Leadership

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas

Christmas kills me. I mean, it exhausts me. I'm still recovering from December's harried pace. From hampers for sponsored families, dealing with the mentally ill, addicted and homeless at Christmas, Christmas meals, fundraising, Christmas services, music, more fundraising, staff issues ..... my November and December are just ruthless to the age and infirm (meaning me!).
Too many times over the Chrismas season I ask, "Is it ever going to end?" and it does. I fall like a limp dishrag, used far too many times to wipe up dog prints from the floor, to the chaise lounge in the living room, put the back of my hand to my forehead and exhale, "O my!"

Yes, I'm so dramatic! No, I don't really do that, but I certainly feel like it.

Christmas - I must do better next year. I must be better organized. I must have all my presents bought and wrapped before kettles start. I must, I must....

Maybe I will, maybe I won't.

Well, in the midst of all of that we were able to get to the Rotary Christmas party, a nice chance to dress up and mingle with people who all have homes to live in, and let the kids have a real fun time watching the magician perform and receiving a present from Santa.

We also got a chance to see the Christmas concert at the boys school. Well, Evan, a wise man in the school nativity scene, couldn't keep still. He will be forever remembered as the "dancing king." The whole auditorium giggled while he did a little shoulder shake, eye roll and snappy finger dance beat. It was hilarious, and we're sorry we didn't bring the video camera. Here they are in the lobby of the golf club where we had the party. You can see the mischief in Evan's eyes.

It is such a blessing to have my mom here this Christmas. My brother Ron is with us now as well, it was a blessing to be together for Christmas - more family to celebrate with.

Next week Sheena comes home. I can't wait. I'll take lots of pics that day and then I'll post them for everyone to see. I can't wait to kiss those boys and cuddle that little baby girl.

I'm off with my neighbour Mary to dinner and to see the movie "The Queen." Haven't been out with a girlfriend in a long, long time. I really get on well with Mary, we're a lot alike. It's nice to sit with a girlfriend and chat. Although I miss my vitamin "D" and "L" back in Ontario. Life will never be complete until we're able to sit down and have a cuppa together again.

Life is too short. Life is too difficult. Let's not waste it. Enjoy the holidays.

grace...kathie

Friday, November 24, 2006

Brave

www.nicolenordeman.com

I like the words to her song, Brave. I used to be brave. But I'm not anymore. I stopped being brave when I realized that it was not productive. When you are not perceived as brave, but something negative, then it's not worth it. However, the words of this song have really inspired me lately, got me thinking, made me sit up and take notice...

The gate is wide, the road is paved in moderation
The crowd is kind and quick to pull you in
Welcome to the middle ground, you're safe and sound
Until now it's where I've been cause it's been fear that ties me down to everything
But it's been love, You're love
That cuts the strings

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was
is no longer good enough
you make me want to be brave
brave, brave

I just really like Nicole Nordeman's music. The words sound like something I want to write! She's brave. I want to be brave now. Perhaps it's time to let my credibility stand for itself. Perhaps it's time to speak up, be brave...

perhaps....?

don't chicken out...

wait....

ok, I'll be brave....

grace...Kathie

ps. Don't take a "vow of compromise"

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Cuties Pies!

It's been so long since I've written - that's because I'm so busy writing! However, not for this blog but for other things - like the salvationist.ca. That's been really great. So much to catch you all up on, like some new pics of Sheena's brood out in Regina! Here is my new Allie Cat...


Isn't she so sweet!!! And she's wrapped in the hand knit blanket I made her - Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Baby!! Love that stuff even though I'm allergic to the merino wool in it. That's a nana's luv for you, I knit that for a couple of months and got eczema on my hands and eyes and sneezed and itched all the way through it.

Here's hosea, playing in the leaves in Regina. I really miss the kids and Sheena. It's just not the same without them around. I can just feel the loss - it's palpable. Do you ever feel like that when someone you love isn't with you? I can't imagine being far from them for a longer length of time - thank goodness they'll be back in BC in a few weeks - but where in BC? That is the question.

Here's Isaac! What a cutie pie! I miss him too, snuggling in bed together. I can't wait for them to get back here so we can do that again!

Life just doesn't seem fair. I know for sure that it's not fair for many people. My troubles seem so small and insignificant compared to some others. However, I know that God is good. I know that He loves us and has a plan for each one of us.

I just hope His plan is for my kids to be close to me!

grace...Kathie








Sunday, September 03, 2006

My Crazy Boys!

Evan (6) & Nathan (8)
Here they are all slicked up by Paola, our friend, babysitter and all round beautiful young girl. The boys love to have her come over and she does up their hair. She took these pictures of them! What a great girl! Thanks, Paola! The boys are having a great time these days, but my goodness, they keep me busy. Always on the go and always fighting, that's boys, but so loving at the same time.



Here is Paola at camp sunrise in the pool - we spent a great weekend with her family at our trailer. Her family came from Mexico four years ago. Her parents work for us and now come to our church.
Here is William, her brother. He is a crazy, drum playing boy! A lot of fun and he is great to have around. We thank God for both of them and their parents (who were enrolled as soldiers today.)
God is so good to us. Our summer was full of wonderful blessings! New friends, new family (human and otherwise!) and lots of fun. Till next year, so long to camp sunrise - hello busy and chaotic life! We're back!

Our Family is Growing

Boomer!
This is the newest member of our family! Boomer will be two in October and he is a Golden Retriever. We were given this incredible gift by a breeder in Robert's Creek, who parted with him tearfully just the other day. Now we know why it was hard for them to part - this is one of the nicest dogs I have ever known. He is gentle and timid - so gentle that Evan isn't afraid of him. That is a miracle. He is trained and responds well to commands. He's a little sad right now but after 24 hours his tail came out from between his legs and is wagging. Cuddles, of course, put him in his place as the dominant female in the house, but I think even she has been won over by this kind and gentle giant. Here they are together - her expression says it all!

Welcome to the family Boomer!

Summer is Over!

It's so sad. We came back from the camp from our last week up at our trailer. I spent the morning looking out at the waters of Howe Sound, the sun sparkling like a pool of diamonds on the water's surface. It was so relaxing and restful - I didn't want to leave, but life goes on. This summer was a good one, albeit a sad one with Sheena leaving for Regina. I keep telling myself it's only for five months, she'll be back. I miss the children - especially the new one who we've barely got to know.

I felt a certain bond with Allie the week Sheena came to the trailer to spend some time with us. It was such a good time to be with the grandchildren - I slept with Isaac all week and we got to know each other in a completely different way. Usually he just comes to visit - but 24/7 with him was a real treat. Hosea usually stays away from me, like he does with most people, but there were a few times that he allowed me to be present with him in his reality!

Here are some lovely pics from that time together.

Isaac - this picture paints a true picture of this active and delightful little boy. He was teething something awful that week, but he found some time to enjoy the playground.






Hosea, the cool dude. Mr. Aloof - don't come in my space, man, invitation only!

Here is baby Allie - my new nick name for her is Allie-cat! Sheena doesn't like it, I'm sure, but I really think it's cute. Here she is modelling one of the latest creations knitted by Nana - a lovely cotton number with cables and seed stitch - of course the little bunny buttons make a cute touch to finish off the garment.


So my summer has been one of relaxation and rest - enjoying the fellowship of the other campers and hanging out with our new friends, the Cross family. We've been really blessed this year. This is the first summer in a long time that my vacation wasn't sick time for me. This new medication is working wonders and I have more energy than I've had for a long time. I can only pray that God will continue to keep me going through the next busy work season.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Allie is Here!

Oh my gosh! She is so sweet! She came into the world at 6lbs 11oz on June 23rd and has the cutest little eyes and nose. She has long fingers and toes just like her mom - actually, looking at her is like looking right at Sheena as a baby! Dark hair in the same growth pattern that Sheena's was and skinny little legs just like her mom. I think she's going to have dark eyes and dark skin more like her mom.

Of course, she is wearing the little pink hat I made for her. We thought that she would be a bit bigger - but she's so petite. She sleeps well, feeds well and is a very calm little one. Hopefully, for mommy's sake, she'll stay that way till Isaac is a bit older! With only 14 months between them in age, that's something we really need to pray for - for mommy's sake!

Here is her big cousin Mailea holding her for the first time. This new child has no idea about the busy and sometimes chaotic family she's been born into. Three cousins close in age, two siblings close in age and two uncles very close in age! Of course there's a ton of cousins from her dad's side as well all being born in the last couple of years. Everywhere you turn, there's babies, babies everywhere.

Welcome to the world of the crazy Chiu Family - Alethea Jane Sarah Wardrope!

We love you very much!

Happy Birthday!

July 2, 2006 - Sheena & Sarah turn 24! We celebrate with a nice party - all our immediate family and then Uncle Edmund & Aunt Caroline came and also Uncle Paul. Patricia & Memo came with Paola as well - a huge crowd, lots of food and way too much dessert including the BD cake.

They look so grown up now - each have three children! I can't imagine how fast that went. It seems like yesterday they were dancing in front of the video camera signing away pretending they were singing stars. It seems like just moments ago we were dealing with raging hormones, pimples and well, just plain old teenage girl stuff. Actually, I like them all grown up. They were fun when they were young, but they are really nice young women. I like being with them and don't have enough time to spend with them at all.

I thank God for these two girls in my life - I was truly blessed the day God knit them together in my womb. How precious they were - two tiny, little beings who came crashing into my life when I least expected it - now I couldn't imagine my life without them and I don't know what I'll do to cope when the time comes to ever separate from them. God knows, though - only through His strength do we do anything at all.

grace...kathie

Monday, June 19, 2006

Well, it's been a couple of weeks since I posted - I'm told that people are looking at my blog and wondering where I am. Well, I'm here, but totally wrapped up in different things. When I get home in the evenings I'm so tired, I find it hard to sit up and write such inspired stuff! I should take a break at work and post from there -ooops! What was I thinking - unofficial use of an SA computer! LOL

Anyway, it's been a difficult week. I had another migraine headache. I've never really had these before, but in the last few months I've had a few. It is so debilitating to have one of these headaches. It started on Tuesday night after we got home from the movies and finally subsided completely yesterday (Sunday!). I went to work on Wednesday and Thursday - which was a totally stupid thing to do, however, I kept thinking, "It won't last, I'll just take a couple of tylenol or an advil or both." But it stayed, got worse, just awful. I tried the chiropractor, tried the dr who gave me something really strong. That helped for a while, but it just kept going after the drug wore off. Whew! Whatever triggered it, I hope it doesn't happen again.

Yesterday was Father's day and all the kids came over with their kids. Ed went to the park with some of them and they took some pictures. Here are a few.



Nathan & Evan at the Alouette River



Sheena & Mike arrive with Hosea & Isaac - just wish that new baby would too!



Sydney just hung around in the buggy!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Once Upon a Sheep Survives1

Well, I'm really feeling a bit tired right now. I've had that insomnia for the last couple of nights that hits me once in a while. It's difficult to concentrate when that happens - sleep deprivation is not good. However, my mind is occupied, in an excited way of course, with the yarn shop - and it's survival. Some things just take a licking and keep on ticking! I really felt a sense of peace - you cannot own things so much that your happiness depends on them. But I must say that I am very pleased that we've been able to keep the shop alive and well. When we decided that the sa would not continue to have oversight of the shop and if we had to we'd close it, it was a difficult decision, but I was at peace with it. That didn't mean I wanted to see it go - however, one has to be realistic.

But now we have another chance to keep it going with a completely new group of women who are ready and willing to put their all into it and sign on officially. I'm sending off in the mail our application for The Shepherd's Heart to become officially recognized as a non profit society - what a learning process. We have our board of directors, backing from a bank and we're off to the races!

I'm just about finished that sweater for the shop - lovely lilac lace. I'll post a picture when it's done.

Today we had a staff retreat - I decided that it would be fun to take my staff away for a day and do some team building with them. We had a couple of guests - Suman from head office who specializes in HR and the HR dept head who is going to school to become a pastor! What a wonderful day we had. We went skiing on a pair of ridiculous skis - five at a time. I nearly ended my life under one of my staff - Mike is a bit bigger than me. It was really a blessing to do this - we had a lovely meal, chicken stuffed with cream cheese - different, very rich. We really got to see each other in a different light and find out about each others colour personality profile. We exhanged affirming compliments and all in all were lifted up by the experience. I think we're going to do it again next year.

And to end off the day, when I got home was a nice letter from the little girl we sponsor in the philippines, Janine. What a sweetheart who sends me updates on her life on a regular basis. She is really a cutie.

So ends another day, another week.

grace...Kathie

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

New Knitting Project

I'm working on a new knitting project for the shop. You can find it on www.knitty.com - it's the little girls lace sweater. I'm doing it in a lovely lilac shade of Grace and trimming it with a darker shade. Watch for pictures soon, I'm almost finished.

grace...kathie (who's busy knitting)

Happy Birthday!


Isaac and I recently shared our birthday celebration! Everyone came over and we had a wonderful time. Ed barbequed his special chicken marinade and we had salad and other fixings. Of course, in spite of starting a new "eating plan" they got me a cake entitled "Death by Chocolate" for my big day. Well, it was worth the pound I gained - why hesitate, if you're going to cheat you may as well cheat really good.

I'm having a very interesting time lately. As soon as the nice weather hits in BC I start dreaming of camp and sitting and knitting and looking out over the water to Keats Island, and well... you know, nothing much more than that. No busyness and no phone calls about work, just me and the kids and Ed hanging out. Soon....soon....

Well, now that I'm officially at the top end of the 40's I begin to think of the big 50 birthday coming in a few years - I can't believe that. I still feel so young, and I don't think I look that old, but I suppose when Menopause if finished with me my skin will look a little more like I'm supposed to at that age! If only I had scads of money and could live a life of luxury - my own personal chef, workout instructor and the best skin care $ can buy. Well, one can only dream...

I'm tired of dreaming, time to go back to reality!

grace...Kathie

Monday, April 17, 2006

Uncle Evan


I love my uncle Evan! He is so much fun, he's always doing something to entertain me. But you know what, even though he's so bouncy and always jumping around, when he stops to pay attention to me, which is a lot, he is so gentle and he always kisses me on the head.

Here I am at Nana's house and me and Evan are cuddling on Nana's big chair. We fit in so nicely together, don't you think? Uncle Evan is holding me so nicely - I'm going to grow up and really love Uncle Evan even more than I do now.

I love going to Nana and Papa's house, it's so much fun there! I escpecially love Uncle Evan!

love Sydney

Isaac's New Sweater


Wow! My nana made me a new sweater! It's so cool, I had to put it on right away!

I love the stripes and the colours, they go so nicely with my lovely deep brown eyes. Sorry, I know that sounds incredibly conceited, but I really am rather cute.

My mom and dad brought me over for Easter Sunday dinner. We actually went to church this morning and sang wonderful songs and I got to play with Papa while Nana preached an awesome sermon!

At Nana a Papa's house, I ate a little bit of wonderfully prepared (by Nana of course) mashed potatoes and moist, succulent turkey. The gravy that topped it off was absolutely superb, and again we have to thank Nana for that.

I love my new sweater. Nana is going to make one for my big brother Hosea too! Except his is going to be a really nice sage green to go with his colouring - that red hair gets all the attention!

Anyway, I have to go home now, my mommy says it's my bedtime. See you next time, I love you Nana and Papa. Thank you for my lovely new sweater!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

It's Been a While...



Well, it's been a while since I posted. I get so busy - and lately we've been quite busy with not only our regular schedule, but also we've had a lot of company. Everyone is wanting to come and see my mom before she can't remember them anymore. I'm glad that they've made the effort, it meant so much to mom.

This is my nephew Alan and his wife Karen from Cambridge. They just came to visit us for a week and I think Karen fell in love with cuddles! We had such a great time together and I'm waiting for their call to say the movers have been called and they're on their way! Karen was so great with grandma - she is a home care support worker by profession and so knew exactly how to deal with her and take care of her - and grandma lapped it up! Compared to that I think we mistreat her! Anyway, she had a great time together with Alan, her oldest grandson and her first grandchild that she had to spend time with looking after. Alan and I were buddies when he was a little guy - I was 10 when he was born so he hung out with me and I corrupted him as he grew teaching him "french" and how to ice skate.

The first one to come and see us was my brother Ron who lives in Belleville. He stayed for a week and it was great to see him. I don't think we took any pictures of him when he was here! Then my brother Pat came to see us with his new wife. They only stayed three days. But it was the first time we met Diana and it was good to get to know her. They live in Fort Erie.

It's now time for "Sunny Boy" to make his way out here. His mom is waiting for him and disappointed everytime she asks. I've tried the guilt trip, I think it might be working slowly!

What is so wonderful is that God has allowed my mom the time to get the chance to see her family again. What a blessing that is.

grace...kathie

Friday, March 17, 2006

Sleep Overs!


Mailea is here tonight! The boys wanted her to come and have a sleep over. It's kind of funny, they were all raised together for Mailea and Evan's first three and a half years. For those who don't know - Evan is my youngest child and Mailea is my oldest grandchild! Yes, "Father of the Bride Part Two" - that was us, my daughter and I pregnant at the same time. What a time that was!

There's a bond between Mailea and the boys. It happened from growing up for a while together. For the longest time Mailea thought that I was her second mommy! Sarah and I even had to substitute breast feed for each other and I think that led to a further bonding between us all!

Granddaughters are neat. They bring back so many memories. Playing with dolls, dressing up like a princess, make up and tea parties - us girls just kind of do that stuff. But Mailea can also run with the boys and she rides her bike and wears her hockey jersey too!

I thank God for my Mailea - her name means Myrtle Vine and it grows in the forests of Hawaii. It is harvested by hand at only certain times of the year and is used to decorate homes and doorways on special occasions and also adorns a bride at her wedding. Mailea is like that - God's special girl given to us to bring us geat joy and bring beauty to our lives.

God bless Mailea!

grace...Kathie (Nana!)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Another Grandbaby!



Say hi to Isaac! He is a sweet little boy with a real gentle nature to him. It doesn't take much for him to break into a great big smile. He looks like mom, Sheena. He has the same kind of shy sweetness to him when he smiles. I have a picture of Sheena when she was small and you can see the same thing in her.

Grandbabies are so awesome! However, I don't get to spend enough time with them! I keep telling the girls to slow down and let me get closer to retirement so I can have some fun spending time with them!

Here is Sheena - She really is a beautiful young woman. She doesn't even need makeup to look beautiful! She is such a good mom! Can you see her eyes in Isaac? The darker complexion - so unlike his big brother Hosea.

She's giving us another grandchild this June! We know it's a girl - 3 grandbaby girls and 3 grandbaby boys - wow!

Thank God for children who bring so much to our lives and teach us to live every day to the fullest. Thank you God for all my children - all five of them! Bless them, Lord!

grace...kathie

Monday, March 13, 2006

Distractions!

It has been a whirlwind of activity lately. Or else it just seems like it. I've been so distracted and had difficulty staying on any one task at a time. How frustrating. It's just so much for one person to deal with at times!

Here is the latest thing that is taking my mind away from other things I should be doing but don't really want to! This is Sydney, modelling a lovely new sweater that her Nana made for her. Sydney is such a little doll. She reminds me so much of her mother - her nose is just like Sarah's, a little turned up with a cute little point to it. I'm waiting for a mole to show up on her face just like her mom's! Sydney and I seem to get on very well. I guess you could say we have a little bond that happened the day she was born - she heard my voice and turned her head toward me in the delivery room, our eyes met and we've been pals ever since. My other grandchildren are all very special too. I'll have to write about them soon.


Here is the sweater up close. I used a Peter Pan pattern and used Snuggly Fair Isle DK. The colour almost seems like cotton candy and Sydney has just the right colouring for it, too! I really like Snuggly yarns by Sirdar. Their acrylic is soft yet stands up to washing/drying and doesn't pill like Patons Astra/Canadiana does. The trim on this sweater makes all the difference, turning it from a boring raglan, to something quite feminine, something a girley girl would wear.

Thank God for knitting and the sanity it brings. I don't know if I could manage without it in this busy, crazy and often chaotic world. I sit in the living room or in my bed, put on anything on TV or sit and chat with, someone and my fingers let loose. It takes the chaos and helps my mind to work it through with a sense of peace and settles all the issues I'm dealing with in their rightful place in my mind.

Today, I'm having a day off - I think it's time to get some knitting done. Hopefully, no one will disturb my peace. That will be my prayer.

grace....Kathie

Monday, February 27, 2006

Home Sweet Home!

My mom came home today! We've arranged all the necessary home care stuff - man, is it ever complicated. She's all pooped out from her big day. Soon, the home care person will come and get her ready for bed and she'll be off to dreamland - well, that is unless she falls asleep before that.

When I got her home she said, ''Oh, home, sweet home!" She recognized her home. When she was up in her room sitting in her favourite rocking chair she asked me, "Will I ever get my husband back?" I asked her if she meant her husband George - "Yes" - I had to remind her that he passed away. I didn't say 25 years ago! But when I reminded her she seemed to remember.

How scary it must be to forget things and be so confused. How cruel this life is to us as we age. Today when we left the hospital we said goodbye to the other ladies and wished them well. My mom waved goodbye, so happy to have a family to care for her.

I'm so happy she's home. I can rest now.

grace...Kathie

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Four Generations


Up to the time this picture was taken, all of us were living together - four generations in one house. It was an awesome time - much chaos and far more hormones than should be in one house at the same time!

My mom looked so lovely at Sheena's wedding. It was our first child's wedding - grandma's first granddaughter getting married. It was a wonderful and magical day.

We put this picture in an album, along with pictures of all our family members, to help my mom remember. She keeps forgetting who she is and who she belongs to. She keeps thinking that the nurses are family members and the other women in the room confuse her - she wonders who they belong to.

So she's looking at her new photo album reading out what we've written about who everyone is. It seems like new information to her sometimes, but other times, it's like she knows it fine. One day she is confused, another day she knows what's happening and she wants to come home.

That is the stressful part. The other part is, the poor woman can't hear me - her hearing aid broke. We've ordered a new one and it won't be hear fast enough for her! Today I had here TV hooked up so she can watch it. She's fascinated with it - like it's a new thing altogether. She can't seem to understand how to push the channel and volume buttons. Oh well... at least she'll have something to amuse her.

I thank God that up until just a few weeks ago we had my mother with us totally knowing where she was. It was a wonderful blessing to have her at Sheena and Sarah's weddings. Well, actually she missed Sarah's wedding at the church, but that's another story!

I love this picture with my mom. Thank you, Lord, for my mom and all the wonderful memories I have of her.

grace...Kathie

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Amazing Memories


Here we are back in September 1990 - our Welcome Weekend. That's what they called it when you went off to The Sally Ann's training college. Sarah & Sheena are in their little mauve dresses and Derek looked very smart in his suspenders and bow tie. Man, am I ever thin! I was only 140 there! Well, that was about 40 pounds ago!

What memories this brings back. We've been making up an album for my mom so that she can look at it in the hospital and remember us all. I came across this and it amazed me. What a day that was. How nervous we were. Now, I think, if only I knew - I would have run the other way and fast!!!

I can't believe how far - geographically speaking and spiritually speaking - that God has brought us. Our lives have been such an adventure and we've been able to make a difference in someone's world. How amazing that is. What a wonderful feeling that is.

Thank you Lord.

grace...Kathie

Blast from the Past!

I wasnt' supposed to go to work today, but I was bored at home so off I went. I didn't get much accomplished, but I was there to take a very important call from someone very special. Someone I haven't spoken to in years but often think of. Someone who's pictures are around my house, on the fridge, on the inside of our computer desk, you know what I mean. And so Lisa called. Lisa - the young girl who was like a younger sister to me many, many moons ago. What a joy it was to reconnect with her again.

Sometimes when we're feeling down, and we don't even know what we need, God provides just the right thing. People have been asking me how they can help me since my mom's been in hospital. It's comforting to know they're thinking of me, but I don't know what to tell them. What can they do to help? I don't even know what to do for myself these days. I'm numb, just blank, mind wandering onto insignificant, trivial things. So what do I need....

God knew.

And she called.

And I felt so lifted up after our talk... all the way from England, the place where I feel most at home where I bond with the atmosphere.

Lisa, it was so good to speak to you today. You reminded me of times that were fun and happy. Don't just breeze into my life and then disappear again. Let's not do that again!

Thank you Lord for that encouragement today.

grace...Kathie

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Ups & Downs

This past day or two has been much better for my mom. She's talking and laughing although still not making sense all the time. You can tell her speech is getting a little difficult - she doesn't always come up with the right words for what she wants to say. But her mood has improved. She was up watching TV with the ladies from her room in the hallway today while they waxed their floor. They were watching Olympic women's hockey and knew the score - that was great. When we got there she wanted to get dressed and come home. It was difficult to tell her that she couldn't right now.

I'm going to hire someone to come in and clean and organize my house. I can't do it. Ed's too busy and sick to do more than regular maintenance and I'd rather spend my time with the kids than do endless loads of laundry when I get home from work.

That feels selfish. Really, to spend money on something I should be doing myself! But, I just can't do it and work full time. Wherever did society get the notion that a woman could do everything and still keep her mind together. No wonder we're a prozac society!

Sometimes I think that if I could just garner enough faith, or prayer a little more, I'd be able to do it all. But I can't seem to find the time in between running from here to there to actually get my mind organized to pray. Thank goodness God understands this and isn't sitting in judgement on me like I am on myself. Thank goodness He accepts my prayers in the wind as I'm running from here to there, the ones that drift up dreamily from my pre sleep exhaustion.

Well, it's time to carry on and not give up, so much laundry to do, so much cleaning to do so that when I hire someone they don't think I'm a complete slob!

grace...kathie

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Empty Mind, Empty Thoughts, Empty Day...

Today was an empty day. I went to the hospital this morning and my mom decided she wasn't going to talk. Well, that's what it seemed like until we realized that she was having a problem and didn't know what was wrong. It was sad. I didn't know what to do to get her to talk or try or take her pills or eat her food. She didn't seem to know what to do or where she was. But she did know who I was... and that was a good thing.

I feel so empty. I'm tired. All the running around, back and forth to the hospital, picking up the kids from school, going to work, going home, the birthday party for Nathan. I'm completey tuckered out. I wonder if I'm ever going to get my energy back. I wonder if life will ever again be peaceful, calm, less chaotic. I'm so tired. Today I'm going to cocoon. A good book, under the duvet, in my bedroom away from the noise... mmm... just what I need.

I'll write about the party another day...

grace... I really need it today.. Kathie

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Mothers, Daughters, Sisters


Well, as I write this I'm exhausted from a 24 hour ordeal with my mom and the hospital. She hasn't been herself lately and so I decided yesterday that I had to do something about it. She seems vacant lately and her speech and memory were suddenly not what they should be. Even though there was nothing dramatic happening, I still felt I needed to finally take her in. My doctor ended up suggesting the hospital - and so the adventure began.

The doctor she saw today asked me why I didn't bring her in when she had her fall in January. I'm like, why? She got up, she didn't break anything, she seemed fine at the time and the last time this happened - well I was made to feel like I had wasted everyone's time over nothing. On top of that you get the lovely BC Health System (notice the capitals?) which causes more sickness trying to get through it all to get the help you need. Waiting room waits for almost four hours, no beds available, doctors who take forever to get to you and then when they do their so busy with so many cases you feel like you've maybe been imagining it all and you should just go home.

Anyway, my mom is in hospital. They don't know what's wrong with her - she may be having TIA's (mini strokes) or she may have something going on in her corotid artery, or it may be her heart. Either way, she needs too much care to be at home and I can't take care of her in her present state.

I miss her.

Even though she drives me crazy.

Who will tell me my hair looks like hell before I go out?
Who will remind me that my behind is very big these days? Am I gaining weight?
Who will tell me I never come home from work, Im too busy?

It's funny when your parents age. Even though the roles reverse somewhat, and they become like children and you the parent, they still retain that position in your life that gives them the right to point out all your faults!

I miss her.

I hope she gets well enough to come home soon. She asked me about the boys - who is taking care of them? Are they ok? She knows she has a family. She knows she has a home. It's so much more than some older folk have these days.

God help those other ones we saw down there that were all alone.

grace... Kathie

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Deception - a Risk

We've had a young man staying with us since Christmas. Jordan came to us at the shelter and my son decided to bring him home for Christmas and he just never left. We felt he could have the bedroom downstairs and since he said he was starting a new job, he would pay some room and board. He couldln't go home, he said, because he wouldn't join his parent's religion - they are Jehovah's Wittnesses. We took him at his word and it turned out that our trust was misplaced.

Derek was most hurt of all. He'd really put his friendship on the line and it was used and abused. When the web of deceipt came to light it really stunned us all. Derek was, understandably so, very disappointed.

The disbelief that comes to mind is just phenomonal. Even when presented with the evidence of truth you don't want to believe that someone could so abuse you. But that is what happened. The risk was taken - someone came into our home. We opened up our hearts and gave our love and care. Basically, it was gobbled up by someone who just wanted to take. Extreme selfishness was at the core of that. A lust for power and control that lies and theft bring.

So what do you do when someone betrays you like that? How do you cope with the truth of deception? Do you stop trusting people? Do you decide not to help someone again? Do you close off your heart to the cries of help from others?

No.

What you do is pray. Pray for that person that deceived and used you. Pray for God to bless them. And everytime you feel that disappointment, you pray again. Then you reach out and get ready to help someone else.

Not everyone will scam you. Most people won't. But there will be some who do. If you are going to put yourself out and make yourself vulnerable to others, it's going to happen. But you can't let the sins of others determine the course you will take. That would be giving them more control over your life than they deserve. Instead, embrace each experience and learn from it. Will you be a little more careful next time? Yes. Once burned, twice shy? Perhaps. A little wiser, but unchanged.

God be with you Jordan wherever you are. I pray he blesses you. If you read this, you are welcome in our life and we are more than willing to help you face the challenge of positive change.

grace... Kathie

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Sydney!

Sidney is so cute! Sarah & David came over today after church and stayed for dinner. So we got to have some cuddle time with the new baby. Isn't she adorable? Don't you just want to gobble her up and snuggle her? Look at the forhead - that is Sarah all over when she is giving us the "eye."

Babies are a part of our life that make such a difference. Today at church, Sarah was showing her baby to some of the people that were staying in our shelter and it's amazing how a baby can bring a change over someone. That dirty and disheveled person who is absolutely homeless smiles and coos and a transformation comes over them.

Jesus said that we have to be like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven. Babies bring us to that place...

grace

Friday, February 03, 2006

Sidney Arrives!


This past couple of weeks have been rather preoccupying. Sarah finally, a week overdue, had her baby. And just as Nana predicted - an 8lb baby girl. Mom and Dad decided on the name Sydney Nicole Julie Taylor. I like Sydney- its a nice name.

Sydney is beautiful. She looks just like her mother did when she was born - like a little Thumbelina Doll. A perfectly round head, little turned up nose and perfectly formed lips. Do I sound like I'm bragging! Of course I am!

Sarah looks great. I can't believe how she does it. She gives birth like a pro - doesn't even make a peep until the baby's head crowns. Her sister and I and the midwives can only look on in awe as she does it all with a bare minimum of support. With Sydney only a few hours old, mom hopped off the hospital bed and said, "let's go home." Now here she is a couple of weeks later and mom looks wonderful, baby lost and regained her birth weight in a week, (she's 8lb 6oz now!) mom's milk is in and nursing is going perfectly according to plans. It's too good to be true.

Here is Sarah and baby just after she's born. We've got to get a couple more pictures of Sydney from David. We stayed away and took the older children as we were both sick with colds when the baby was born. Now David's mom is here from Alberta for a week to help out. My turn next week!


grace... Nana