Blogger Boss needs to decide what this is going to say about how crazy her life is & how she loves coffee & walks with her hubby.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Moon and Star

The post I'm about to add is the hardest kind to write.
It's also the kind I NEED to write the most.
Like I've said in the past, writing to me is very therapeutical.
It does not make me think that what I write is going to sound professional, or interesting or educational.
It does not mean that I am asking for pity or a reaction.
I write becasue I need to.
Becasue it helps me reflect.
If you enjoy it, and if you learn something, that's nice.
And if it didn't make a difference in your life, well, we are all different.

Right now I need prayers thou.
Our little Star in heaven has now been joined by a little brother or sister.
We decided to call the baby Moon.
We don't even know if there ever was a baby, all I could see on the ultrasound this morning was an empty sac.  So I guess we can call this "pregnancy" Moon.
It doesn't really make a difference.
The outcome is still the same.
The baby we had been excited about to meet in March, is not coming any more.
I was only 10 weeks along, but there's still pain and hurt.

I feel empty.  Sad.  Worried. 
It's hard to understand God's ways.
But it keeps me humble.  And more understanding. 
And hopefully more forgiving and more loving.
It definitely makes me appreaciate and love our kids even more.
When I laid on the couch this afternoon, our little guy asked me
"Mamma, do you want some tea?"
He's not even three yet.
He has no clue of what's going on.
But the kid has a loving heart and a soft spot for his mom.
I said "Yes, I'd like some tea!"

So... here we go again.
More hospital visits.  More bloodwork.
It's not a molar pregnancy like last time, but since I've had one, they take this miscarriage more serious than a "normal" one.  So I'll need some extra attention medically.
My heart will need some extra attention too.
And it's already getting some.
Again I'm reminded of how loved I am...
The instant outpour is so amazing.

The kids are devestated of course.
And I gave them the option of staying home from school tomorrow.
We've been hugging and crying.
We agreed that now Star has a friend.
Now when we look at the dark nigh sky we won't just see the dark.
We'll see stars.  And the moon.
And they'll remind us of what matters in life, Love.
There's never too much love, and the more you give the more you get.
And it keeps on growing.  All the way to the dark night sky.  To Moon and Star...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Because God hears prayers...

First a little background.
After our move here a bit more than 2 years ago, the 1st fall in a new school, in a new country, with a new language to learn, was a HUGE uphill for our then 4 school aged kids.
The school they went to was bi-lingual, meaning that the Finnish kids started learning English from grade 1.
Some kids knew some or a lot from home, if they had a parent from an english speaking country.
That was of some help for our kids the first few months, but often during that first fall the girls came home from school looking discouraged.

"I sat through several hours not understanding a thing!!", they would tell me.
My heart would sink.  And hurt.  And my eyes would well up with tears.
What were we thinking?  How could we do this to our kids?
In the evenings my hubby would sit, sometimes for several hours, and help our girls with their homework.
First translate the text... word for word...
I wasn't able to really help with homework at all.

By Christmas time, they started to break through the surface.
Our 1st grader sang Christmas songs in a language she barely understood!
My eyes would often well up when I watched them all taking careful babysteps.
So bravely...
At times they'd cry, and ask "Why did we move here?"
I'd try to encourage them, but often I felt the same way myself.
So much frustration not knowing a language!!
It's not just about being able to understand what someone is telling or asking you.
It's about reading, writing notes, calling another mom, helping with homework...
feeling like you are PART of a conversation!!
And I couldn't do ANY of that.
So I very well understood our kids frustration.
At least I was able to "hide" at home with the little kids...ignoring what I didn't know.
I attended a Finnish language class a few evenings a week for 6 months or so.
It did help some.

Well... In June this year the kids finished their 2nd year of school here.
And over all they have all been doing better and better.
Finding their groups of friends, making themselves understood.
Bringing home papers from school showing me what they wrote in Finnish all by themselves!
So wierd to read something that your kids have written...and you only understand some of it!

Our 3rd daughter has had the hardest time.
In Canada she was everybody's friend.
Her teacher's only complaint would be
"She talks too much in class!"
I asked the teacher to move her next to the boy she knew the least, and the teacher replied
"I did, and after a few days they were best friends!"
Our smiley, sweet girl was well liked and enjoyed school.
When we moved, her teacher said
"When a girl moves, all the girls are sad, when a boy moves, all the boys are sad, but now when your daughter is leaving...everybody is sad!!"
I watched as all her friends made a huge group hug around her as they said farewell.
My eyes still well up thinking about it.

Moving here she became more insecure.
Of course I understood that and didn't expect her to connect with new friends right away!!
She was fortunate to have an American girl starting in the same class at the same time, and they quickly became friends.
The unfortunate part of that was that she relied on her english speaking friend 100%.
She kind of "got stuck".
In their 2nd year her friend had connected with other girls, (she had learned finnish from her dad growing up, so she didn't have the same problem with that) and the two of them weren't playing as much any more. 
So, my little girl looked more and more unhappy...
We talked to the teacher, he was young and new and tried his best, but well.. let's just say his efforts weren't impressive!
She learned more and more Finn, not very fast, but Ok.
Her grades were just fine, actually quite good concidering all her obstacles!
She also has her diabetes to deal with, and being 10 years old and realizing that "I am different", is always a bit hard.  She never used to make a big deal about it, but I noticed that she became more caucious about a lot of things.
The sweet bubbly girl was fading in front of my eyes.

When we started to talk about moving back to Canada in the spring time, she looked so relieved.
But I told her that we'll be here at least one more year, and she needs to make the best of it.

This summer they finished building a brand new school not too far from us.
It's an all Finnish school, so we decided to move two of our kids there, since our 6-year old girl is starting Kindergarten there anyway, and it's in the same place our youngest girl will go to daycare.
So our soon to be 11 year old and just turned 9, girl, started there this fall.
Our 2 oldest are going to middle school elsewhere.

Before starting the girls practiced riding their bikes to the new school, checking out their new playground.
The place is beautiful!!
I was hoping a new start at a new school would give our little girl a 2nd chance here in Finland.
The weeks leading up to school start were up and down for her.
One day she'd be excited, the next worried and nervous.
When visiting at my brother-in-laws the Sunday before school started, I asked our friends who were gathered there to pray for her.
My heart ached so badly for her, and tears kept streaming down my face.
We had talked about this many times, but I felt her fears and worries.
In the car on the way home she told me
"Mamma, I don't feel so nervous about starting school anymore!"
"Why is that?" I asked
"I feel safe"
My eyes welled up again.
God had heard all those prayers, and within a short time our daughter felt comforted and safe.

She went to her first school day with light steps.
I reminded her that she is a likeable person, and that she has nothing to worry about.
Well... it's been 8 days of school so far.
And almost every day she's telling me of new friends she's made.
She's using her Finnish, since that's the only language they speak at this school!
Yesterday she stopped by at a friends house on the way home.
She keeps telling me how nice all her friends are and how much she's liking her new school.
We have talked about the power of prayers and how God does hear them.
When I think about my daughter's face this last week... my eyes well up with tears, again.
I'm recognizing the little girl that stood in the middle of that big group hug 2 years ago...
And in my heart I fiercly pray that she's here to stay.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Strength and Honesty

I've been thinking about strength.
About being strong.
How come some people seem so strong?
I think being honest is one way to be strong.
You have to start by being honest with yourself.
When you try to look at something in a way that you know will not work longterm, you are not being honest.
When your kid asks you a question that you know is hard to answer, you might give a brief reply, knowing that you never got to the bottom of it.  Not honest.
Sometimes we might think we are saving ourselves headaches by not being honest.
It sure isn't very convenient to be brutally honest at times, but when you know that it pays off longterm, we sometimes stand tall and stay honest.

I know I share a lot of my feelings and can be quite open about many things.
Some people look up at me because of it.
Others think I talk too much and come across as "bragging", others might be scared of me!!
When someone asks me for my honest opinion, I will give it.
I will also do whatever I can to not say things that hurt or offend people.
But on the other hand, most people hear what they want to hear, so sometimes if they already have an opinioin about you or what you are saying, or if they don't want to change their mind about something, they will make up their minds before you open your mouth.
Some get offended very easily, and take things very personally.
I read somewhere that "When you stop taking things personally, you gain a lot of freedom"
Very true.
At the same time I want people to understand me and what I might be saying isn't meant to be braggy.
There are differences between listening and trying to UNDERSTAND what you hear!!

When I go through hard times I like to talk about it.
Others keep quiet as a clam shell.
Which way is better??
I've been told to remember that others also have hard times, and just because they don't tell everyone about it, doesn't mean that they aren't suffering!!
Well, duh!!! 
To be honest, every time I hear of someone going through a really hard time, and it's already been a while since it happened, I get amazed that they didn't tell anyone!
I feel like I need my friends prayers, and that is why I share my hard times!
I heard about a guy who died and his wife's family wasn't telling anyone about it, because it was so hard to talk about!
We sure are different.
I know the longer I hang on to something that weighs me down, the more energy does it steal from me, and the heavier the trial gets.

Let's use this pregnancy as an example.
I am only just past the 8 weeks mark.
Many many women would not have told anyone yet (besides their husband), and in the past I've usually kept it quiet till about 10 weeks (then my belly is usually so obviously pregnant so it's kind of pointless not to not tell)
This time I was only 5 weeks on the way, and maybe some think I just want attention, and what if I miscarry and then have to tell everyone about it.
Well.  If I wouldn't have told I was pregnant, and then would have miscarried, I would have told people about that to get over the hard time.
Is this just a way to get attention??  Or a way to seem strong?
After I lost Star last fall, it was pretty obvious at 20 weeks to even strangers that we were having a baby, I shared the sad news with lots of people.  Was it to get attention, or to somehow show how strong I was?
Well, first of all people would have noticed my belly disappearing, but mostly I felt the need for everyones prayers and help.  So what happened when I told everyone? My phone got text after text many days straight.  People brought dinners, food and offered to help.  Lots of prayers were heard, and I could feel the strength and love.  It brought me closer to many.
But not only that!!  I've been told after how our trial strengthend others. 
So if I would have only told my closest friends and family, it feels like love would have been lost.

When I think about strength I think about being able to tell about even the hardest things.
Abuse, substanse abuse, marital problems, deaths, depression, mental illnesses etc.
We all know someone, and maybe we are victims ourselves, but when I look at the ones who have come out stronger on the other side, it's almost always the ones who opened up.
The ones who asked for help and prayers.
I also know of many who were and have stayed quiet, and they are the ones who are still stuck.
The ones who feels misunderstood, sad, like victims etc.
If you hear about an abuse victim, I think most of us feel that "You have to tell about it!"
Why???  So the offender can be charged?
Maybe that too.
But first and foremost so the victim doesn't get stuck in its victim role and can start to heal.
Of course there are self help books out there, but I think the power of hearing others telling you
"You will be fine!" is second to none.

It all comes down to being honest.
And being daring enough to speak up, even when it seems impossible.
It has saved me from so much pain and I wish more people would see it this way.
I don't mean gossiping about others, or putting other people down.
I don't mean making yourself seem superior or better.
I mean in a humble and honest way daring to bare the most painful and heaviest, in order to move on to feel stronger in a vulnurable way.
You know how much the pain hurt, but at least now it's getting better, and when more hardship comes your way, you'll know how to handle it better.

At the end of the day I think we all have the same need to feel loved, respected and accepted for who we are.  And most of the time I feel that I get that from my family and friends.  Something that I am so thankful for, because the ones who know me the best also know all my weaknesses...because I am strong enough to admit I have lots of those...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer 2012

Here's a glimps of our summer...
I've been awful at remembering taking pictures, I could have had so many more but I hope you enjoy these!!

I love the combination of kids and kittens.
It's been pretty busy with 7 kids and 7 cats/kittens....
but still a neat experience
I love this little guy holding them.
He pretends they are his "army guys"!!

Sometimes he's a monster, and sometimes this sweet...

Momma cat with her kitten in a caring lap

One evening the girls wanted a SPA
Here's our 4 year old "vegging out"!!

"Aaah! I sooo needed this!!  Life of a kid can be so exhausting!!"

Three pampered ladies

"So... this fall I'm staring Kindergarten, so I better relax while I can"

Looking good!
Guess who!!

This summer has been very cool and very rainy.  We've had to watch the forecast closely in order to plan any outing.  One Saturday we finally made it to this park... Oh what a FUN day we had!! :)

Teacups.  A classic.

Obviously we all indulged in Cotton Camdy!!
I LOVE that stuff!!
It was fun to watch little Guy trying to make sense of this eatable "cloud" stuff!!
"Spin faster!"

One lucky girl got to go on a horseback ride, since she was too short for the "bigger" rides.
She'd go on ANY ride if she was allowed, she has NO fear this one!!

Riding on the track (you have to bike forward) that surrounds the park.

The Enterprise
Our 3 oldest girls favourite ride.
When the day came to an end and the park closed, our little guy hung his shoulders, and with a sad voice he announced "I don't want to leave this place!"

Bye for now!!