, 
    wood floors - this family doesn’t do nice things to carpet,
     lots of walls - walls can have bookshelves and bookshelves can have books, 
    with character all about, 
    Texas homes are big, awfully big, but they lack what I love, charm. 
    He tried to sound assuring, “lets just see how the day goes, we have a long list of potential homes, and, and we can always renovate, add rooms, walls, windows even character”. 

    I didn’t really know where we were when he turned off that busy street, driving into a peaceful neighbourhood with country homes and long white fences, 
    when we rounded the bend and I saw a doe with three dotted fawns grazing in a front yard and behind the deer was the sweetest home with gables and a wide front veranda. 
    I was just thinking how happy I would be if we were able to find a home as welcoming as this one, 
    Roger interrupted my moment of longing by saying this was the very house we were going to look at! 

    I knew it was the one. 

    We both did. 

    He smiled and I cried and we both laughed. 

    It had all the character I was looking for, we did renovate… a lot! 
    But thats another story for the inside to tell. 
    Let’s stay outside today…

    It’s a small acreage; about an acre and a half of the land is landscaped and the rest is wild-woods for the children to get caught up in thousands of imaginations. 
    The whole house is embraced in flowerbeds. 
    And the trees, oh such beauty, the whispering and dancing with the glory of seasons upon their limbs.

    Everyday we have deer stroll and graze through our lawns. 
    A white fence laces the upper lawn that opens from the lane down to the home, which is sweetly inviting with the front veranda wrapping around the house. 
    Every window has shutters 
    and gables top off the charm. 

    It really is a welcoming and lovely home.
     I feel as though the Lord led us not only to a beautiful home but the right home. 
    His generous care to our needs and desires make this home so very special to each of us. 

    {Please note its the middle of winter here and on the browner side.} 

    {Corner of the Front Veranda}


    {Front steps and other side of the front veranda which wraps around to the kitchen entrance}

     {Kitchen entrance and the window to the left of the door is my laundry-room window} 

    {Side entrance leading to the kitchen door, the two windows side by side (left) is the playroom and above is Brennan's nursery window} 

    { This use to be an oversized three car garage we converted it into a one car garage and homeschool room. On the far left you can see where I park then we had the two windows and french doors installed into the previous garage bays} 

    {This use to be two garage doors, now it's the homeschool room}

    {Front Lawn} 

    {Here is a glimpse into the greenery of summer (I took these ones when we bought the house)}

    {The house trim use to be forest green, we changed it for a greyer green also we had the front door re-stained a darker brown and painted the frontdoor window casings white.}

    Thank you for allowing me to share our new house and welcome you into my new home.

    Here's to another Monday

    Monday, January 19, 2015

    Today I planned to show pictures of the front of our new home, start to welcome you in, give you glimpses into the beauty of our new house. 

    Yet some days…  

    some days take on a tenacious force that I haven’t figured out how to tame. 

    I was startled in the shower, two toddler faces peering at me through the steamy glass, with half shampooed hair, I leapt out of the shower and into the privacy of a towel. These unannounced spectators were alarming for two reasons

     #1 There is nothing like having your little toddler boys around for such an exposing moment! 
     #2 It means the four year old must have taught the three year old how to pick a lock… 
    because moments before I had securely fastened the door, just in case! 
    The evidence was still in the lock, bobbie-pin and all! 

    A huffy me questioned the two intruders, dripping sudsy bubbles and water over the early morning invaders. 
    These two littles felt the urgent need to inform me that the cat had just pooed on Lachlan’s bed! 
    I half assembled my dripping hair in a pony-tail and found something slightly more decent then a towel to wear for the day, a quick glance in the mirror had me uttering a desperate prayer that nobody would show up unannounced (not even the neighbours dog).
     Dutifully I followed the boys to their room for further investigation, sure enough their story was true as true.
     I went about cleaning up but couldn’t see anything wet, I just hoped I wasn’t missing a puddle of cat urine somewhere. 
    I hauled a full two loads of extra laundry down stairs and started the washing. 

    Breakfast started with the chaos of orders customized to each needs, extra peanut butter for that one, none for the other, eggs with salt or without, greens and berries and a normal amount of spills and complaining, badgering and begging.
     Meal time in this family can be more a deafening whirlwind then peaceful nourishment. 
    I think I ate among the ups and down, but I have no real recollection…
     and a mid-morning famished rumble begs to differ… 

    The baby choked on a piece of last nights salmon hid in the one spot the broom must not reach (because I’m certain I swept the floors last night) spitting up his homemade vibrant green baby food all over his clean clothes and my mismatched outfit! 
    His extra clingy-ness must be because I slept through one of his midnight feedings. 
    Not to worry though, he got plenty during the other early night, midnight, early dawn, mid-dawn and morning feedings actually he was fed every one-and-a-half hours throughout the night (and day truth be told), 
    except for the one I slept through…

    Meanwhile Mr. Wild thought he would climb up on the laundry room table to get his favourite t-shirt (I had already dressed him for the day) his actions tumbled down all the folded laundry. 
    Yesterday’s mile-high mountain of work still waiting to be put away.
     With clean laundry now hopelessly mixed with the dirty and spewed across the floor,
     just as I feared a knock on the front door… 
    an Amazon order was delivered and needed a signature, this mornings shampooing attempts now slicking back my dried out hair perfectly complementing my hasty outfit with the babies green spit-up breakfast yet to be washed off! 
    When I opened the box I found a broken product which means a return job can be added to the rarely-get-done list! 

    It was when I was bringing the clean blankets up to the boys room - washed after this morning mayhem, my sense of smell was horrifically met with the obvious smell of cat pee, it didn’t take long to realize the cat had urinated on the other bed, soaking through those blankets, pillows and mattress! 
    And so another two loads of laundry were added to the already extra two just completed and the days regular laundry still in wait, now thoroughly mixed in with yesterdays once clean and folded laundry!

    Once I dealt with that chaos, I sat down to a now cold cup of once hot coffee, 
    it was 9 a.m!  

    Some days…

    There is a hardness, motherhood is hard, raising six kids is hard, sometimes I feel defeated before the day even starts, often by 9am! 
    I turn to places that encourage my role of mothering, webpages and blogs that uplift and remind me of the deep worth of all this energy invested.
     I am often blessed by these mothers, it has been refreshing to see so many women stepping up, voicing the beauty and worth of motherhood, yet it can be discouraging when you click around and all you see is their accomplishments, 
    some managed to take eight littles to a two hour lecture…front row… 
    others write National Bestsellers, 
    sew their own clothing, 
    go to the moon singlehandedly in their own engineered space craft… 
    ok so maybe not but you get the message. 

    There has been nothing that has exposed my weaknesses and confirmed my inadequacies quite like Motherhood. 
    If I add comparison to my already weighty load I will collapse, run for the hills or sink into the mire. 
    I know the voice that comes quick when the stress and the needs and all the crazy of this home collide and in that moment I wonder why and how every one else seems to manage, accomplish and succeed. 

    When my arms are aching and my head is throbbing and I’m not sure I have anything left to give, there it is again a sly darkness threatening my soul, vision and care for my family. Chalking myself up against pinterst or others or even myself on less hectic days is just the sort of thing that threatens to pin me down and debilitate me, derail my day and courage.   
    I am not always victorious, I am not always sure how to silence the force of wild days and exhaustion and discouragement.
     But I do know a God who meets me in my mess, catches my tears even as they fall into dirty sinks filled with yesterdays dishes.
     He is with me when I switch laundry at midnight as I walk to the nursery for another slumbered hour feeding.

    He Sees , He Hears and He Cradles
    Carries me like a Father.
     The way my love is willing to journey with my littles through their crazy and wild of childhood. He nurtures me with the same paternal tenderness, yet his is complete, a perfect embrace of steadfast love.
    When I am caught with the thoughts of defeat and discouragement I turn to Him and He is always quick to show me that I am stacking myself up against the world or others and a model of perfection, all expectations he never requires of me! 

    There is a place of pure direction and Holy comfort, and hidden within His words there is  comfort.
    It was written long ago, a note to me and you and the only picture we should have, the only one truth I should cling to, everyday and every moment of this mothering journey; 

    He tends his flock like a shepherd.
    He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; 
    He gently leads those that have young.
    Isaiah 40:11
    His only desires is that I be faithful, in love, and generous spirt. 

    So here's to another Monday and another week,
     I raise my mug of yet again another cup of cold coffee,
     to you and the other countless women who will spend every last ounce pouring into the spirits, lives and souls around us. 
    Here is to all the Holy wonder you get to be part of and the nurturing of our most valued treasures.
    Here is to the wild weary and all encompassing role we lead, here is to the heartaches and wholehearted moments of joys, the tears and treasures.
     Here is to Motherhood on Mondays.
     And know, please know that I am just finding my way through the mess and chaos to a God who is present and cares and is willing to be a constant on every Monday during every moment of Mothering! 

    Another Year

    Sunday, January 11, 2015

     I’ve been nervous about coming back to these pages, so much of this place has been about the person I was in that home among those dreams, I needed to first grasp the ache and sadness and ease out of all the changes.
     As time and structure has relieved some of the chaos and a natural ebb and flow of days are emerging I am understanding who I still am and excepting what parts have changed, what I have grown into and what is gone forever.
     I grasp things better once I’ve passed through them, I guess I'm a 'hindsighter',  I am comfortable with that, my silence has been essential to my soul and the natural effects intensely required of my time, every second has been committed to as gracefully as possible move my family made up of six-young and one adventurous man to a new country and home. 
    That was just about all I could do during the season of moving. 
    And to tell you the truth I had no words, they just hadn’t come. 
    Until sometime during the holiday season, a sparkling evening with quiet music a quiet moment and glass of wine, I found I was able to encapsulate our year on page, send out a holiday letter, and if I may use that same letter as a launch to bring me back into this space of writing and journalling, and recording the moments of our evanescent days, all the beauty and broken of this life, 
    and the humble honesty of my heart. 

    Our Holiday Letter 2014

     Familiarity slipped in silently and unannounced, just the way dawns come and go, life turns from one advent to another. I’ve been waiting for it, the way one waits to catch a breath or fall into a long awaited moment, I knew once we made it to that moment it would be good. There would be and has been a sense of comfort when you find pace, a rhythm, essence of days left behind, soil and home.

    Change has come so often this year, and with it new life, adventures, stories and faith and so much more tucked tight within the passing of time.

    It was about this time last year, endless days of nausea revealed the coming of a spring baby. We were humbled, our autumn had been a time of heartbreak, journeying with some of our dearest people through the hard brokeness of this life, you feel it, when those you love are wounded. Amidst the tears and the burdens, God planted life within our season of sadness, and with it hope, we experienced it so dynamically in those days the stark contrast between hope lost and hope beautifully anew through the coming advent of a newborn. Days became about preparing for a sixth child, great anticipation ensued, along with logistical concern, we were truly heading into a complete out numbering of child to adult. June 1st was the moment, everything happened so fast, Roger got to sharpen his midwifery skills yet again, and deliver yet another one of our sons on our bathroom floor!  That first breath changed our life, our world was gloriously different, never to return to the lesser capacity of love we had known but a second before hand. God gave us another son, Brennan Grant, he was something, familiar yet divinely unique, oh the miraculous details of a newborn. It was at dawn when all the sleepy toddlers crawled up into our bed that I realized fully how rich and wild and busy our life had suddenly become, there smiling and wiggling around me were four little people four and under, a just turned four year old, two-two year olds and our newborn. It was one of those moments you just smile and wonder, take a deep breath and be swept away, right into the beautiful chaos of loving  these littles.

    We will forever treasure the weeks that followed Brennan’s birth, there were hints of change stirring deep within, faint, the way you sense the essence of spring upon the earth long before a tangible sign.  Just a whispering and hint.  Intuitively I knew what was coming and I longed to slow a good-bye, memorizing the utter fulfilment of this home in these mountains, hang on to them, trace my heart delicately along the memories and beauty that had enriched our last years. 
    I watched the season change, trees open after winters dormancy, kids released from icy confines, days lasting longer, fragrant blooms placed on the sill catching the breeze of open windows, a newborn's lashes lying so peacefully upon the flush of sleep, curled fists, his soft breath, I was lingering in the moments, embedding them deeply within the collection of our story, I was saying good-bye before I knew why.

    It wasn’t long. Our company asked, honoured Roger with a highly coveted role, one of the most intense developmental positions within our company, he never sought this role out, it was a door Roger never pushed to open, but there it lay wide before us. We prayed, humbly asking for wisdom, time and time again we felt lead to except the role, taking on a new adventure, country, home.  With just seven weeks before he was needed to start his new job we flew south for a whirlwind weekend and bought a home. Once we returned to Canada we had six weeks to apply for our visas, do all the paperwork for an international move, prepare and list our home, drive our travel-trailer 22 hours return trip to park and store at my brothers, transition out of a job (Roger’s), pack our house, pack our bags, say goodbye to our family and friends, all while processing and grieving the end of a dream.  When our suitcases were packed and just days before our flight we got a call, one of those calls that the voice on the other end is quivering, nervous, the house we bought, the one that felt right, a rare gem nestled in nature and country, surrounded by the bustle of one of America’s largest cities, wasn’t going to work out.  There were complications, a hefty finical lien, twelve year divorce dispute; we should walk away find a new home to buy. 

    Six young children, one postpartum mama, and a man going into a new highly intense job, got on a plane moved to a new country and city with no home! It was trepid, walking in the dark, over unfamiliar paths, and your only option was to cling to a God who can be trusted!  Oh we clung, held fast to the faithfulness of God, walking by faith not by sight! We experienced miracle upon miracle and saw the mighty hand of God. It wasn’t easy but it was beautiful! By miraculous intervention we got the house we had believed was to be our home in the south. When the title was finally transferred to our name and our realtor handed us the keys and said she had goose-bumps because she couldn’t explain what she had just witnessed and in all her thirty professional years she had never seeing anything quite like this. And we said it with reverent
    awe, that this was God and prayer and the living out of Faith. We felt humbled and blessed and that we were riding the wave of something so much bigger than us! 

    We then had the wild ambition to totally transform the house, polish it to the needs of a large family. Replace carpets with wood, walls for windows, garages for a homeschool room and attics for bedrooms. Three weeks quickly turned into six and like all renovation projected timeframes were missed. Kids became restless for a life without transition and boxes. It was time, for them and for us to settle in, call this place home and allow it to become that. 

    And so it has, we wake to familiarity, and now that the move is behind us, much of life is the same. There is a constant within the varying roles of Motherhood that do not alter for location whether it be Africa, Bragg Creek, and now Houston, Texas.  As a Mother, life carries on; the same amount of laundry needs doing, food made, children cared for, school taught, life nurtured. It feels relieving to experience the constancy of home life humming away as usual. For Roger life is far more pleasant, he loves the weather and conveniences Texas offers, he is finding his new role just the challenge he was looking forward to. Our kids patter away with the energy of youth and the carefree wonder of childhood, each exuding their own unique strengths and challenges. There is such a resilient spirit within each of our children. They have been grand adventurers, daring comrades and our greatest treasures.

    We both feel overwhelmed by the faithfulness of God; its been a beautiful humbling, coming to experience our God deeper, feel His presence, trust His care and guidance and except His peace when ours was wavering with the tilt of this world’s burdens.  The experiences of 2014 changed us, we left all that was home and comfortable, moved to a new city, country; we've been stretched raw, exhausted, yet we are fuller with life, we changed from a family of seven to eight, we are richer because of the depth of our journey, we are stronger, we love each other wilder, we have a new soul and new memories and all through it God has been with us.  Because of that we are thankful and joyful and absorbing the beautiful ups and down of the past and eager for the moments laying in-wait. 
    This year may you experience the God of Life and all the wonderful depth of his goodness for you. 
    We love you!

    Roger, Rosaleen, Marion (10), Davina (7), Lachlan (4), Jeriah (3), Amaris (2), Brennan (7m).