Random Thoughts

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I've seen alot of people blog with this title, and never thought I would, because, well, so many other people do it. I don't like doing what other people commonly do. That's why I named my kids as I did.

But here they are.

I love my midwife. What a beautiful woman. She's been so amazing the past few weeks. I never thought I would feel a closer bond with her, then after birthing my first three. This fourth has ironically done that.

I'm 99.9% done my Christmas shopping and have not gone into debt. How amazing is that?

We held a memorial service for Hayden Jack. It was really nice, but hard. Our families came--which meant so much to us. My grandparents, Jamie's parents, his sister, brother and their families. My brother Corey and his girlfriend came, which surprised me. Even after reconciling with him, he's still....distant from the family. The only one not there was Paul, who was still in QC at basic training.
Over my years of singing, the Lord often leads me to songs. So many times I'll show up for a service and sing a song that later proves to be totally complimentary to the sermon, even though the pastor and I wouldn't have communicated. When I was carrying my children, I spent much of the 9 months thinking of what song I would sing for them at their dedications. For Jairus, I chose 'Over and Under' from the McCaughey septuplet CD. Cindy Morgan, one of my favourite christian artists composed and performed the song. For Honour, I chose 'I Am' by Nicole Nordemann. Not really a baby song, but....a lifetime song. I love it. And for Verity, I found an older Twila Paris song, off her lullaby CD, called "Your Whole Life Long". It is a faith statement for how I envision my children raised: "I pray that you will follow Him, your whole life long....".
So what song to sing for a baby that won't have his whole life long?

Well, first of all, I couldn't sing it. I knew it was going to be difficult enough to get through the service. I would just play the CD.

It's been nearly 6 months since we moved, and I'm still not completely unpacked. There was no place to set up the CD shelf and the player we've had for longer than we've been married. (Ok, it was Jamies). So the box sat down in the room that will be Jamie's office/studio. With Christmas approaching, I had decided that 6 months without music was TOO LONG. And I HAD to listen to my Christmas music. So I pulled the shelf up and set it in the living room--not and ideal spot, but it would do. And I started unpacking all the CD's. Honour was with me, and she puttered through the discs. Suddenly she spots a lullaby CD that Marlene Penman gave me at one of the kids' births. It has Precious Moments pictures all over it. Honour, of course, insisted on listening to it. I stuck it on. The first song was a remake of Mercy Me's, "I can only Imagine". I sat and listened, and thought.

I can only imagine
What it will be like,
when I walk
By Your side
I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When your face is before me
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your Glory
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you, Jesus?
Or in awe of You, be still?
Will I stand in Your presence,
Or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing Hallelujah?
Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
When I find myself,
Standing in the Son
I can only imagine,
When all I will do,
is forever--
Forever worship You
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
And then, my paraphrase of the chorus,

Surrounded by your glory, what will his heart feel?
Will he dance for you, Jesus?
Or in awe of You, be still?
Will he stand in Your presence,
Or to his knees will he fall?
Will he sing Hallelujah?
Will he be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

So I played it. I think it was real nice.
My daughter talks to herself alot. I wonder if it's because her siblings can't talk yet. Do you think I should be worried?
So we got a call from the hospital last week. It was a yucky call. The bottom line is that the pathologist claims there was nothing wrong with Hayden. Even though the nurse, and my midwife, and my mom, all saw him and felt there was something not right, the powers that be disagree.
We fought this a little. Asked for a second opinion (apparently not an option). Asked for clarification. It seems that their idea of clarification is repeating what you've already been told.
On one hand, this has an element of relief. Our boy didn't have problems like Jairus. We perhaps don't have some genetic curse coursing through our veins.
On the other hand, I don't believe it. My last ultrasound with Jairus (of seven) showed that his birth defects had 'suddenly' corrected themselves. Everyone was thrilled---except me. I didn't believe it, and good thing I didn't. Sure enough, when he was born, all was as the previous six ultrasounds had claimed. These doctors might be brilliant, educated, well studied, top of their class, holding the highest pathology position in Canada.....but they can still make a mistake. And I think one was made here.
But I don't think there's anything more we can do. And when it comes down to it, it's in the Lord's hands whether or not our next child is healthy, whether he dies too, or if he's born with problems lesser, worse then, or just like Jairus. It's out of our hands. And it's a good thing too, because it's a responsibility I wouldn't want for all the world.
I have, a perfectly wicked case of pinkeye.
I'm 32 years old, and I have PINKEYE!
It's realy brutal---my left eye was nearly swelled shut until after lunch. Forget pink, my eye is a brilliant shade of crimson. It's watering, itching, burning, hurting....
Are you feeling it yet?
(Wicked chuckle)

Hayden Jack Kent

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Thank you everyone who's been praying. I never thought I could handle going through anything remotely like this....but greater is He who is in me. Your prayers are working.

On Tuesday the 21st, I had an ultrasound at 8am. First a tech who was 'in training' took a few pictures, then excused herself to get a more experienced tech to finish, as she had told me up front she would be doing. I had a bad feeling because she had asked me what I felt were some suspicious questions. I had strained to see the screen and prayed to see movement, but all I saw was the outline of the baby's head as she measured it.

When the second tech arrived, she sat down and pulled the machine closer towards her and turned the screen away. Bad feelings increased. Within a couple minutes, a doctor appeared at the curtain. Bad feelings turned into panic.

He looked with the tech at the screen and made some unintelligable comments. Then the tech asked me if I had come with anyone and that's when I started to cry. As I sat up, the doctor told me that there was no heartbeat.

We went up to the genetics appointment anyway, hoping that they could give us more information. They told us that although I was 19 weeks pregnant, the baby was only measuring 14 weeks gestation. I knew they had to be off somewhat, because I heard the heartbeat at 15 weeks, and I'm very confident in my dates.

An obstetrician was called and she came to meet with us and tell us what would happen next. We had a few options: surgery, taking a drug to induce labour, or waiting until I miscarried naturally. We chose the drug, which would involve me being admitted to hospital to have it administered. Unfortunately, there were no beds available to do this until the following Tuesday, a whole week later. We were horrified.

I felt that I would probably go into labour on my own, so we decided to go home and wait until that happened, or the week went by. I spent everyday at my moms in case it started, and mom and my sister even came home with us one night, when I was feeling awful and sure it was starting.

As the week went by, I became more tense and scared. They had warned me that being as far along as I was, I could bleed badly when it happened and have to rush to the hospital. My midwife, who supported us wonderfully during the whole thing, gave me instructions to call 911 if certain things happened. I didn't want my husband or mom have to deal with me miscarrying at home. I didn't want to see this baby. I was scared.

By the weekend, I couldn't take it anymore. I called the OB and told her I wanted surgery instead. I wanted this over with. To my dismay, she explained that I had misunderstood and surgery was not an option. She would do it if I insisted, but it would be risky and a horrible procedure. I decided to keep waiting.

I made it to Tuesday morning and got to the hospital earlier than the 7:30am they had told us. James and my mom came with me while my dad watched Jairus, Honour and Verity. They started the inducing drug around 9am. I didn't feel much until around noon, which surprised me: I was induced for Jairus and reacted strongly to the drugs then. But this was a different drug. And a different baby.

They gave me tylenol 3 at first, and then upped it to morphine to deal with the pain. It took 3 doses of the drug until finally our baby was born.

At 6:10pm, Hayden Jack Kent arrived easily and quietly. My midwife was there and took care of him just as she had my other children. She and the nurse actually couldn't tell for certain that he was a boy, but we all feel strongly that he is. He appeared to have a cleft lip and palate and from observation, a club foot and other issues with his legs. I chose not to look at him, but my mom and midwife did. My midwife has a tradition of making footprints of the babies she helps deliver, and I asked her if she could do the same for Hayden. She said she would try, but ended up doing handprints instead. They are so tiny...

Hayden was 14.5 cm long and weighed 45 grams. McMaster has worked out some admirable ways to help families deal with their grief. They assembled a memory box for us which had in it a blanket that they had laid Hayden on after he was born, the heart shaped card with his handprints, a measuring tape with his length marked on it, and a card that listed his time of birth, length, etc. I will put the tape with his heartbeat from my first midwife appointment in it too. I hope to still get one of the few ultrasound photos they took.

We got home around 11pm and the kids stayed at my parents. When I walked into mom and dad's house the next morning and saw them, it was with new eyes. Especially Jairus. Over the years, many people have called him a miracle and I would agree....but never the same way I do now. My mom remarked later that as tiny as he was, she could see that Hayden looked like his big brother.

There's a song I used to sing a number of years ago:

I will trust you Lord, when I don't know why
I will trust you Lord, 'til the day I die
I will trust you Lord, when I'm blind with pain
You were God before and you'll never change
I will trust you...
~Twila Paris
My little Hayden boy, I will see you again.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I found out that our baby is with the Lord.

Look out, it's starting

Monday, November 13, 2006

I am a fiction lover. Christian fiction in particular, although I'll devour the latest Mary Higgins Clark in mere hours. Over the last few years, I've read a few fiction books that portray a future western civilization that is completely and utterly hostile to Christianity, especially evangelicals. One common thread through the books is that this hostility begins with one of the current 'hot topics'---abortion, gay rights...well, ok, those are the only two I can think of right now.

Reading fictitious accounts of what could happen to believers in the next many years is often disconcerting, but never long lasting, as I comfort myself that we're not there, it may not ever happen and I've got enough to worry about that is actually affecting my life NOW!

However, I read an alarming story on yahoo news just now.

See it here.

First of all, I think the United Church should be terribly offended. Not that I'm in agreement with the United church in all regards, but it's fairly well known that they are great supporters of gay rights, and go out of their way to show massive acceptance of all those proclaiming to be gay. I know they ordain gay ministers and allow gays in all areas of church leadership. The United church has even started a new...for lack of a better word, program, that allows congregations to take on the name 'affirming' which means they won't reject anyone based on gender, sexual orientation or race.

I hope that they respond, and quickly. Elton John is too huge a star to allow his comments to filter through our society unchecked. He is exactly the kind of politically active, diversely talented poster boy anti-religion movements need. People listen to him. He can sway alot of public opinion.

The fact that his comments in this article are inconsistent will likely make no difference to those who might seize his stance and elevate it to the forefront of anti-religious endeavours.
"I think religion has always tried to turn hatred toward gay people," John said
in the Observer newspaper's Music Monthly Magazine in an interview published
Saturday. "Religion promotes the hatred and spite against gays."
"But there
are so many people I know who are gay and love their religion," said the
What kind of sadistic people does Elton know, that would puposefully involve themselves with an organization that "hates" them and apparently promotes hatred against those like them?

Unfortunately, I think the United church are the only ones that could defend "organized religion" in this case. Take the words of another blogger, Scott Williams:

"today, however, because of comments by one notorious church planter who is fond
of telling you his credentials; many christians are branded as fundamentalist,
gay-bashing, stupid rednecks"
and then at the end:

"just for the record, most of us can't afford air conditioned dog houses
and we don't ask people to drink poisoned kool-aid. we don't hate gay people and
some of us wouldn't vote republican if it was a one party system. most
christians i have met are incredibly humble and giving, the best kind of people.
they would take a bullet for a stranger and every day wake up and try to be a
good citizen and a compassionate human being."
Of course, Christians' reputations haven't been built on just one idiots public comments. It's been the zealots, the cults, the misguided fringe elements. The fact that thousands of mainstream, conservative evangelical churches would never dream of preaching hatred towards anyone, just can't hold a candle to the luscious glee so many journalists experience when handed the weapon to skewer "organized religion". Want to know a shocking truth? Public opinion is sometimes WRONG. Would you like proof? Answer the following scenario:

Your 10 year old son comes home and asks to go over to a friends house, with the plan that after a bit, he and his friend will go over to a third friends house. You know that friend number one has a pool, and you know your son and friend will likely be going for a swim. You know that friend two's dad owns a gun and that the kids know where it is kept. What are you going to say to your son?

Possible answers:
1) Sure, go ahead, be home by supper.
2) You can go to friend number one's house, but I don't want you going to friend two's house.
3) You can go to friend number two's house, but I don't want you going to friend one's house.
4) You failed your science test today---you're not going anywhere buddy.

If you're actually a parent, you're probably thinking about answer 2. Or maybe you're not because you know that's the expected answer, and you never do what's expected.

Yes, it is the expected answer, and Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner prove it nicely in their book "Freakonomics" when they list the statistical evidence concerning juvenile death by guns, compared to death by drowning in a family pool. Most do not see a backyard pool as an inherent danger to their children, but would never dream of owning a gun. However, statistics prove that a child in a home with both a gun and a swimming pool is about 100 times more likely to die in the swimming pool, rather then in an accident with the gun. How well known is this fact?

Well, did you know?

All this to say that my heart sinks when I see the likes of Elton John making such horribly damaging comments across the worldwide stage. As followers of Jesus Christ, our highest mandate is to love. God is love and we strive to be like him.

November's not normally this exciting....

Monday, November 6, 2006

I have a few more exciting announcements!

No, I'm not having twins. (Although I did have a dream about that....)

First of all, you'll see a link to the Hamilton Children's Choir on my sidebar. This is because I'm on the artistic staff. I conduct the training choir, called Prelude and the boys choir, called Allmen. I've been involved with the HCC since I was ten years old when I joined as a chorister. I came on staff in 2001, right after Jairus was born. At the time, the Artistic Director was David Davis, who had been my conductor as a child and who became a close friend and mentor as I grew up.

David left the HCC in 2002 to become the director of the Canadian Male Orpheus choir. He did this until his death this past spring.

Zimfira Poloz came on as our new artistic director. Having only lived in Canada for three years, her english had an impossibly strong Russian accent, but she was impressively fluent. Also impressive was her experience. She had founded a choral school in her native Kazakhstan which grew from nothing to hundreds of students and a large staff of teachers in only 15 years. Upon arriving in Canada, she headed right for the top--the Toronto Children's Chorus. Soon after, she took over the High Park Children's Choir in TO and then joined us in the January of 2003. Zimfira still travels more than once a year to adjudicate and present at world reknowned choral competitions all over the globe. Working with her has been incredible and I've learned SO much in only 3 years.

In a couple hours the Concert Choir arrives home from Tolosa, Spain. There they competed in a world class choral competition, for the first time, and placed second behind a Russian choir. Furthermore, they were awarded the audience's "People's Choice" Award as best choir in the competition. I was so thrilled to hear this! And especially proud, when I look at the pictures and see children (now teens) that started in my training choir years ago.

New uniforms were created for the trip--see how amazing these kids look!!

So, congratulations to the Hamilton Children's Choir!! For more pictures, take a look at the trip blog here.

In other news, we heard today that my brother Paul has been accepted into the military. This is both exciting and scary! Paul is 18 years old and graduated from highschool in June. He's been working part-ish time at Tim Hortons, but no more!! He flies out to St. John's, NFLD in less than two weeks to start basic training. Please pray that he'll hook up with some good guys out there that will help keep him on the straight and narrow. Plus that he'll get in shape soon--he's spent most of the last year on his computer!! Congratulations Paul!!

Last but not least, late last week my sister Lauren was accepted into the Cosmetology and Marketing program at Sheridan College in Oakville. She's so excited! Lauren graduated from highschool last year and has been working full time for Direct Buy in Stoney Creek all this year. Now we've gotta get apartment hunting...Congratulations Lauren!!

And congratulations to my parents. You just got rid of two kids within 5 days!!! Hallelujah!

And I thought I'd give an update on Mvelopes. After some initial gliches with service interruptions, it's been running along smoothly and I've never been so excited about taking care of the family finances. It's been just over three months now since I joined up, first taking advantage of the 30 day free trial. It's taken some trial and error, a number of instant message sessions with the tech people and a few posts on the support forum, but I've got the hang of it now. I was able to solve the biggest hurdle I was seeing--that Mvelopes has you plan your budget based on a monthly pay schedule, and we get paid bi-weekly (plus a few other income sources throughout the month). I connected with another user through the forums who was much more experienced than I, and she sent me a spreadsheet that showed me how to plan out the use of each and every paycheque. This made the whole process 100% clearer and I really feel like I'm using the system closer to it's full potential. Some immediate improvements I've seen:

  • There's actually still money left in my bank account when the next paycheque arrives. This never happened before!!
  • There's money in our savings account. Can I just say, holy cannoli.
  • I've got money set aside for a few small things that I never used to have--like money to buy medicine or prescriptions (we've got no plan). Had to buy Tylenol last night because Honour was complaining of a sore throat and....oh my goodness, there was actually money there to do that!

So, I'm really thrilled with how the Mvelopes is working for us. I'd encourage anyone who makes ANY money to look into it pronto.

I have an appointment with the Prenatal Diagnostic clinic on Nov. 21st. This will be my ultrasound--anatomical scan and 3-D ultrasound, and then an appointment with the geneticist. I have to admit, I'm a little nervous. I feel like this baby doesn't move around as much as I remember my other babies. I'm hoping it's just because I'm so busy with the other 3 all the time that I don't notice. I'm hardly showing too. Tomorrow I'll be 17 weeks and nobody can really tell than I'm pregnant. But I have gained more weight at this point than I have with the other three (oh, great), so that's gotta be a good sign, right? And at the last midwife appointment, the heartbeat was nice and strong--up in the 150's and I was measuring just right. I keep reassuring myself with that info.

Thanks for readin'.

Later all.

Tatum Update

Thursday, November 2, 2006

We got some news about Tatum this week.

Please hop over to the Help Tatum blog to read about it.

Thanks much,



Monday, October 30, 2006

How many saw the W5 segment this weekend about the Dominion Christian Centre?

See the write up here

I was just flippin' through the channels at my parents when I caught the last five minutes or so. We don't have cable--no TV channels actually, and mom and dad have been without TV for so long because of the renovation, that now that they have it set up again, we all sit around like idiots watching hour after hour....well, ok, I sit around like an idiot. Aw, cut me some slack, I didn't feel so hot yesterday....

So I've enjoyed W5 in the past, although I never watch it regularly. It was because of one of their shows that I learned all about the Steven Trusscott case (the guy who at 14 years old was convicted of raping and killing a young girl in Clinton, ON, back in the 60's. A more ridiculous miscarriage of justice I've never seen).

Mom and dad have a TV where you can press a button at every channel and it gives you all this info about the show that's on. (Call me technologically naive, but I think that's really cool). I was totally floored when I stopped at the W5 show and hit the info button and it said that it was about a suspected cult in Hamilton. Right here in Hamilton!
I watched the rest and only heard about a particular girl, who's parents are heartbroken over her deserting the family. Not just deserting, but completely cutting herself off from them.

Then on Sunday, my brother called. He'd seen the whole thing, and had also managed to stumble upon a blog written by a girl who's got a sister involved with them. You can read her blog here.

My brother Ryan is in the middle of obtaining his PhD in New Testament studies. He went out to Briercrest in SK for his undergrad and Gordon Conwell Seminary in Boston for his masters. He's just finishing up his comprehensives and will start his thesis work sometime next year. My husband and I both graduated from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. (I should really get a link up on my sidebar). So theological debates are nothing new around our family. Specially since Ryan decided to leave the church we grew up in and become a member of the Anglican church. It was a difficult thing for my parents and me for a while to understand, but he explains himself well. One thing I have come to understand better through Ryan's involvement with the Anglican church is the sense of history we have in Christianity.

As evangelicals, we often strive for the newest and most trendy, catchy way of bringing people into the church. Cathedrals turned into business-like, comfy lounge-style buildings with 'all-purpose' rooms. Over the last 50 years, our music departed from hymns and gospel songs to early praise and worship, now slightly more sophisticated P&W (depending on what church you attend. Of course, some churches still do hymns, or cranked up versions, or a blend of hymns and P&W). And for the longest time (probably still is in some places) there was a huge debate about 'Christian Rock'. I remember when Petra came on the scene. And then Amy Grant. (Man, she was tame stuff back then). But it was a huge deal in evangelical churches: was it right to use 'rock' music to appeal to the non-churched? Or for the evangelical youth to enjoy? I'm not going to get into that right now, my point was the history.

Ryan's turn to the Anglican church made me want to see what he found appealing in it. After practicing in Christ Church Cathedral every Wednesday with the Hamilton Children's Choir since I was 10, and sometimes being involved in an Anglican service, I was at first pretty shocked that my brother wanted to be a part of that. But he was looking for something I hadn't ever thought about. And considering my penchant for viewing many things of the past as inherently superior to most modern ways, I'm surprised I didn't.

It's just humbling to realize that most of the theological, doctrinal, personal spiritual and even social issues that I deal with, were already dealt with (often more than once) sometime in the history of the church. Over and over, I'm fascinated by how many 'modern' problems were experienced hundreds of years ago. Ryan has often commented that there's no new ideas out there (or rarely any). Especially when it comes to the Bible. Think you've discovered some huge theological problem? Right. It's already been discovered---and solved--- 500 years ago.
So in otherwords, if you 'discover' some 'new' interpretation, rest assured that you've not discovered anything. And there's something to be said for the dozens, maybe even hundreds of scholars much more brilliant than you, that have researched that issue, interpreted the greek, found the earliest manuscript and come to the answer--an answer accepted and embraced by the historical church. I'm not saying that the old adage "When 1000 people believe a stupid idea, it's still a stupid idea" isn't right. But there's a reason why the Lord established a church--and not a building somewhere, and not just some denomination. We need trusted brothers and sisters, elders and friends from different walks of life; because iron sharpens iron. And as humble servants, servant leaders, we should never hold ourselves up as the ultimate authority on any issue--or the ultimate interpreter of an issue.

As I'm right in the middle of Randy Alcorn's "Deadline", and have media bias on the brain, let me stop for a quick disclaimer:

"If the W5 broadcast was accurate and truthful to what's really happening at the DCC...."

The Dominion Christian Centre may not fall neatly into the parameters of a cult. But it has many apects that fall dangerously close. I'm horrified that there's a group like this in my very city. As christians, we have enough trouble doing battle with those who completely oppose our beliefs; now we have to deal with some of 'our own' doing just as much damage to the cause of Christ as any abortionist or evolutionist. Grrr.

"In his sermon at the D.C.C., Pastor Rigo says, "For the most part, Church is just a nice outhouse. You simply go once a week, move your conscience bowels, get a little relief and go back out and eat like a pig for another seven days. That's why churches mainly stink." "--W5

When I was earning my degree, I worked part time at the Moody Bookstore. I really enjoyed it, mostly because I love books. You can imagine all the different kinds of people I met in the middle of downtown Chicago. Once, when I was working at the customer service desk--answering phones and doing returns and such, a man came in for a reason I completely can't remember. Somehow, we got into a discussion about Mother Teresa. You see, this man had had a bad experience with the Catholic church. He was utterly convinced that there was no way that Mother Teresa could be in heaven because....she was Catholic. Because of his experience, he had come to believe that there were no true believers in the Catholic church.

If there's one important lesson I've learned in my few years of growing up so far, it's that there's idiots in every group. In otherwords, in every church, in every denomination, in every territory of every denomination, there will be those who follow the Lord truly and with all their hearts.....and there will be those that are faking it. There will be those who love the Lord with all their hearts, souls and minds.....and those that are just hoping to be considered good people.

And that's why Christianity isn't based on the church. If it was, it would have crumbled to dust at the first committee meeting to decided the colour of the carpet. We base our faith on Jesus Christ, the only one worthy for us to focus our attentions on. So many people only see the hypocrites and decide that Christianity isn't for them. Or another denomination must be better. The harsh reality is that it's a rare church that doesn't have statistically the same amount of 'fakers' as any other.

I wish I knew what it would take to put 'Pastor Rigo' in his place. I hope this W5 segment starts the process. My more impetuous side sees the 70 people who showed up for the open meeting storming the DCC at every service, holding a silent--or perhaps not silent vigil for their loved ones still ensnared. Like a huge intervention. But I think the Lord likely has something much more effective and refined than that.

For all you nosy parkers....(!)

Monday, October 23, 2006

So now that most everyone knows....but most importantly those who would be offended to find out via the grapvine (grandmas, grandpas, etc.), I can now officially announce:

We're having another baby.


Commonly asked questions:

Q: Are you serious?
A: Um, yeah.

Q:When are you due?
A: April 17th, 2007. This means I'm just about 15 weeks along, which is a few weeks past what's considered 'safe' to tell. Although I strangely paid no attention to this rule for my first two babies. Guess I'm getting more timid the more kids I have....

Q: How are you feeling?
A: Just fine, no different from my other pregnancies. I'm really blessed that way; no real morning sickness or any other weird symptoms. In fact, sometimes I have a hard time convincing myself that I am pregnant! However, I've had one visit with my midwife and we heard the heartbeat (ever so quietly, but still there!) so now I doubt less. I can still get away without wearing maternity clothes, although it's hard because nothing really fits me.

Q: Will you homebirth this time?
A: If all is well with this baby. I'll have an ultrasound sometime in the next couple months to determine if this baby shows any of the same signs that Jairus did. Having had two healthy babies since him though, I'm fairly confident that everything will be fine. But also, I don't like to say for sure, since homebirthing is always contingent on the labour process progressing normally. We won't know until labour starts if everything is ok. I think it's a strong possibility though.

Q: Do you want a boy or a girl?
A: Well, I have a son and two daughters.....so I'm kinda hoping for a boy. I like the balance, it'll be easier to have Jairus and another boy share, rather than three girls in one room. I was concerned about having a boy earlier than this, because I didn't want a little brother quickly catching up to, and overtaking Jairus. Jairus will be 6 when this baby comes, so I think that's a big enough gap now.

Q: Do you have any names picked out?
A: I'm really stuck here. I had Jairus and Honour chosen for a long time, and then my brother discovered Verity which I had to warm to but now I love. I've really liked the name Caleb for a long time, but I feel strongly that I need to pick a name as unique as my other three. Can't have the fourth child feel left out. Caleb is lovely, but fairly well known and becoming much more common. The only girl names I've thought of were ones I decided against during Verity's pregnancy: Hosannah and Hadassah. I like both, but I'm not brave enough to use either. So any suggestions are welcome! My criteria: Very unique, but not strange. Noble meaning and history. No made up names.

And the most commonly asked question:

A: Uhhh, is anything really planned?

Really though, I've had a funny feeling we'd have four, ever since Verity was born. I had been thinking it might be a few years down the road, but this will make my kids all roughly two years apart and I think that's a good thing.

So, I'm sure you'll all hear the odd update. I see my midwife tomorrow, looking forward to that. If you have one, we'd appreciate being added to your prayer list. As much as I think positively that this baby will be healthy, I do have my moments of concern, and to be honest, I believe there is a slightly higher chance of having another baby with PRS. We should know pretty much for sure after the ultrasound (not scheduled yet).


Virtual Friends?

Monday, October 16, 2006

I've come to a conclusion about blogging, and the internet in general. Sure, it's great and it's made millions of people's lives easier (somehow), but, it's deceiving. People think they're connecting with each other and making friends and developing relationships, but when it comes down to it, all you've done is spent more time ALONE, sitting at your computer.

I'd like to tell myself that I don't spend that much time on the internet. I'm not even going to bother trying to figure out how much I do spend, because it's probably more than I'd like to think. And yet....there's seems to be such a lonely gap in my life.

Saturday was a rotten day. It started on Friday night. For reasons I won't get into right now, we're looking for another mini-van. (Really, we're not so vehicle-fickle as it might seem. It really is a darn good reason--trust me) It's not an earnest thing, we don't need it right away, nor even in the next few weeks. But I don't want to see the new year arrive without some progress on this issue. So where do I go? Of course, the autotrader.ca.

And of course, I'm looking for an Odyssey. BUT, not even red this time. I don't really care what colour it is (although I wrinkle my nose at beige). We haven't been able to sell the accord, so it sits in driveway. We have to do something about that soon, before it's completely toast.

So the last time I did a search on autotrader, I got 0. Nothing, nada, bupkiss. I couldn't figure that one out. Last summer when I went searching (and found our current van) there were tonnes. This was a few weeks ago, and I chalked it up to the market being down or something. I got thinking about it again on Friday and I did a search Friday afternoon. Tonnes! How exciting. (I later discovered some glich on the site---if you check off all the possible listings: private, dealer, multi-listing, price change, you get NO returns. If you leave only the ones auto checked by the site: private and dealer, you get tonnes! Very weird)

I emailed a few possibles and when I didn't hear anything back by the next morning (well, one place called Friday night) I started calling them. What started out as a somewhat encouraging endeavour quickly turned completely demoralizing.

All we want to do, is find an early Odyssey ('95-98) and trade in ours. Seeing that ours is a '95, I was assuming that we'd have to pay out a little if we found one younger, or a '95 in better condition--less km's, that sort of thing. Somewhere along the line, James suggested we try to include the Accord in any trade in. I thought that sounded ideal. I really don't want to send that car to the scrapheap.
At first, the numbers looked OK. The Honda dealership in Whitby said they'd give us around 4g's for both. Unfortunately, they only had some later '90's Odysseys going for about double that. A little dealer here in Hamilton said they'd take both for 4-4.5 g's. That was even better--and a heck of alot closer. They had a '98 going for $5900. A number of other Toronto area places were open to trading in, also selling Odyssey's in our age and price range, but we weren't up to driving to TO on Saturday, plus, I really don't know if the Accord could make it that far!

SO excitedly, we stopped by this Hamilton dealer on our 'way' to my parents. (Ok, totally out of the way, but no biggy). It was called Lovely Auto on Barton and it was just a little fenced in number. We pulled in and spotted the Odyssey close to the front. It was dark green (very good!). Half the kids were asleep (how possible you ask, with 3 children?) so James just stayed in the van while I got out to investigate. It was nice and clean with only a few small scratches on the bumpers. Tiny bit of rust forming above the back wheels which is a Honda's lot in life (at least, the age of the Honda's we buy!) CD player. Four Captains chairs (a big detail we're after). The only thing that puzzled me was that the sign in the window said $6900.

At this point, the guy had come out and greeted me. I told him I had called and spoken to someone there that morning; he told me it was his partner. He didn't offer the partners whereabouts, so I assumed he was gone. I questioned the guy on the price, since the autotrader ad had said $5900 (I actually thought $5500). He took me inside and checked the ad he had on a clipboard, and confirmed $5900. Guess it's been there a bit and the price has gone done. Hmmm. Just thought of that. Anyway...
I continued to talk to him about our trade-in plans. He asked how much we wanted for ours, and I started at 4.5, since that's what his partner had said on the phone. He shook his head. I told him we wouldn't go lower than 4g's and he STILL shook his head. He asked about the Accord and when he heard that it has more than 500, 000kms, he shook his head some more. Didn't want it. Too many kms. He would give us....2.5g's for the Odyssey.
I just looked at him. Riiiiiight.
High kms, he said. Ours has 243k. His 1998 had 250. I said real slow like to him, to show how ridiculous I thought this was, "So ours has 'alot' of kms, and yours is younger but has more?"
He didn't bite. So I left. James and I wondered afterwards if he would have responded better to James going in. This man was of the cultural background not terribly well known for their respect for women.

I was quite discouraged coming away from that. As we kept along Barton, going towards Winona, I thought about the Hamilton Honda dealer, Image Honda, where we've taken the Accord many, many times. They're good people there. I asked James if he wanted to stop by and see what they had. So we did.

As it turned out, they didn' t have any early Odysseys. I think the oldest was a 2000 going for $20, 000. Way-hay-hay out of our range. But I sat down with a salesguy (kids still sleeping, James stayed out in the van) and told him our plan. He tried to talk me into going for a younger, more expensive model and just 'doing payments'. I told him we didn't want that. We could probably scrape together a couple thousand to pay the difference on an old Odyssey, but that's all. I was very honest with him, telling him that we'd just moved to Hamilton and probably wouldn't be approved for more debt anyway.
The worse news was that he gave me the same number for a trade in. 2-2.5thousand for BOTH vehicles. I was just stunned. We paid twice that last year for the Odyssey! Maybe I just don't understand car markets. I know they want to make a profit on reselling it, but.....sigh.

So I left my name and info with him. He'll contact us if an older, cheaper van comes in, which he was confident would happen in the not-too-distant future.

We left and by the time we got to mom's, I was bordering on teary. Good thing I had my sunglasses on.

So I was pretty bummed for the rest of the day. It lasted until we got home and crawled into bed. These days, I'm usually so zonked by midnight that insomnia is a thing of the very distant past. But Saturday night I tossed and turned. Uncomfortable. Mind troubled. Do you ever find that when something has gone wrong or bad, once you dwell on it, all the other little bad things in your life jump on board too? Soon it seems like NOTHING is going right for you.

And so I return to the loneliness factor. We've been going back to our church in Brantford every Sunday. It's a really great church. Great people, great music, great teachers in the Sunday school. We really like it.
But, as I lay there wide awake and troubled on Saturday night, I realized how disconnected I feel. We made some nice friends there, but we didn't ever make the kind of close friends("bosom friends" as Anne of GG would say) we'd hoped too, and I think that's because we weren't able to get out to their small group gatherings. And now that we're 25 minutes away, the friendship gap has grown considerably wider. It's a lonely feeling.
So finally I sat up in bed and told James (who I think must be a light sleeper because he always answers when I say his name) that I thought we should try out another church in the morning. I told him why, and in his half conscious state, he agreed.

By morning he still felt the same, and so did I, and I already had an idea of where to go. Our real estate agents had invited us to their church when we were buying our new house. It's only a street over and a few blocks down. So there we went. I won't get into what it was all like, because this post is quite long enough, thank you. But our agents, Craig and Colleen were there and SO happy to see us (how good does it make you feel when someone is excited to see you!). There were many very friendly people, and even another young mom with 3 kids who started up a conversation with me--I think just because our son's both wore glasses! Overall, it was a positive experience.

Blogging is fun, and reading other people's blogs is nice for a 'snapshot' into their lives, but it just can't hold a candle to looking into a friendly face and chatting for an afternoon while our kiddies race around. Here's to 'real live' friends.

Back now

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I purposefully have not blogged in a good while, to keep Tatums post at the top. But, I think by now, all friends and family who are going to read it, have, and so I think it's time to move on.

First let me say a little about how the 'campaign' is progressing. I heard from between 5-10 people, who passed along anywhere between 1 and 4 contacts. I'm trying to keep a spreadsheet on the links and it's been moderately encouraging to see the web enlarge. I heard back from some of the contacts, and not from others. I'm not sure if I should keep 'bugging' some, or take the hint and move on.

I've also started 'cold-emailing' churches in BC from a directory I found online. I've had no responses from them so far.

On the Tatum front, we did hear from her again since I last posted. She had left that crack house and was moving in with another friend, an older woman who has been the only stable force in her life out in BC. This is in Sardis. This friend is apparently strongly encouraging rehab. We've heard this before though. I'm not going to hold my breath. And, that was a couple weeks ago. She could be in downtown Vancouver by now. I'll update this info to the Tatum blog as well, as soon as I can figure out how to do that so it keeps the important stuff at the top (I know it's possible somehow....)

So now onto my usually blog topics....

It's snowing. It's October 12th and it's snowing in Hamilton, Ontario. I have no idea where all the winter coats are!!

Even though this belongs on the Jairus blog, or the Kentkids blog, I'm just so disappointed about this that I have to blog it here.

Jairus was supposed to start a specialty speech school in Burlington a couple weeks ago. Just one morning a week. A few days before he was to start, I suddenly realized that I hadn't discussed his non-toilet-trained status with the director. So I sent off an email and got the worst response.
Their 'policy' is to only accept students who are toilet trained. Jairus' registration would have to be postponed until he can be trained. You may be able to understand what a blow this was to me, might be able to understand my hopelessness.

Jairus is five and just had a speech assessment that puts him at 22 months. He just had a psych-ed assessment (that will determine his overall developmental progress) and I dread to see the results. I watched him fail test after test for it. And I'm supposed to toilet train him.
I just don't understand how they could make this policy when they are working with delayed children. Isn't it obvious that a delay in one area could mean delays in others? Large sigh.

My three year old has discovered Anne of Green Gables. Ah, a romantic after my own heart.

Guess I should get up and pay attention to my wreck of a house. Not quite recovered after hosting Thanksgiving. And spending so much time away, over at my moms helping with the reno. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it...

Brothers and Sisters, hear me

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Somewhere in British Columbia tonight, there's a young woman moving her few personal belongings into a crack house. It would be impossible to say how many such moves she's made over the last 5-6 years. Spending a few weeks here, a few days there; sleeping on couches, floors, in vehicles--she's done it all. This is her life.

By now she's probably half strung-out herself. She's probably had nothing to eat today. I'll bet she couldn't tell you what day of the week it is, maybe not even the month. She's been doing the drugs too long; I shudder to think of what's left of her mind.

When people see her, they see a druggie, an addict. Unkempt, out of control, uneducated. She steals from friends to support her habit. She refuses rehab. She's homeless, jobless...


She is my sister's sister.

She called me tonight. It was hard to understand her--she has a hard time keeping her words in order and her sentences in line. She wouldn't leave a number, I don't know where exactly she is. She told me she loved me. I told her the same. I got off the phone and as always, despaired.
Nothing I can do.


If you know me well, you know that I am the oldest of nine children. Nine Wettlaufers. That always throws people off. Four brothers and four sisters.

Two of us were chosen to be Wettlaufers by birth. Seven of us were chosen to be Wettlaufers by adoption.

Nearly three years ago, my next sister got on a plane for the first time in her life and flew to the other end of the country. When Lauren got to BC, she laid eyes on her older sister for the first time. Sisters separated for 17 years. I would have given anything to have seen that reunion.

We've known about Tatum since the beginning. We knew that she had to stay with the alcoholic, drug abusing father that Lauren was rescued from. What we didn't know until three years ago, was the hell that her life was, and has become.

Shuffled around from family members to foster homes, Tatum finally ran away in her early teens. She lived with boyfriends, got into drugs and lived the party life. She retains a fragile and violent relationship with her father and grandfather.

Six months after Lauren went to BC to see her, Tatum came to Ontario and spent a week with us. The sister we had been wondering about and looking for in crowded malls (unaware that she was so far away) was now here in the flesh. It was spooky to see a girl who looked and sometimes acted just like my sister, yet was so disparingly different. We loved on her best we could for those few days, and then she was gone. But not from our thoughts.

Tonight after she called, I decided that doing nothing is not good enough. Tatum is going to die on the streets of BC and no one will care, no one will even know. I don't have the money to fly over there and wrestle her back to Ontario and into rehab. She'd refuse anyway. I can't take her into my home because I have young children and I won't put them in danger. But there must be something, someone, somewhere....

So this is what I propose, my friends. I need your help. The Body of Christ needs to mobilize.
God did not bring Lauren and Tatum into our lives to leave her to rot thousands of miles away.

Consider the following carefully:

  • Do you know anyone involved in a drug rehabilitation centre or program in Southern British Columbia? We don't know where Tatum is, but she's lived around Abbotsford a fair bit.
  • Do you know a pastor of an inner city church in Southern BC, that runs an outreach program to the homeless and/or addicts?
  • Do you know a pastor of any church in Southern BC?
  • Do you know a pastor of any church in BC?
  • Do you know any believers in BC?

This may be akin to finding a needle in a haystack, but I'm convinced that God is speaking to someone right now. Someone with compassion, determination, counselling skills and a heart for the lost. I'm determined to put Tatums face in front of that person. To put Tatums name in their ear. To perhaps even inspire them to look for her, to find her and drag her from her mire, to stand in our place as a sister and show her what Love did for her.

I'm quite serious. I'm determined to make every church in BC aware of this child. Will you help me? If you can and will, you have a few options.

  • Post a comment on this blog. Leave your email so I can get in touch with you. I have the comment moderation option on, so I will see your message, but rest assured that I won't publish the comment and leave you at the mercy of auto-spammers that would find your email address.
  • Email the following address: helptatum@yahoo.ca. Yes, I know, I just put myself at the mercy of the auto-spammers, but I'll put up with it.
  • Call me. You can only do that if you know me, and I guess that's all I can say.

Finally, I've set up another blog, just to tell this story. It'll be much the same as you've just read, but I've also posted pictures of Tatum (and Lauren). Will you tell people about this site? Will you choose a group of select friends who's hearts would stir with compassion and email them the site with a little message from yourself? If you can't come up with any BC links on your own, perhaps you know someone who can. Or...perhaps you won't even know they can, until you tell them about this. It's a little like the seven degrees of separation...


Oh yes, and if you do have a contact for me, and you want to check with them first before giving me their info, by all means, please do that. Actually, I would prefer that. I realize that this whole thing could be looked upon with suspicion by many who read it. I'm trying to keep everything in mind that will authenticate my mission. (It's tricky! Advice is welcome!)

So I betcha weren't counting on reading something quite so heavy when you visited today, eh?

Poor Pope

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I was just catching some headlines on yahoo and read about the Pope gettin' in hot water for saying stuff about Islam.

You can read it here, it you want.

Although it's not real clear what he said, the one line in the article says that he "appeared to endorse a christian worldview".

(Gasp) No. The Pope? How dare he.

And then some other stuff about Muslims spreading their religion through violence, and violence being incompatible with the nature of God.

And he's getting in trouble for this?!?

Ok, so, does anyone else think it's strange that when a public figure stands up and makes statements that everyone else knows are true, it's suddenly verboten and he is called to make public apologies?!

In the past few days, the Crawford Stand on WDCX has been talking about the wars and Muslims and such (ooh, if the Pope could hear that stuff). It seems pretty obvious to me that, yep, Muslims are willing to kill and die for their faith. What religion is in the news every other day for suicide bombers? That would be violence.

And they consider us (the West) 'infidels'. Why is that? Because largely, we're not muslim. So we are diametrically opposed to them. And quite simply, they've promised Allah to get rid of us all. According to the Crawford Stand, this is why Bush and the US have got it right in fighting this war. We really are looking at WW4. It's pretty convincing, but I'll be the first to admit that I'm pretty naive about world issues.

What I think I understand, being that they would be quite similar to mine, are the Pope's beliefs. We live in a world of tolerance, yet God calls us to be intolerant. We live in a world of relativism, yet God calls us to stand on the truth. And finally, we live in a world of wide acceptance, yet God tells us that the path to life is narrow and few find it.

One Way is pretty offensive to our world.


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Well I'm so excited. You know how I've been so stressed about what to do about my boy and school? Something's coming together.

Last Thursday night I was really stressing about it. I was seriously agitated. I had just spoken to someone (I'll not name) who I thought might be able to help, but was unable. And her discussion with me caused more doubts about homeschooling. James and I went to bed and really prayed for an answer.

The next morning I suddenly remembered a resource that I had forgotten to check out. A few weeks ago, we were at a BBQ at my brother's EA's house. My brother Ben has had this terrific EA since kindergarten. She's like a mom away from home for him. So we were all over there and talk of Jairus came up. Ben's EA tells me I should check out a program in Burlington called Talc Academy. (Don't know why it's got a C instead of a K, but it is the word talk). The lady who runs it used to run a speech camp that Ben went to for a couple weeks each summer for many years. Ben's EA highly recommended this lady and her program.

So I found the place on the internet and read about what they had to offer. I was so overwhelmed with the immediate conviction that THIS is where Jairus needs to go, that I sat and blubbered in front of my computer like a small child. It was quite pathetic.

I called as soon as I could talk normally, but got voicemail. I didn' t want to leave a message, so I opted to email, so I could get as much info across right away. I sent a lengthy email, describing Jairus and our problems trying to figure out schooling. Of course, the ironic thing here is that we've been stressing the last 2-3 weeks since finding out that Hamilton won't pay for Jairus' preschool, and saying he won't go now 'cause we can't afford it. However, I knew very well that this private program would be very expensive. But you know what? I just didn't care. At that point, I would have lived on bologna and crackers if we could just get Jairus into a program like this.
Even though I thought I conveyed the urgency of the situation, I didn't hear back. I sent this last Friday and I waited all day and then all weekend. I figured I might not hear anything over the weekend, but I was still hopeful. I decided to give her Monday, and then call first thing Tuesday morning.
Well, Tuesday morning I took off to my parents to help paint the additions they're just having finished up on their house. So I ended up calling this morning instead. Again, I got voicemail and this time left a message telling them I was ' terribly anxious' to speak to someone there.

That must have worked because the director herself, Judy, called me right after lunch. She delivered the slightly disappointing news that they'd had to alter their kindergarten program, and now it's only offered one morning a week, on Fridays. I quickly told her that was fine--one was better than nothing. Then she needed to know what kind of speech issue Jairus had. She said that they only work with a certain kind of speech delay, and she described what they did and didn't work with. By the time she was done, I was thoroughly confused. Usually, I'm pretty conversant and knowledgable about Jairus' problems, but I had to ask her "So, how do I know which one my son has?".
She asked whether or not he had problems with a) Vocabulary, sentence structure, word retrieval, grammer, pronoun use, etc. OR b) Problems with simply making himself understood.

Well, that was easy. I said b) right away. To my great relief, that seemed to be the right answer. She made me an appointment to come in with Jairus and see the speech therapist there and decide for sure if Talc Academy is the right place for Jairus. Then she told me the best news. I had been entertaining thoughts about the fees for this place to be anywhere up to $1000 a month. I know, that's ridiculous, but I was worried that it would be totally out of our range.
Jairus receives money every month through a special government program to help with any costs associated with his disability. Right now, we don't really have many of those, so that money could readily be used for this.

Guess how much the program costs?

10$ more than what Jairus receives.


Praise God.

Ok, I'm crying again.


Wednesday, September 6, 2006

You know, it's not like we want the money to go blow it on frivolous stuff like...the carpet I really wanted for my living room....or a new vacume cleaner....or long pants for my son who's outgrown his size 4's.

We were going to be really disciplined and put it right back into the debt we just incurred to get the Civic.

Humho. I'm just SOOO bummed.

You might have figured out, Mr. International traveller was out to lunch. At least, that's what everyone, including the Hamilton Police department fraud division thinks.

We sent an email back to this guy [who offered to buy our car] last night, saying, sounds fine, send the money, when it clears send your shipping guy.

We got a response back this morning and he's now saying he'll send more than what we're asking and we need to cash it and send the extra by Western Union to the shipping company in TOGO!!!


At first I just wanted to email back and say, uhh, sorry, but you take care of the shipping yourself buddy. But then I spoke to a detective at the fraud department and he immediately knew what the guy was up to and told us to get away, fast!

(Most dejected tone) So that's what we're doing. I'm very bitter.

And I was already bummed because my friend who was going to come over today called and rescheduled. I don't think she reads this, so I'll just say, I was pretty bummed about that. Moving to a new area, even if you kind of know the area, is still pretty lonely.

So this is just a bummer of a day.

PS-Notice my new side bar link--replacing the OP reunion (which I didn't go to) back in June is now Crown Financial Ministries, possibly the most useful site on the net.

September is my Favourite month

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

I believe the crisis has passed. Thanks to all who were praying. Sorry that's all I can really say right now.

So how was everyone's weekend? Yes, wet, of course. We (me and kids) were up at Fair Havens sorta helping my parents close down their trailer. As much as three toddlers can help. (!) Ok, my son isn't a toddler. But he acts like one.

Speaking of Jairus, he had his speech assessment last Thursday. Went really well. The therapist seemed to connect with him great, was charmed and smitten with him, and sees his potential. I even had, for the first time, the tiniest flash while she was working with him that....He will speak someday. I'm afraid/ashamed to say that I've never honestly had that hope. But I had it Thursday. What a great feeling.

Still struggling however with what exactly to do with him this fall. When I hadn't heard back from the subsidy people, I called the beginning of last week. I guess I misunderstood when I spoke with them earlier in the summer. There is NO funding for him whatsoever. It's looking like this means no preschool. That means I totally need to homeschool....or something. I just don't know right now...

And so everything is starting up. One of my brothers and one of my sisters started highschool today. Big deal. (Seriously, it is). Choir starts next week, but I have to go in and do some auditions tomorrow night. My Prelude choir has grown by like 300%!!!
So this means paycheques start back. (Hallelujah!!)

So finally, the other odd and quirky thing in our lives is the sale of our car. Remember how it finally gave up the ghost and we got the civic? Well, we need to sell it, to help pay off what we just put into the civic. So we put it up for sale on autotrader. Here's the ad:
Our Little Red Wagon

I mean ya, it died on us, but it's fixable and still has value, I believe. So, we get a few calls, nothing comes of them. Then we get this email from a guy in the States. Says he wants it and that he'll send a certified cheque and have his private shipping company come get it.

Does this sound too good to be true!?!?! I emailed him and told him every sad detail about it and he still says he's ok with it and name our price.

So, we'll see if this works. This could be the biggest hoax ever, or, the biggest blessing ever. I have been praying for someone to come buy it...and give us at least close to what we're asking.

It's an exciting thought...


Friday, August 25, 2006

Someone is struggling today. Someone important to me and my family, my children.
Struggling with this life and the will to live it. The ability to live it. The ability to succeed.
Please pray.
Pray for my someone.


Someone is struggling today. Someone important to me and my family, my children.
Struggling with this life and the will to live it. The ability to live it. The ability to succeed.
Please pray.
Pray for my someone.


Someone is struggling today. Someone important to me and my family, my children.
Struggling with this life and the will to live it. The ability to live it. The ability to succeed.
Please pray.
Pray for my someone.


Wednesday, August 9, 2006

An update, as promised.

I'd have to say that there's been more than a few gliches. I'm not going to hold it against the good Crown people, and I still think the idea is fantastic, but this is going to take a while, I think. Let me first tell you how this works.

You pay for the service, however, I'm now on a 30 day trial. After the trial, if I choose to continue, and pay yearly, it'll cost about 9-10 bucks a month. After you've signed up, you get a login name and a password and access the site.

Down the left are all these little pictures of envelopes. At the bottom left is a window listing your banks accounts, which you enter all the info for on set-up. In the middle of the screen is a quick view of all your envelopes, or all the recent money transactions you've done; you can click back and forth.
During the set up, you figure out all the categories you spend money in. If you've never done that before, it could be a kindof big job. I figured that stuff out a while ago, so I just had to label all the envelopes with names like mortgage, food, gas, hydro, etc...you can have dozens of them. The plan is that you make an envelope for EVERY expenditure you have, even things that only come around once in a while---like licencing and e-testing your car. Put a little money in the 'envelope' once a month and presto--when the time comes around, you've got the money. Very cool.
When you logon, Mvelopes downloads all the transactions you've done since the last time you logged on--it actually accesses your accounts, including credit cards. You see them all there in the transactions window, and then you have to assign them. You click and drag them over to the right envelope and mvelopes automatically figures out how much you have left in that envelope. SO, when James stops for gas, and I see ESSO, 39$, I click and drag it over to James' Gas Budget. The program then subtracts 39$ from his total budget, that I've already set up in advance (say, 100$), and tells me he's got 61$ left. This is very cool, because then James doesn't have to call me and ask, 'how much money do I have left in my gas budget?', he can just look himself and not have to feel like he's 10 years old again.

One of the biggest goals of this system, is that you learn to live within your means. Along with the Mvelopes, I was offered an e-course, called Financially Fit University. It's a five day thing, and I'm still on day one, but no worries, I'll get to it. One of the first assignments was to read a little book written by one of the creators of the Mvelopes system. It's called Money for Life and it's a little fictional story, with all of the finance principals of the Mvelopes system woven in. One thing the book hit home, was that, on average, people spend about 10% more than they make. This is why the majority of us are in debt.
With the Mvelopes, once the money is gone from the envelope, that's it--you can't spend any more unless you juggle around and transfer from another envelope--it's your choice.

So now my update.
  • My transactions haven't been downloading regularly. A few times they have, but it took a few days for them to start at first, and at this present time, it's not downloading the last 5 days worth. A bit of a pain. Cool thing is that you can do a 'chat' with a tech person and he assured me that he would take this to the engineers and have them work on it.
  • This system works best when you get all the money you earn in one shot, preferably at the beginning of the month. We'll aim to build up enough so that that's the case, but for now, we do as always--planning from paycheque to paycheque. It's a little tricky though, when Mvelopes has you figure out how much you need per month and when a paycheque comes in, it's not a months worth. Even trickier, is that we have various income and assistance cheques coming in all over the place. Sigh. I know I'll get the hang of this.
  • There's just funny little system oddities that take a bit for your brain to understand (ok, well, my brain). Like when you've assigned a transaction to an envelope, and it uses all that was in the envelope, you see in your quickview chart, a red, negative number in the Spent column. That threw me off---red? Negative? BAD, right? So I did a quick chat and learned that no, that's what the system does and it's not bad. Ok.....still don't like to see that though. And the fact that when you assign a credit card charge, Mvelopes automatically updates a pre-created envelope at the top of your list called debt repayment. In otherwords, it puts 'money' into an envelope so that you can pay off the balance. I don't know about you, but I've/we've never paid off the monthly balance on our credit cards. Our use of them is usually limited to emergencies (or really important oops, didn't forsee that issues) that we don't have the money for, hence they've not been budgeted for. So now I have this debt repayment envelope that says I'll be paying X amount to my visa this month and, heh, heh, that won't be happening. Positive thinking on their part though.

So, anyway, I'm sharing all this in hopes that it might be helpful to anyone out there who needs some budgeting assistance. I'm still thinking very positively about Mvelopes and can't wait until I've got it working like...clockwork.


Tuesday, August 1, 2006

We now have a new-to-us car. A 1994 Honda Civic. It's red. It's standard. E-tested yesterday with no problem. Has to be certified yet, and needs some small body repairs before that can happen. It cost 39$ to fill up yesterday. Gotta love that. (About 20 bucks less than the wagon or the Odyssey).

Finding the car wasn't exactly hard. We went to autotrader.ca, where we found our mini-van last summer. Good resource. Relatively lots to choose from. Picked out one we liked and sounded healthy, went to see it. Had my excellent mechanic cousin come check it out and there you go. Now ours.

I guess our biggest quandary was: debt or no debt? Would the Lord provide through debt or without it? I know some people who would say definitely without it.

Debt and finance has been a particular interest of mine for about 4-5 years now. I started managing the house/family finances around then and wanted to do a good job. So I've read a number of books and articles, created systems and spreadsheets, and listened to anyone who would give us sound advice. I read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover a year or two ago. That was a good one. I regularly listen to the Crown Money show on WDCX (99.5) when I can. Love that show. We went to a Managing God's Money seminar last year in the February by Michel Bell, sponsored by Focus on the Family. That was VERY interesting, a little controversial. James and I still discuss some of his philosophies even now. Of course, the overriding advice of these resources is, Get out of Debt.

Hmm. Easier said than done.

But we've been doing ok and making slow progress since adopting that mantra. Could be doing better, I suppose. Specially now. I guess you can figure out how we got the car. I suppose some people would say that we didn't 'wait on the Lord'. From our perspective, we prayed, took the steps, they all worked out, no huge roadblocks, so that usually means the doors are open. I don't think there's any other way of knowing if it's the right thing.
Truth be known, the only way we weren't going to have to use debt for this car, would be if someone dropped in our laps a) a few thousand or b) a car.
Neither were happening and I didn't really expect them to. So if the Lord doesn't work through debt, than....hmmm, I guess we're in the wrong.

Still, we got a car for James to get to work. Important stuff.

But that leads me to an exciting developement the last few days. Recalling the aforementioned Crown ministries, I went to their site to see if I couldn't find a few more ideas for budgeting and such.
On the radio show, I've heard them talk about a budgeting tool they're very excited about---Mvelopes, they call it. Call me dense, but I don't know what the M is for. Money?

I'd never really considered using them before, because that old fashioned envelope way of budgeting never appealed to me. Tried it out. Wasn't very effective. When so many financial transactions are happening automatically and paid online, pulling out cash to put into envelopes was a pain.
Well, those crown people must have known that, because they came up with a pretty good idea--a computer/online based version. I started it on Friday night and so far, with a few gliches, I think it's going to be great. I'll keep y'all updated.

This could be a breakthrough.

Dear Jesus, please send us a car

Monday, July 24, 2006

Over the last few years, I've been thoroughly impressed, and, well, humbled by the Lord's interest in our cars.

After we moved back from Chicago, we needed a vehicle. Not so necessary in the big city, where everything was walk-accessable or L train-able. We were moving back to Ontario with no place to live, no jobs and no car to get to our no-jobs.
Rather jokingly, I would say that I really only had two requirements: that it be red and it be standard. I love driving stick.
We moved back in the late May of 1999. I was offered a job pretty much immediately and James started his new job shortly into July. At the same time, my uncle decided he wanted to sell his meticulously cared for Honda Accord Wagon and gave us first dibs.
It was red.
It was standard.
They gave us a real deal.
It was a 1991 and had somewhere in the 200's in km. We drove it everywhere, including out west when my brother graduated from Briercrest and twice back to Chicago. Then when James started working in London, it did that 1hour+ commute twice daily. That was 5 years ago. It got a break when we moved to Brantford, as now I needed a car for Jairus' appointments and various other reasons, so we got James a little wee car to buzz off to London with. He missed driving the wagon, but now it was mine! That car brought Jairus home from the hospital and various other firsts in our family.
When I got pregnant with Verity, I started realizing that the wagon wasn't going to fit the bill anymore. Three carseats would not fit in the back seat and while the age of the wagon (meaning, no air bags) meant I could drive with the three kids, putting the infant carrier in the front seat, we couldn't go anywhere as a family. That is, unless I squeezed my little self into the 11 inch space between Jairus and Honour's carseat. Since we had no money, and didn't want to go into debt to get a mini-van, we decided that would have to do.
I guess the Lord had other plans though, because shortly after Verity was born, Jamie's little bug died dead. We decided we would have to go into debt and started looking for the cheapest mini-van ever created. On a whim, I looked on auto-trader.ca to see if any of my dream vans--Honda Odyssey's might be listed. Wouldn't you know, there were 3 within our very low price range. We went to Toronto to check them out and ended up buying the wagon a big brother.
A 1995 Odyssey. The first year they made them. Red.
I was thrilled. And Jamie got the wagon back. That was last summer.

So now the wagon has just under 600,000km on it and my uncle is impressed every time he sees it that it's still going.
Until yesterday.
Well, even yesterday it was still running. Cousin Dan the mechanic came over to check it over, 'cause we were hearing a some concerning squeaks and shudders. He delivered the bad news that he thinks it would be unwise to put any more money into it. The stuff that needs to be done to it right now would vastly outweigh the value of the car. And since we're typically people that put off car repairs, when I say need, I really mean need. So we started thinking last night that perhaps it's time to move on and put the wagon out to pasture. Or find some mechanic who might love on her a few years more. These wagons are somewhat rare (Honda doesn't make them anymore) and we often hear of people buying up even the really old ones. There wasn't a dreadful rush, but we figured we'd be taking care of it all this week.
Until this morning when the clutch died. James barely made it to work. How he's getting home still remains a mystery.

How we will get another car for him remains a mystery too. Remember, we just moved. That translates into, 'the bank just gave us a heap of money'. Don't know if they'll give us more, and then there's our underlying aversion to debt. Why does it seem impossible to live without it? We were getting so close.

So, if anyone knows of a trusty car for sale, can you give me shout?

Preferably red. Standard. A Honda?

Even I know when I'm asking too much.

Can we say...backhanded?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

So how many of you Canadian (or is it just Ontario-an?)'s knew that because of the new universal child benefit, we'd now be getting less from the old Child Care Tax Benefit?

I don't recall that included in all the triumphal trumpeting about the new benefit.

You just knew they'd justify taking money away from us, since we're getting a break here. But it's only when your kid is younger than 6. Once they turn six, you'll start getting it back. Because you'll lose the other benefit.

Don't give those parents too big a break! They might start getting lazy and actually trust the government!


The Venetian Fiasco

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I thought I'd post a few thoughts (ok, a big long pathetic story) about my painting woes. Perhaps it'll encourage any other poor saps out there in the middle of the same thing (or planning to get into it).

I love to do faux finishing. I love painting and doing cool effects. I've even done it at a few other people houses and sometimes I even get paid. I think I do a pretty good job. I decided a while back to try out this Venetian plaster that all the decorating shows rave about. I went to Home Depot and got an instruction card that Behr paints puts out. I chose a colour (Tuscan Sun) and bought a can. I asked some questions while I was there--like did I need to do a base coat the same colour? No, they said. Cool.

So after my delayed painting start, due to all the sickness in my little family, I tackled the plastering. The home depot girl said to get a good quality steel trowel/scraper so I did that. I start troweling it on just like I've seen Doug on Trading Spaces. Seemed easy. Liked what I was seeing.

I chose to do the long wall that goes from the front of my house--the living room, through to the dining room. I figured out that the wall is 192 square feet. The can of Venetian plaster said it would cover 150 square feet with 2 coats. Dang. I'd hafta get another can. But, I estimated, I wouldn't need the whole second can. I scouted around to see if there were any other small walls that would look good in Venetian plaster.

To my dismay, however, it took the WHOLE can to do ONE coat. Ok, I thought, I guess I put it on too heavy. Didn't think that would be a problem. The instructions said to put it on and leave gaps, to be filled in with the second coat.

So I go out and buy my second can and start in on the second coat, filling in all the gaps. Again, it took the WHOLE can to the the second coat. Little annoying. Now there was none left for accent plastering somewhere.

To my further dismay, the next morning when I arrived (as this was the week before we actually moved in), I could STILL see thin patches where the previous wall colour showed through. Not dramatically. But I could totally see it. There was no way I could leave it like that--my eye would seek out those patches (and they were all over) every time I walked into the room.

I went back to home depot and waited an hour to talk to the guy who'd helped with the second can of plaster. I was also starting to get concerned that the finished walls would not be conducive to washing down, as my chillen's were already getting splatters on the yet-finished Tuscan Sun. He assured me that it would be washable once I'd done the final step--sanding and 'burnishing', or rubbing the walls with my scraper. Still, I bought a can of special top coat, but I think I'll be taking it back. He could not, however, explain why the product wasn't covering as it indicated it would. I told him how I had done coat one with gaps and coat two, filling in those gaps. He said he just does two thin coats, insinuating that that was my problem. Still, it didn't seem to make sense--I should have done two thin coats instead of two heavy coats and then I wouldn't have bare patches??? He told me to call Behr.

So I did. I have to admit, they are very friendly and helpful over there in Behrland, wherever that might be. The lady there told me to go by a third gallon and send in my receipt--they would reimburse me. Cool.

Everynight, we hustle as soon as the kids go down, to get a few more jobs completed. Last night James got the end panel on the kitchen cupboards, so now I don't have to look at the innards of the dishwasher. He also got some of the filler trim and the kickplates in, so things are really starting to look finished in the kitchen. It's real nice.

And me, I decided that after 2.5 weeks, I needed to get back to finishing this wall. The instructions said that coat one was to dry for 4 hours and coat 2 for 24 and then the sanding/burnishing step needed to be done within 7 days.

I didn't think there'd be any problem, since, I was now doing coat three and after 24 hours, I'd do the sanding/burnishing step on that coat and all would be peachy.

Hmmmm. Not so peachy.

I start doing the coat and suddenly I notice teeny-tiny little bubbles popping up all over the section I've just done. Large sigh.

So I get on the phone and call the Behr people again. (Their tech people are open really late--very sensitive to those of us doing all our painting after kiddies go to bed). He tells me that, oh dear, I should have done this third coat much sooner. Like, 2.4 weeks sooner. There's talc in the plaster, see, and after it dries, that comes to the surface. The talc causes the bubbles. So now, I need to sand down the wall and remove that top layer where the talc is, and then I can do my third coat.


Of course, I didn't have a proper sanding block so I made due with some other tool that I had to tape the sandpaper on. I think I ended up retaping about a dozen times over the course of 192 square feet. And at 11pm last night, I wasn't about to get the whole wall sanded, so that meant I had to finish this morning, and get the new coat of plaster on, since I'd already done a 3X3 foot patch in the one corner--bubbly as it was. In case you've missed it, in previous posts, I've made it clear that painting walls and three preschoolers is a BAD combination.

So now I sit, looking at my third coat. I'd better not find any bare patches when this dries. Still have to do the sanding/burnishing phase--tomorrow night after the kids go to bed. Verity already left her mark on this wall earlier (ooh, see that over there? That's her little hip, and that that there is the side of her head--for posterity you know)

It's gonna look great, I'm sure of that, but man, what a headache. So to anyone out there considering Venetian plaster anytime soon, allow me to give you some sage advice:

Pick a really small wall.

My life as a blunder

Monday, July 17, 2006

Do you ever feel like you're just doing everything wrong?

Don't misunderstand me, I'm not depressed or morose. I'm not in a 'poor me' funk or any such thing. I don't think.

I'm really asking. Could I have it all wrong?

I got a call this morning from a lady in the city department that takes care of subsidy for pre-school. It seems that the rumours I'd been hearing about Hamilton are true. They don't pay for pre-school for special needs kids after 5 years of age, I guess 'cause they should be in school. We talked for a while and I think we're now applying for some kind of aid, but it was an interesting talk. I was trying my best not to be the mom who's special needs kid is more special than anyone else's special needs kid. I really hate to be thought of that way. But I digress.

It just became apparent that not putting Jairus into school this fall is...abnormal. And the fact that I plan to homeschool is even more abnormal--according to their system and the types of situations they usually address. The whole thing is just so confusing. If he was going into kindergarten, there would be an EA for him. And of course, we wouldn't pay a thing. So she kept...mentioning that. Not pressure, really. Just...mentioning. I just want him to do one more year of preschool, while I do a little homeschooling on his off days. He needs to be around the kids, but I don't think I can jump into the homeschooling world in a big enough way by September to get him around enough kids the same way. And he's still at a pre-school level with so much of his functioning--it really is the best place for him. Pre-school kids generally don't treat him badly. Kindergarten would be a different story, I'm convinced.

And so I doubt, and question myself. Am I doing the right thing?

Honour is not herself. It concerns me. It's been two weeks now since we've moved and she's displaying a few weird physical symptoms and some emotional ones too. My mom suggested I get her blood tested. Her colour's off. She's got dark circles under her eyes. Perhaps she's anemic. Not enough vitamins. Well, of course, I think, it's not like we eat enough fruits and vegetables around here. I should get her on a multi-vitamin. I should, I should, I should.
And the crazy worries start up. I heard a Focus broadcast a number of weeks ago about families dealing with kids with cancer. Those symptoms are often weird. Do I really want to get her blood tested? What if they find something really wrong? Of course, what are the chances? Miniscule, I'm sure. But our family's already experienced the odds once. PRS is one in 10,000.

So for lunch, I made pancakes. I put some of Jairus' special organic rice protein into the mix and grated up a peach in there too. Now if I only had used whole wheat flour, I'd have covered all the bases.

I was reading some blogs and took in some photos of Pernells new house. He's the pastor of a good friend of mine, who just happened to have moved the same day we did. They've got three kids too, but a little older.
Beautiful house, some shots look like a decorating magazine. How did they get their house to look like that in two short weeks? And they've already had a big housewarming party. I don't even have one room totally completed. Maybe they didn't do any repainting and stuff. Maybe.

Or maybe I'm doing something wrong. (Like sitting here blogging when I could be putting my house together?)

And as I sit, Verity is screaming in her crib. I don't really go for the cry-it-out method--somewhat philosophically opposed to it. And yet, I put her in there, and I'm ignoring her. She's tired. It's time for her nap. And unfortunately, we've gotten into a nurse to sleep habit lately that I just don't want to prolong. And so I'm letting her scream. And feeling bad about it. It's not like she's a wee babe anymore. She's nearly 14 months old. This WON'T hurt her.

I think I've got strep again. Or never got rid of it. So back to Brantford I go this afternoon because a)I like my family doc there and b) I doubt if I can find a new one here anyway. I'll ask him about testing Honour's blood.

Maybe he'll just say no.

But you know, I was questioning something else this weekend. More like assessing. My younger sister Emma and her friend were asking me about this movie that was being showed at camp call Left Behind III. Emma wanted to know what the story was all about. In the process of explaining it, other definitions of the christian faith came into the conversation, and I tried to be sensitive to her friend who has a little church background, but that would be all.
And so later, I was thinking over what I said and wondered what there is about God and Jesus and Christianity to attract a 12 year old girl. So I asked myself. Why am I a follower of Jesus?
And here's why:
>No matter what happens here on earth, my eternity is covered. If Jairus never speaks, if Honour has some terrible illness, if Verity hates me for letting her scream in her crib, I will still see Jesus when I die and spend eternity with him. And there, Jairus will talk. Honour will be fine and Verity will forget all about her crib.
>Following Jesus will not guarantee me a problem-free life, but what it does guarantee is Someone to walk through those problems with me. Lending me his strength and assuring me that no matter what, he loves me. I'm not alone.
>And yes, as my sister was asking, I could do whatever I wanted with my life and then just ask for forgiveness, or accept Jesus' gift of eternity on my deathbed--if I was that fortunate to have a deathbed, or foreknowledge of my demise. However, why would I want to miss out on the blessings that God does award down here? I've learned that all those 'rules' we're asked to live by are only extensions of natural law and breaking them has natural consequences. While I'll never say that the all rotten things we're handed in life are consequences of breaking God's laws, some of them are. And some of the blessings we experience are the natural consequences of following those laws.

Have I said the word 'consequences' enough?

I really didn't mean to sermonize. But I did hear a pretty good one yesterday. The kind that makes you look deep in your heart and discern if you're doing it right....or all wrong.

I won't say all wrong. But there's always room for improvement. And that's inspiring.

Settling in

Friday, July 14, 2006


So things are starting to normalize. It's quite a relief. There's relatively few boxes around--as long as I don't go to the basement or my husbands office. Still lots to be done, but I guess this is going to take longer than I thought.

When we last moved, Jairus was only 14 months old and sat passively in his high chair looking at books while being tube fed (45 minutes a shot), and slept twice a day for 4-5 hours total. All this means that I had plenty of hands-free time to get unpacked and walls painted. That's been the hardest part--I can unpack a box here and there while the kids are doing whatever, but I can't set up all the painting stuff and furthermore, actually paint without someone keeping an eye on them. They come into the room and touch the wet walls, or stand at the doorway where I've shoved a bookshelf to keep them out, and cry and call out and can't figure out why mommy won't let them in.
But still, I'm encouraged. James got the last of the kitchen cupboard handles on last night, so now I'm not breaking or bending back my nails trying to get handle-less doors open. We put in new cupboards from Ikea (Fagerland style) and new counter, neither of which I've/we've ever done before, and I think it looks great. The girls room is painted and curtained and I'm really pleased with it. Princess purple (lilac, really) with matching princess curtains. I think they like it too. It was either Dora or Cinderella. Jairus' room is next, though I'm not painting. Got some cute Disney 'Cars' fabric yesterday to make his curtains. He's not seen the movie, but has seen previews, so he recognized the material at the store yesterday.
And tonight we'll head up to Fair Havens to see my mom and dad and the kids. Mom's up there in the trailer for a few weeks while workmen tear their house apart, putting on some additions. I always look forward to going up, if just for a few days.

SO, sorry not a terribly interesting post, but it's what we're up to.

Come see us! Really, things are quite settled down now.

Move, Shmove

Sunday, July 2, 2006

I can only do a quick update because I'm without internet for a few days. I'm at my mom and dad's using their computer. Today is 'take a break from the new house' day.

We are now officially moved. But not without a fairly stressful set of events that started over a week ago.

See, after we sold our house (and did pretty good), we were excited at the possibility of doing some nice upgrades at the new house. After talking with our banker lady, we came up with a figure that we'd have to spend. It was a nice figure. More than I've ever had to spend in one shot my whole life.
So we made plans. Lots of exciting plans. I was careful though, not to overextend ourselves with these plans. Realizing that the number we were given was just an estimate, I took off about 15% and planned with that in mind.
We were also careful not to go out and actually spend all that before we had it. The ol' counting your chickens thing, you know. We comitted ourselves to about 1/3 of that total amount in buying a new couch and loveseat (the sale was only for one weekend!), and the new Ikea kitchen cupboards (had to order them before the closing so we could install them before the move, right? Makes sense...). And paint. Needed to get that, to paint walls before the furniture came in, too.
So then, imagine our shock, anger and disappointment when, the night before we were going to go buy the hardwood floor (also to get it installed before the move) our lawyer tells us that the amount we're getting is, oh, approximately half of what we expected.

Half. O...ma...guness.

Fortunately, we hadn't overdone anything. We hadn't bought more than what was coming in. Small blessing I suppose.
But all the rest of our plans.....out the window.

SO...I didn't want to pout and hang on to my disappointment, so I endeavoured to look on the bright side. We were still getting beautiful new furniture and beautiful new flooring (that my husband did a GREAT job installing with some help from family) and a beautiful new kitchen. So I might not have handles on the cupboards for a while...

Leading up the move week, Verity started acting weird. Thought she had an ear infection so off to the doctor....nope, my wee-est girl had tonsilitis. Great. How much more of that will I look foreward to?

Anyway, day of possession came. I was comitted to going to Wild waterworks with one of my little sisters, so off I went to leave my kids with my mom and spend the day screaming down the waterslides. Hard life, being a good big sister.
I am so naive. My whole life, I've been a tanner. I have dark hair, olive complexion, never had problems with the sun. Until a few years ago when, for some strange reason, I started to burn. Personally, I think the sun changed. (Gasp, it couldn't be me, could it?)
So, you guessed it, I did NOT put on sunscreen and by evening, I was positively crimson. This was such a bad burn that my forehead swelled up and I spent two excruciating nights unable to bear even the weight of myself on my sheets or my sheet on myself. And here I was supposed to be painting my new house. Indeed.
By Saturday morning we were dealing with Jairus. Up in the night, crying, inconsolable. When he came into our bedroom in the morning, he touched his ear and said 'OW' (one of his few words) so I sent James to the clinic. Ear infection for sure, actually, mostly passed with some damage done to the eardrum. Holy mother guilt. But he never indicated he was in pain until Saturday morning!
And overall, still dealing with a very sensitive Honour. Clingy, emotional, wanting me all the time, complaining that her stomach hurt.
Sunday night brought a fall for Jairus, hurting his ankle. He wouldn't walk on it and cried for a long time. We all checked it over though, and it seemed fine--no swelling or bruising. The next morning, he still wouldn't walk on it though so I called the doc--no room at the inn. Went to the clinic, waited for 3 hours. By the time we saw the doc, he was walking on it, though limping. Doc couldn't find anything wrong. Gave me a req for x-rays and said to come back on Wednesday if he was still limping.
And then there was me, with my sunburn and now a sore throat. I get those alot with sinus problems, but this seemed different. By Tuesday morning, I couldn't take it and left the kids with my sister and ran over to the same clinic. I figured if I got there right at opening, I'd get right in to see a doc.
I got there at 9:05 and I was number 20.


Strep throat. So now three of my five member family were on antibiotics. Three different kinds of antibiotics at that. And while I was at the doctor, I missed the internet guy so that's why I'm seriously wire-less for another four days. (Torturous scream)

Needless to say, I didn't get nearly as much painting done as I'd hoped. I started a Venetian plaster finish in the living room and annoyingly, it didn't cover nearly as much footage as it indicated it would. So back I went for a second can. Still bare spots. I called the company and if I buy another gallon, they'll reimburse me. Ok, I guess. Still blowing my paint budget. And the flooring budget. And the kitchen budget.

So then move day came. We had quite a few people lined up to help, but sadly, only about 1/3 could make it in the end. Little stressful. Some friends told me today at church that I should have called and asked for help. Yeah, I should have. But it's hard to ask for such large favours at the last minute and on the holiday weekend. It was a long hard day for those who came and I'm real grateful. (Thanks Matt, Corey and Jay, uncle Dave too)

So this was my quick update. Up to our ears in boxes. A little frustrated with searching through boxes for jammies. Wish my hubby had tomorrow off too, but he took most of last week off to get the kitchen installed. (Did GREAT at that too--thanks Paul for your help).

So, if you're not busy, come on over and help me unpack, eh? Maybe we'll paint a few walls while you're here...