Friday, September 23, 2005


Clogs are very nostalgic for me. When I was little (3 - 4) and we lived in North Van, Mom had this pair of clogs - I think they were white. I loved them and any chance I could get, I would wear them (much to her dismay). I begged her that when I grew up, she would let me have them. She was always very non-commital. Of course, clogs then went out of fashion and I never thought of them much when I was older and somehow Mom's clogs went the way of shoes.

Then, at New Years when we stayed at Mom and Dad's we were going swimming one night and Kaetlyn had nothing to wear on her feet as she had been on the motorcycle with Dad earlier in the rain and her shoes were soaked. So Mom lent her the clogs Laura gave her from Sweden. Kaetlyn raved about loving them and I also admired them so she gave them to us as she said they were too small for her. Kaetlyn instantly claimed them and they sat in her closet unworn for most of the year. I took them from her (her feet are size 9 - 10 so if they are too small for Mom...) and have been wearing them from time to time. I really like them and I get that same silly feeling I did at 3 or 4 and I am always looking at my feet and at their reflection in the mirror. And I think of Laura everytime I wear them too and wonder what it would be like in Sweden where people evidently still wear clogs. I like the way they make my legs look, too - if my calves were just 1 and 1/2 inches longer, I would have really great legs...

Anyways, those are my silly thoughts about clogs.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

An Only Child

This is the 39th anniversary of when my term as an only child ended after only 14 months. Yup, my biggest (well, oldest - although he probably weighs the most) little brother is 39 today. Not that I remember his birth (or John's for that matter - my birth memories start with Layne's). I haven't called him yet today - not sure if I will.

I have a box of clothing for Katie (well, really for Natalie) that I am mailing off today. There is a bag inside of the box with the stuff that 'the cousins' left here during their visit. I have been sorting and sorting and sorting through clothes. There is still a mountain of clothing in the living room to sort. They are the things that might be a little too small or a little too big so Rhiannon has to try them on and she gets really tired of trying on clothes. Have to think of some reward... or something to keep it interesting.

Yesterday I walked and walked and walked. Wednesday is our long walking day. We walk down our hill, then through town and up East Hill to the homeschooling play group at Lakeview park. Rhiannon plays with the kids and I visit with the moms. And then she has violin lessons across the street. So we left at 10am and got home at 4pm. We did stop for an ice cream cone along the way. We also stopped at the violin shop to trade in her now-too-small-violin. But the store was closed although the sign said it was open. Very frustrating. We went to the library and came back. Still closed. We stopped by after the violin lesson on our way home. Still closed. (that's when we had the ice cream). Luckily it was a beautiful fall day so it wasn't such a bad day to be wandering around. But still, I was tired and fell right to sleep before 10pm

So not much interesting news. But the classes are beginning to come together but I think it will take a couple of weeks before the dust settles. Kaetlyn and Rhiannon were supposed to go to Kamloops this week end but Katherine (Dean's sister) is too sick. *sigh* I was looking forward to having a quiet week end to myself - just me and Andrew. No cooking. Oh well. Rather selfish view.

That's it. Chick out.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Birthday Time

Rhiannon's party was this afternoon. She had 4 friends come over and it was fun. I just had it for 2 hours - from 1 - 3 so I didn't have to serve lunch. We played some organized games, then they ran around outside playing tag. I served a snack (munchie mix and veggies and dip). I made cup cakes and they got to decorate them themselves and then eat them. I had sprinkles, choc chips and real fruit gummies to put on. They really liked that. Then we opened presents. Last of all we had a pinata. I had put the goodie bags inside the pinata. But what is it with these pinatas? We had to get Kaetlyn and Drew to participate to get the dang thing open... And then it was over. Whew! Rhiannon got some nice gifts - some craft stuff, a Barbie, and some children's gardening stuff. It was okay as kid parties go - they were all nice and well behaved.

This week has been busy with getting set up with this new homeschooling program I am doing. Our Learning Consultant came on Friday. I really like her. She has 2 daughters - one is a year older than Rhiannon and then a 2 year old. They live in Lumby. Anyways, she showed me how all the forms work and helped me get started on the Learning Plans. I am almost finished Rhiannon's now but I haven't even started on Drew's. Then Saturday afternoon she had a get together for all the families that she is the Learning Consultant for (you know, Katie, you would be a really good Learning Consultant - you should check out SelfDesign). I really enjoyed the get together. Especially as we met another family that has 2 boys, 13 and 12 who are really nice boys (seem to be so far) and Andrew hit it off with them. Unfortunately they live out in Cherryville (small village 45 minutes Northeast of Vernon). I had great conversations with the parents as we all talked about our homeschooling experiences and philosphies. Rhiannon ran around with a pack of girls. So you could say that a good time was had by all. (I don't want to be left out of using geeky sayings and 'coon's age' has already been used twice this week)

So this is the week of truth. Will I have enough children to run my classes? I don't think all of them will go but I think at least a couple of them will... Lots of people express interest but when push comes to shove, where are they? Wish my neices were closer and could come to some of my classes...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

An Inevitable Pain

There is a pain that none of you know about yet. You might have guessed about it, but it is one of those things that you can't know about until you feel it. Like labour pains. Before you have labour pains, you wonder what they will be like; will you recognize them? Will they hurt too badly? Will you be able to stand it? What if you can't? Etc. As a result of those pains, there is another pain lurking in the future as unavoidable as labour pains. A pain other's can describe but you can't really know how it will feel . . . until you are there.

Erin moved out Sept 1. That is a good thing, really. I know it is. She is ready and it is time. She is living with her boyfriend and another roommate. I hope you all don't see that as scandalous. It is perhaps why I was reluctant to tell. She wasn't raised as a Mormon. She's a good kid. I have no problem with that aspect of it. Of course, I wish she didn't go right into that - that she lived on her own first or with roommates. You learn so much about yourself when you do that - things that you really need to learn before you live in a couple situation. But, for whatever reason, this is the way she needed to do it. I think she needed to be attached to someone in order to have the courage to leave.

My heart has been aching - a constant lump in my throat. And not because I am upset about her moving out - that really isn't it. I'm not upset about it. It is just because of what it signifies. Her childhood is over. My time to shape and mold her and meet her needs in a very direct way is over. Done. My time to fix things, or do it over, or better is finished. My little girl is gone. That is the pain. Some part of me never wanted her to grow up. I wanted my little girl forever. Of course that isn't logical, practical or even really desirable but that doesn't stop my heart from wanting it. It was illustrated to me this spring. I was at a ball game that Kaetlyn was umping. I turned around and saw a girl running towards me around the age of 8. The way that she was running, her outfit and her hair colour and cut - for a split second I thought it was Erin. Instantly, I knew that this could not be. And instantly my heart grieved because this was true and that time was lost to me forever. If you have ever read the play 'Our Town', it is that feeling when she goes back to her birthday and she sees how casually everyone is acting and she wants everyone to really pay attention and appreciate life, etc. I think of all those times I was preoccupied or distracted or just not making enough effort and I wish I could have all those moments again... That is the pain. Does it make sense? I have seen friends of mine go through this and talk about it and I thought I understood but none of that really prepared me for this pain. Just like my first labour pain and the urge to push. Its all connected.

The other night her cat, Tigger, jumped up on my bed while I was reading before falling asleep. This is very unusual but it dawned on me that her bed, where he would usually go, was gone. I clutched him and wept and remembered how little she was when she was only 8 and Tigger came to live with us and be her cat. Now he is here and she is not.

And I don't mean that things aren't good between us. They are. We are on good terms. But she doesn't live here anymore. *sigh*

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

A New Post

I know, I know... An update... I have been trying to come up with something to write about over the last couple of days. But no ideas. Rhiannon didn't get any sores - just had a fever for a day and low energy for the next couple. So I don't know if that is it or if more is coming.

Getting started on our homeschooling - this is our first year with Self-Design and there is so much to learn. We are supposed to be making our learning plans for the year this week. I always find that so daunting. I get over ambitious and then don't accomplish and feel bad or apply pressure to get it all done at the last minute... (If you are interested at all, Katie, check it out at It is based on the Wondertree school in Vancouver started by Brent Cameron. The whole premise is based on 'emergent learning' so the learning plan is very flexible and can change as often as I want it to - how can you predict what will emerge? But I still hate learning plans - I've been traumatized.

Drew started guitar lessons yesterday. He's taken piano for the last 3 years with an awesome teacher (Rhiannon is starting with her this year). But he wanted a change and I think he will like guitar a lot. The teacher is a man with 5 kids who homeschools as well - Christians by the look of the books in their bookcase - John Phillips. I liked him and so did Drew. I think this will be good for him to have a man. He is ordering his own guitar from a place in the Kootenays that gives Dean good deals. In the meantime, he is using Dean's guitar.

We are supposed to go to a homeschooling playgroup this morning but it is wet and it is a looong walk so I am undecided. If I am going, I had better leave soon. It would be good to go as I don't know a lot of other homseschoolers and apparantly there are lots of new people who just started this year. Could be good.

I've been busy putting out advertising for the Inner Worlds School - the classes that I am teaching. But I'm afraid that I got my advertising out too late and I won't get enough people. Right now I have one or two kids registered in every class - not enough to run it and it supposed to start next week. I'm angry at myself for not getting it out there sooner. And hoping and praying that it will work out. I really want it to!

So, that is what has been going on in my life - nothing too amusing. Today is Rhiannon's 5th birthday and we are having the family party this evening. Erin is coming and Dean's parents. We're bbq'ing.

Busy Chick out.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Well, 'the cousins' are gone. Doug came and got them a day early as they cut their hike short due (they said) to Carmen being sick and nothing at all to do with the cool and sometimes damp weather. I loved having them here. They are such amazing kids. Joshie with his serious and imaginitive ways. Madelaine (she taught me how to spell it) with her sweet friendliness. Caleb with his great energy and Mary who is just bubbling with cuddliness and love. But 5 days was just about right. I'm exhausted and I don't know how Delanie keeps her house so spotless and gets anything at all done. Having that many kids just consumes you! We had fun.

I didn't see any signs of lice but Rhiannon did get that hand and mouth disease thing which they had when they arrived. She has been super sick today with a fever - just laying in bed all day dozing in and out. It is very rare for her to be that lethargic with a fever - not even well enough to lay on the couch and watch a movie. She hasn't eaten anything all day except a 'fruitsicle'. She even threw up - which I think if from the fever. Apparantly she will get the sores tomorrow. Hopefully it won't go through all of us...

Funny, I heard that this 'disease' originated with Brenna and then went through Natalie, Michaelah, Maria and Tracy and then Doug's kids. And now it travelled all the way up here to go through mine. All in the family, eh? Even though I am so far away, I am somehow not immune.

Dean is playing at a local pub tonight. I went and had dinner with him there but I only stayed for the first 2 songs. I was just too tired and I was worried about Rhiannon. I am off to bed now.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The First Day of School

Well, today is the first day of school here. Kaetlyn trotted off on the bus this morning over to her high school - excited and happy in her new clothes and looking forward to her classes (must be a gene from Phil's side). She was a bit nervous and made me phone the bus people to confirm her bus route.

Well, it is official, I have been invaded by neices and nephews. Right now after a pancake breakfast, Madeleine and Rhiannon are in the bath washing their hair; Caleb and Joshie are playing nintendo - some car racing thing and they are talking to their cars as though they are alive and yelling to their opponents as though it would make a difference; Mary is in my lap doing a whiney song thing. She wanted to have a bath with Rhi and Madeleine (I don't know how she spells it - I'll have to learn) but I wouldn't let her as she already bathed first thing this morning. I did the curly girl thing with her hair - not sure if Delanie does it or not. All that and it is only 9am. 1 week ago we would just be getting bleerily out of bed....

Last night we went to Davidson Orchards - an 'agri-tourism' place. They have apple and pear orchards (since 1933) and corn and berries, pumkins, tomatoes and peppers and melons and farm animals you can pet and feed and a farm theme playground. We didn't get to stay for long but they had fun and I bought corn for supper and a case of apples. Apples fresh of the tree at this time of year are soooo delicious! The boys went to bed pretty easily last night. Rhiannon and Maddy had a more difficult time. Mary was full of beans as she slept all the way here so I ended up getting her up again until she fell asleep beside me. She somehow got pee all over her little bed (Rhiannon's old toddler bed). How does she do this? Her diaper was still in tact. Madeleine says it happens a lot at home. Which reminds me, I have to buy more laundry soap...

I was thinking of taking them to Kelowna today to hear Dean's band play outside at UBC-O (doesn't that sound dumb? [the name, I mean] Like it is a phrase out of Old McDonald...) but I am not convinced. Or mayby I'm just tired? I was up late last night working on the promo for the classes for the Inner World School which are scheduled to start in 2 weeks.

Well, that's all for now.

Monday, September 05, 2005

the long week end

Wow! I am away for just 4 days and you have all been blogging up a storm. I have so much to read and catch up on. I did read some thoroughly but I will have to finish the rest tomorrow. (all my blogs are in alphabetical order so that means that I read all of Amy's and most of Beth's).

As for the brother thing, I am not that disappointed as it turned out to be really inconvenient for me to be gone for so long the first week of school. They are going from Tuesday to Sunday. Kaetlyn starts grade nine on Wednesday and Dean is taking some University tranfer courses at (the new) Okanagan College that start this week and our homeschooling starts this week with this new system that I signed up with. I had an idea of an overnight thing with Jordan. But (as Katie predicted would happen to our trip) it morphed into something else altogether. We'll see how smoothly 'the brother's' trip goes, eh? I wonder if they have spare tubes? And Esther and Tracy are driving along with all their gear - pretty cushy if you ask me! So it will be better for me to have Doug's kids for a visit instead. And I really am very excited about that. It just kind of all got changed without anyone asking me but I am okay with the arrangement. It just wasn't a good time for me to be away from home for 5 days. But Drew gets to go and I really appreciate that. He will have such a good time with his uncles and Douglas.

I just got back from Calgary. I managed to sneak away for the long week end to visit my best friend, Ronni. Is it silly to be 40 and have a best friend? I don't care. We left Thursday afternoon and got home this evening. We had so much fun. We went to Calaway Park there for one day. We love Calaway Park. It is similar to Playland only I like it better. I am not much of a rides person, myself. I even tried a couple just to remind myself how much I hate them. I just hate being scared. Hate it. I only like the ferris wheel. So I was quite happy to go with Rhiannon on the kiddie rides. We did a lot of shopping there. Ronni lives right across the street from a Value Village which we spent 3 hours in. Kaetlyn got a tonne of stuff, I got some jackets and sweaters - a gorgeous leather jacket and Andrew managed to find some shirts and pants. He grew so much this summer he was in desperate need of pants now that shorts weather is coming to an end. We also made it over to the Cotton Ginny Outlet place where Kaetlyn and I made some good finds. I love shopping when you get so much for so very little. Then we brought home Rhiannon's wardrobe for the next 2 years courtesy of Meg. And Ronni and I visited and talked and talked and talked. It was exactly what I needed.

So that is the Chick update for now!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I had a good name all picked out...

And now I can't remember it. Maybe I have forgotten, while reading all of your blogs what witty thing I was going to say...

I just sent out all my notices for my fall dance classes. Time to get those little toes signing up and the money rolling in (*sigh*). The brothers are coming up here next week. Funny how things work out. I invited Jordan to come up and go on a bike hike with ME. Now Doug, Evan and Jordan are coming and I am looking after Doug's kids. How did that happen exactly? Ah well, I am REALLY looking forward to having neices and nephews come visit my house for the first time - expecially cuddly Mary!

So Amy, where is our story? Lets get it done before the memory is too faded to be like it really was any more. If you are not ready, you can pass it on to Laura or Katie.

We had a family meeting on Sunday. A very good meeting it was, too. We are getting organized. Everyone chose a night to make dinner and a couple of days to clean the kitchen. I have been loving eating food others have prepared. Dean made smokies and caesar salad; Drew made hamburgers and corn on the cob; and Kaetlyn tried out a new recipe from her cook book - garden burritos last night. I haven't even cooked yet this week. I love it! It really needed to be done - this organization. A load has been lifted off my back. I try to do too much and I deprive them of feeling their own effectiveness. They have been blossoming, really. I am looking forward to this going on.

Well, I had better go get my own chores done!