Monthly Archives: June 2010

Family Devotions.

Family devotions are something that I’ve always wanted to get into. I like the idea of sitting together with my kids and having James or I read about God’s truths. We don’t do it as often as I’d like but it does happen from time-to-time. On Saturday night we decided to pick-up one of the kids devotionals and read to them before bed. They’d been a tad goofy that evening so I’m not surprised they had a hard time calming down and taking it seriously. Although, come to think of it, Ammie did take it quite seriously because this particular story was about a little girl with a kitty cat. Anything involving a kitty cat will stop Ammie in her toddler tracks and capture her attention. Anyways, in the story the little girl couldn’t decide on what to name her little kitty and she was consulting her friends on the matter. It turned into a big spiritual lesson about how we are God’s children and how he has named each and every one of us. At the end of the devotional there were some questions for the kids to answer. One of them was, “What would you have named Stormy (the kitten)?” Ammie looked at the picture very seriously and said, “Steve”. The next question was, “Who is our Creator?” Rhys quickly yelled, “Star Wars!” Oh boy. The last question was, “Who is God’s son?” Again Rhys yelled, “Razor!” James and I burst out laughing…Jesus “The Razor” Christ. It was too funny. My thinking is that if the Word is a ‘double edged sword’ (Heb. 4:12) and Jesus is the Word (John 1:1) then maybe Jesus is like a razor? Okay, so it’s a stretch. And it kinda sounds like an amateur wrestling name doesn’t it?

Rhys knows the right answers in case you’re worried about what we are teaching our kids. He actually talks about God all of the time and since he’s into asking questions non-stop he’s been learning a lot about our faith. It’s really wonderful to watch and it makes me happy to see him thinking about these things…but Razor? I don’t know where it came from but that’s going to stay with me for a loooong time.

Side Story: *Look at that! You get two for the price of one today!* They say that children Rhys’ age ask around 400 questions a day. I believe it. I was trying to have a bit of a quiet time on the couch yesterday. I had made myself a cup of tea, I had a new Don Miller book in hand and I was snuggling-up for some ‘Mommy Time’. I was hoping Rhys would just wander-off and play with a new Nerf gun that his Nana had bought him. But no, he left me alone for about 5 minutes (just enough time to get sucked into the book) and then came back with a million questions racked-up in his brain. Some of them are easy questions, some of them just throw me off-guard and then some of them I have absolutely no idea how to even go about answering. Most of the time I try to answer questions in such a way that it doesn’t warrant 15 more questions but it’s hard to do on the spot.

Rhys: Mom, why aren’t the birds eating the bird food I put out?

Bria: Maybe they aren’t hungry yet.

Rhys: When will they be hungry?

Bria: When their tummies tell them it needs more food.

Rhys: Do we have Woodpeckers in this city?

Bria: Yes.

Rhys: Why don’t I see them?

Bria: Maybe we don’t have many around our house.

Rhys: Why not?

Bria: Because we don’t have bird-feeders in our backyard.

Rhys: How can a Woodpecker fit in a tree if it’s head is so big?

Bria: Mommy is trying to read her book.

Pause

Rhys: What do butterflies like to eat?

Bria: RHYS…..

Pause

Rhys: How many sleeps until Canada day?

Bria: 3. Rhys, mommy is trying to read her book.

Rhys: It’s just that…what is fluff?

Bria: It’s little bits of fabric and dust and….Rhys, mommy is trying to read.

Rhys: It’s just that…what is the sun made out of?

This folks, is NON-STOP! At the supper table last night he was being his usual self asking question after question after question when James finally had heard enough and told Rhys to be quiet for a bit. Rhys hadn’t even been eating his food because he was so busy asking questions so we told him to stop talking and eat. After a few moments James looked at Rhys and told him that he’d been a good boy for a few minutes so he was allowed to ask one, ONE, very special question. Rhys thought for a moment. You could see all of the questions he’d racked-up in his brain over the few moments he’d be quiet were all rolling around as he was trying to figure out which one was the MOST important. He looked at James, “Well…it’s just that….what’s for dessert?” Again, we burst out laughing. It’s was perfect. His brain is clearly going 100 miles a minute and it’s so funny to watch.

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A day in the life of…

I came across some creative journaling exercises earlier today and thought I would give them a shot. I enjoy a good quirky question or two from time to time. If you are the journaling type and feel a bit stuck, or aren’t the journaling type but have always wanted to give it a go then these sorts of things are perfect for that. Feel free to take the questions (I’ll hopefully be posting more) and run with them. For now I will leave you with this one: What’s is your day like?

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The Struggle.

This picture is the last of my favorites that I wanted to show you. We spent a day at the beach relaxing and enjoying some coastal  beauty that Haiti has to offer. James happened to sit down with some local fishermen and struck-up a conversation with them. All of them, including James, began pulling some rope in from a nearby boat. Everyone ended-up letting go and this guy decided to bring the rope out to the boat (which was a bit of a ways off shore). I snapped this picture before he got too deep and didn’t think much of it until I looked over my pictures later in the day. This is easily my favorite image from our time in Haiti. It seems to embody the hardship and struggle of everyday life the Haitian people face. At least that’s what I see in it.

It’s been roughly 3.5 months since James and I got back from our time in Haiti. Sometimes it feels like just yesterday and sometimes it feels like some murky distant memory. I find that I can’t rest my thoughts too long on our time there or I will get quite emotional. Some days I’m up for sifting through my emotions and other days it’s just too much. I miss Haiti and I hate that I can go days now where I don’t even think about the kids or the clinic. There are moments where I stop in my tracks and am shocked that it’s been a few days since I’ve pictured Joseph and his siblings, that I haven’t even prayed for them. I hate that it’s so easy to forget and go on living life as if I’d never ventured down there to see what I saw. It’s a struggle and I have yet to find some sort of  balance.

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Break and Enter.

Today was an interesting day. It started-out quite normal with coffee and some good music. I did the dishes, made muffins and some chicken cacciatore and my friend Jen came over for a little visit. I realized that James and I had a movie that was due back by 12:00pm (Book Of Eli, amazing…you should see it) and since I really didn’t want to have to pay late charges the kids, Jen and I caught a bus to take us down Henderson and return said movie.

When I leave the front of our house and walk down the sidewalk I usually lock the back door by just closing the door and turning the little lock on the handle and then lock the front door behind me…which is just what I did. The problem with this system comes when we’ve gotten home from our movie store/starbucks adventure, lock the front door behind us and decide to spend some time enjoying the temporary sunshine in the backyard closing the back door behind us. I shouldn’t really say US because it was just ME that locked the front door and then closed the back door behind me. But it happened none-the-less and we found ourselves locked out of the house. Normally we have two windows that have remain unlocked, and have been since we bought the house, so I just figured that we could do what we had done in the past, slide open a window and hoist a small child through it and onto the dirty dishes in the sink and then they’ll run around and open the door (providing they cooperate). No such luck. Apparently James went through the house last week and locked all of the windows so that we wouldn’t have anyone come by, slide the window open and hoist THEIR small child through and take our things. So I slipped the bobby pins out of my hair, bent them a bit and went to town trying to pick the lock. Then Jen went to town trying to pick the lock. Then hands were laid on the door and prayers were prayed and then each of us took turns hoping that the Good Lord would take pity on our situation. No such luck. We were really locked out of the house. Rhys kept reminding me that I should have brought the keys outside. Ya, I know…I realize my mistake now son. I happened to make the comment to Jen that at least Amelia had already taken a dump a little earlier considering I didn’t have an extra diaper with me. Spoke to soon. Ammie was changing into her bathing suit, which is one of the few things I had grabbed, and as she slipped her diaper off (I know, I know, it’s time for her to be potty trained) she casually pointed out that she had pooped herself. Great. I grabbed her hand just as it was reaching around and grabbed her diaper before it touched anything and hauled her off to the corner of the yard. I grabbed the hose and pressure washed the poop off of her bum. Yup, I did. She thought it was pretty funny and I only thought that it was funny afterward. So we sat outside for a while talking and swatting mosquitoes and wondering if we could wait until 5:30 when James would get home. Silly Bria. Then it dawned on me that we have basement windows that are fairly sketchy looking and maybe we should try that mode of entry. We walked to one, no such luck. We walked around the house to the other one and slid the window panes back effortlessly. Bingo. Now to get in. These windows are very small, my child is very small. Send the child! Rhys was willingly pushed through the little opening and was practically dangling and almost in when he started to freak-out. C’MON SON! You’ve done a Break and Enter before! No such luck. We hauled him out and I decided to take my chances. I flipped onto my stomach and wiggled in feet first. Feet in…good. Knees in….good. Hips in…………….GOOD! Yay for having just completed Jillian Micheal’s 30 Day Shred! I fit! I got in up to my stomach and then started laughing hysterically. My neighbour’s window looks onto this window and I could hear her washing dishes. I was laughing, Jen was laughing, Rhys was unsure and Ammie didn’t understand at all. My toes landed on the back of the couch and I was in, safe and sound along with a number of mosquitoes. I ran upstairs and let everyone in, still laughing.

Silly Bria forgetting your keys and locking the doors. Thanks for putting up with my mom brain Jen! At least it wasn’t raining, right?

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Now THAT’S good music!

James and I had the privilege of listening to some amazing music last night at the West End Cultural Center. The show was inspiring to say the least. The songs painted pictures and told stories that were so easy to get lost in…I could have sat and listened for hours more. Take a second and head over to Del Barber’s MySpace page and have a listen, I’m sure you’ll be pleased with what you hear.

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You roll your dice, you move your mice.

What are rainy days good for? Making board games, that’s what.

I took Rhys to his Kindergarten Orientation yesterday morning. He’s been anticipating this morning for a few weeks now so it was with great excitement that he burst through his Kindergarten door, found his name sticker and wandered off to explore the new learning environment. We’ve visited the room twice before, once for Kindergarten registration and then again for a ‘Countdown To Kindergarten’ day that our division puts on. I figure that the more he’s in his room and the more times he can meet his teacher the better for both of us. Not that I’m really concerned about any sort of separation anxiety, he’s ready for school.

Like every other time that we’ve visited we were handed a book bag full of information packages, at-home teaching techniques, community resources, games for kids and various other goodies. In this particular bag that Rhys received yesterday he was given a pair of dice for working with numbers and the parents were given a few ideas for different ways to use them. Since it was a rainy day today I figured that I would like to make a board game and use Rhys’ new dice for that. Rhys, being over-the-moon excited about Kindergarten, decided that he wanted his board game to be about him going to school. There you have it…I’ve spent the last couple of hours making a board game about school and trying to incorporate various Kindergarten-ish things as well as a few fun twists and turns along the way. He loves his new game and is patiently waiting upstairs for me to play it…yet again.

Edit: I forgot to mention that while I sat at the table making this game for Rhys my lovely Amelia washed, rinsed, and stacked all of the dishes in my sink for me! Obviously I’m going to be washing them again, cuz she’s only 2, but still…it’s the thought that counts!

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Soggy Boots and Sore Feet.

Mantario.

I’ll start off by saying that James and I had tons of fun together. I think that we’ve realized that we are very good travel partners, and not just to cushy hotel rooms and delicious restaurants but to difficult places like Haiti and bear infested forests. It was a hard couple of days but we kept each other laughing and moving. I especially appreciated James keeping an eye on me. He would make sure I climbed up/down rock faces safely,  he made me a hot cup of coffee and sent me to snuggle in my sleeping bag when my limbs were practically convulsing due to being wet and cold, he would lift my pack off of my back when I needed to stoop down and tie my boot for the umpteenth time (note to self: get new laces!)…what a guy. He also said that he would fight any bears that came along, what more could you ask for in a husband?

Anyways, I don’t know what we were thinking going onto the trail after three solid weeks of rain. Stupid. I’ve never been that waterlogged in my life, everything was wet. Everything. In the first quarter-mile we had to wade waist-deep through a stream. I had my boots strung around my neck and was holding my pack above my head. We should have known then and there to turn around and try again when the conditions were better, but we didn’t and we pressed on. A few hours later we found ourselves crossing a beaver dam because the ‘bridge’ was broken and flooded. That was interesting to say the least. We eventually (after a 9 hour hike) got to the second campsite in from the North trail head on Ritchie Lake. Our friends that we were supposed to be meeting halfway (they were coming up from the South) also couldn’t complete the hike because of trail conditions and had to turn back in the end. But we tried and I’m proud that I was even able to attempt something this difficult.

My feet were my downfall. They would have been fine if the trail was dry but it wasn’t and so they weren’t. I have really good quality hiking boots from MEC, I had hiking socks on and a pair of wicking socks underneath, but none of that matters when 75% of your hike is through swamp. I wrung my socks out a few times throughout the hike and each time I got AT LEAST a cup of water out of each one, it was like hiking with aquariums strapped to my feet. What concerned me was that every time I looked at my feet they looked as though I’d been sitting in a bath for half-a-day, but kinda bubbly.  It was gross and I was happy to rest them under the heater when we got back to the truck. Even a few days later they still look a bit swollen to me.

James and I will defiantly try hiking again. We realized that we had packed really well and had thought of pretty much everything we needed (except extra laces). It feels nice to be out in the middle of nowhere fending for yourself, paying attention to nature. It’s so quiet and still…except when you wake-up to a furry creature sniffing the top of your head from the other side of the tent. Then you get to see if your husband is a man of his word and if he’ll actually fight a bear for you.

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