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.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Pray more, worry less....

So here we are.  It's December.  I am 100% positive that somehow we skipped a month this fall.  Because, truly, how else do you explain that it's already December 9th???
See.  I told you.

Outside my window we have a beautiful winter day.  Sun is shining and we have lots of snow and it's only around freezing, so not terribly cold.  I like.

Another week and a half left of school before Christmas break.  Our kids will have one semester under the belt in their new schools, and over all, it's gone quite well.  It's easy to get caught remembering the lost books, the forgotten homework, the missed opportunities to study, moments of frustration oven papers misplaces etc, but when I look at the big picture, I realize those are minor bumps.  If I have time to worry about those things, my life must be pretty easy, and normal!
Our kids that are in elementary school are all doing fine.  The younger girls are not gonna win any spelling bee any time soon, but they seem to be making friends, having fun and are keeping up OK. Our Kindergarten boy is doing so awesome!  I went for an observation visit in his classroom and talked with his teachers, and they only had good things to say about our little guy.  I am so thankful.  The night before he started school my hubby and I hardly slept, but prayed a lot on his behalf... We were both so worried about sending him away.  Would he listen?  Would he behave?  Would he be happy?  Would he enjoy himself? Fortunately we can say yes to all of the above.

Our 13 year old is preparing for high school next fall and she's getting excited about being a "big kid"!  She's reading all the information they are getting and wondering what courses to pick.  I am SO happy to see her excited about high school, especially since she for a long time was resisting anything that applied to "growing up".  She didn't want to become a stupid teenager.  High school seemed scary.  Well, she turned 13 and somehow she's managing just fine  ;)

Our 11 year old is plugging along as usual.  She's spunky and fun and our most reliable kid.  She does well in school and does what she needs to do without being reminded very often.  1 out of 8 like that! Not bad!! He, he.

Our teens.... Well.  Our 16 year old is off to la-la-land.  Also known as "boyfriend land".  Yup.  Our oldest is dating.  We had 17 years old for age limit, but since she's always been pretty advanced, she started dating 4 months early, so she's right on track according to "her" normal.
It is weird.  Really weird.  And I wasn't prepared for it at all.  She has always maintained that she wasn't going to start dating before she was well past 20.  Like, 25, or so.
Silly me.  I believed it!!  And I think she did too!  Until this tall, charming boy made her head turn into a balloon on a string!  Fortunately for her (and him!!) we approve of Prince Charming.  He really is a very nice guy.

Our 15 year old has had a pretty rough 6 months.  We moved away from where she loves to live. She had to start a new school and get to know new "everything" (she's doing well with friends etc, so that's nice). Then her pesky older sister, who has been her best friend since babyhood, starts working = gone a lot.  To top it off, this same sister goes and finds a boyfriend!  Without permission from her.  NOT easy.
It's like all the things she relies on, keeps getting ripped away from her.  She does like to go to school though, and that I am very grateful for.  However, her grades are dropping fast and hard.  She does what she needs to do in class, and she does it very well, but she does NOT hand in assignments, does not study for tests, does not do her homework. (we are working on these things and she's making progress)  This girl has always had a great big temper.  She has always been very sweet and sensitive as well.  There has been a lot of many things.
We are now finally figuring out what most likely has been her challenge for many years, and are waiting for a diagnosis of ADHD.  She's very open and positive about this, and can't wait to feel better.  She also struggles with OCD and anxiety, so there's a lot on her plate.
The ball is now rolling though, and she's starting therapy and might need to go on some medication.  It's hard not to worry.  It's hard not to feel guilty.  It's hard not to feel pain and sadness.
I hope and pray this will be a turning point for her.  She has so much potential.  In her construction class she has the highest percentage.  She's so good at so many things.  My heart goes out to her and wish she could see herself in my eyes.  That she could see how awesome she is, how smart and beautiful she is.  She has the most generous, thoughtful nature, but sometimes a switch goes off in her head, and all those wonderful things get overshadowed by some real struggles.

I need to remember this great, awesome saying that a good friend of mine sent me

"If you have time to worry, you have time to pray"

I need to remember to pray more and worry less.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Life is full of changes.

I am actually writing another blog entry again!  Only a few weeks since last, wow!!  But a lot has happened, so I figured I share it with you.

First off, yesterday I started my 5th journal!!  OK, what does that mean?  Well, four years ago, when we'd lived in Finland for about 4 months, I found myself looking back, wondering what in the world had just happened, and realized that I remembered very little of what had taken place in the months that had past.
SO, I decided to start writing a journal.  I purchased a simple journal containing a page for each day of the year, and I more or less filled each page with that day's events and happenings, little things that the kids would say or do etc.
This has now become a habit!!  (and I am NOT one of those who easily stick to anything that resembles a habit, so be impressed, please!)  So, yeah, since the first day of writing in my first journal happened to be Nov 3rd, 2010, that has now become my informal "Family New Year".
So yesterday I started my 5th book!  It's actually sort of exciting to think about when I in the future have these books to read. I will be able to look back and smile, cry, laugh etc at what our life was like "in the past".  I don't think my life is any more interesting or unique than the next person's, but it is MY family's and MY life, so to ME it is interesting!  And trust me, the things I write aren't earth shaking by any means, it's the ho-hum of our daily lives, but even the smallest events are fun to read about later on.

OK, enough about my secret diary.

Two weeks ago I spent 5 days on the US west coast, visiting my sister and brother and their families.  It was kind of a sudden trip, my sister had enough points for me to get a really, really cheap ticket for me to fly out there, so YAY!! I went!  I brought baby along, of course. It was a nice break away from the day to day chores and so nice to see my siblings again!  I hadn't seen either of them for several years.  It was also awesome to come back home.  Being away from my family and my everyday life reminded me of why I love my life so much!  I have it good.

As of Monday a week ago, my hubby is now his own boss!  Very exciting and I can't say how happy I am for him.  He signed a contract with some local guys and he'll be doing business modelling for them.  He also works on an hourly basis doing aircraft financing/analyzing for buying and leasing airplanes for his old boss (that he worked for before we moved to Finland).  These kind of challenges are the ones he loves to do.  This is when his business degree comes in handy, and he truly enjoys what he does.  So, yeah, exciting and fun!

It feels like our life is taking a turn for the better in many ways and knowing that our future is an untold story, I try to remember to embrace the good that we are experiencing at the moment and thank God for the way he is taking care of us.

We have a few trips planned by the way, so maybe I'll write about them "next time"!  Until then, take care.

Friday, October 17, 2014


I feel like I've been totally forgetting about this blog lately.  Blame life.  You know, that thing that takes place somewhere between diaper changes, running errands, house chores, filling up gas, making dinner, talking with my kids and hubby....
It's been a steady stream of life going on.
It has also included me running a long and stubborn cold, ending with me needing antibiotics and a puffer!! Never used one of those before, but the cold went down in my lungs and I was wheezing. Yukk. I am finally feeling better. The kids and Hubby have had the same thing to different degrees.

So, what's been going on?
In September our 2nd oldest daughter turned 15.  She didn't know what to do for her birthday, but was very lonesome for her friends in our old locality.  So, I was able to arrange for her to meet up with them, about half way between our cities, and we had such a fun day with her friends and a few of the moms. We enjoyed a yummy lunch and then went shopping at the outlet mall.  Our family spend the weekend at a hotel right by the outlet, we had some free nights to redeem from points we'd collected when hubby worked out of town last winter. Nice!!  It was so nice and fun to just chill for a few days. Kids swam in the pool and we ate pizza in the hotel room.  Such a typical family get away!

The fall up here was spectacular. The colours of the trees have been simply stunning!  I have never seen it like that before, way awesome!  I really like that.
Now I am bracing myself for a long and cold winter with lots of snow.  I have to admit, even though I love every season and do like snow, I am not really a winter person.  So, a challenge it will be!

The kids are all doing well.  We have 7 in school now and so far, so good.  Our little guy in Kindergarten turns 5 next week, and he LOVES school this year.  I am SO happy and thankful for that. He is starting to read small words and his favourite "subject" is gym.
Our 2nd grader is a typical school girl.  She loves to do "quiet" things.  I think she alone has used up more tape and glue than the rest of our kids combined!  She seems to keep up OK with the things they are learning as well, so no big worries there.
Girl #5 is in grade 3 and she has made many friends and is enjoying her days.  If she could she's be on the monkey bars all day, she is quite athletic and loves to move around.

Then we have #4 in grade 6.  She is an easy kid that is very chill and laid back.  She's also very goofy and giggly.  She has a few really good friends already and school comes pretty easy for her.
Our 3rd oldest is going to be a teen this month!!  She has suddenly started to grow so much faster, and is not a little girl any more.  She has always been tiny, and I can tell she's quite excited about FINALLY starting to catch up in size with her friends.  She really likes her new school, friends and teacher.  SO good to see!  Her grades are coming up as well, I feel so happy for her. This is her last year of school before high school, so it's good if she starts to pay attention to her education a bit more!

Our 2 oldest are in grade 10 and 11.  At times I want to put the break down hard.  My eyes actually mist up when I think about it. Kids. Grow. Up. Fast.
It is NOT cliche. They really do.
I've been looking at some old pictures this last week that the kids dug up from somewhere, and there was one of them going to the first day of school in JR and SR Kindergarten.  11 years ago. Sigh.
I bet the next 11 years will bring way too many changes along with them. Our oldest is now 16....in 11 years she'll be 27!!  She got her first job this fall, at HM, (the clothing store), that they just opened at the local mall. She's pumped!!  She also got her driver's permit.... Yeah. Scary.
I know my kids are not perfect, and I don't expect them to be (then I'd have to live up to the same standard myself, and that would be impossible!!), but I do think they are pretty awesome kids.  For being teen girls, I really couldn't ask for much better.
They have some really decent friends around here, so that's a big help. I have much reason to be thankful.

Our youngest girl is already 5 months old. She's our daily dose of sunshine.  She's my remedy when I look at the big kids growing up too fast.  She keeps my days busy, and I LOVE to snuggle and hang out with her. Yeah, she's pretty fantastic.
She is starting to scoot and has almost mastered sitting.  I am introducing some baby food to her (mashed up bananas and avocados), and she has had some interesting experiences trying to eat them.  I swear the food inflates when you put it in their little mouths!! The amount she spits out is like 4 times more than I TRIED to put in!!
All the kids love her to pieces, even our little guy that had to give up his spot as the youngest, he's so protective of her, I love it!!
And yes, hubby is VERY smitten by his youngest girl. ;)

Talking about him, he's been plenty busy with work, both physical and mental.  He has been doing construction but also a lot of work from home (accounting related).  He likes that he's busy with both!
I am busy at home and over all I enjoy our new city.  I have to admit I've been a bit homesick though... Fortunately we are planning a trip down there in a month, to attend a wedding, so that'll be awesome!

That's it for now!  I hope you all have a wonderful fall!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Hello, September!

It is quiet in here.
Baby is taking a nap, hopefully long enough for me to get a few things done.  All the other kids are in school, and hubby's at work.
This summer sure went by fast, and I'm not sure if I'm ready for fall, but, ready or not! Here it comes!

Our little guy started Kindergarten.  So far he likes it.  His teachers are nice and fun and the kids all seem like a good bunch.  It wasn't easy sending him off, both hubby and I were nervous and a bit worried, and I don't think either of us slept very well the night before school started.  We did pray for all our kids though, starting new schools, again...
Sometimes I wonder how they'll be effected by all of our moves and constant changes in their lives.  But I have to trust that they'll be OK and that God is with them.  As a parent though, I find that I question my actions, and I often feel that I might be doing the wrong thing.  I guess knowing I am TRYING to do my best, is some comfort.

My parents were here for 9 days, and we enjoyed their visit.  My older brother and his family came for a few days as well, as did my in-laws.  While they were all here, we held our baby's baptism.  We had such a nice and fun last weekend of summer!

Tomorrow we are planning to hike up in Hiawatha National Park (only a short drive from here).  It's been raining a fair amount lately, so hopefully tomorrow will lend us some sunshine when we head out!  I love exploring this new city, especially the nature around here!  So beautiful.

Well, I need to get some stuff done, while I have a chance!  Have a good weekend and happy new school year to all of you who have kids in school :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

1 year Anniversary!

One year ago, today, we woke up early and headed for the International airport in Helsinki, Finland.  To say we were excited about the trip, would be an understatement.  We were going back home!!  Home to big maple trees (and maple syrup...), familiar stores, family and cousins and many dear friends!  Home to our old stomping grounds.  Yes.  We were excited.

Looking back, seeing what this year brought us, I almost need to sit down and catch my breath!  Whew! What a ride!  From when our plane first touched ground in Halifax, us only catching our plane to Toronto because they held it for us!  Finding a house to rent, buying cars, signing kids up in school, waiting for our overseas shipping container to arrive...  Also seeing everyone again, after 3 long years away! The two youngest hearing everybody speaking English, being able to understand everything being said!! (they had no memories of that from when we lived here before).
Then, me finding out we were expecting another baby.  Excited and nervous.
Then Hubby working out of town, for 7 long months....
I often felt like our life was on hold during that time.

Early May we greeted a perfect, beautiful, baby girl into our lives.  She has been such a blessing, and we can not imagine our lives without our newest little princess.
Hubby was able to take two weeks off after her birth, and then he got laid off, so his paternity leave got unexpectedly extended.  Something had to be done, and despite us feeling quite wiped in many ways, another move was in God's plan.  Now we have lived in our new home for almost 2 months!!  Crazy.  We really like our new place, as well as the city, surroundings, friends and work.  God has been good to us and lead us during this last year, as he has in the past.
I can't say it was always a smooth ride, but life seldom is.

Looking forward to see what this next year has in store for us!!

And yes, we certainly miss Finland at times.  I have found myself crying, more than once, while thinking about our many dear friends over there.  And of course, the candy, saunas, beautiful nature, coffee and chocolate ;)

I do have to add one thing... I LOVE the fact that I again can understand and speak and write the language that is used where I live!!!  I have often caught myself being so thankful for this!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We are still alive!

Well, well!  I am attempting to write a brief post, letting you know that we are still alive and well.

We have now lived in our new house for 4 weeks, and time has not stood still, not even for a moment!
So, what has happened?
We moved, and the move went as well as a move can go.  You know, messy, stressful, hair pulling, little sleep... and somehow it took place.  The day before we had to leave our previous rental, I felt tired and spent.  In many ways.  It's always emotional to move from one place to another, not really knowing what lays ahead.  It's also tiring and stressful.  No matter how much you prepare and organize and prepare in advance, the night before is always crazy.
It was the kids' last day of school.  Newborn baby to look after. One of our vehicles broke down... And you know, the daily stuff you need to do, like eat and stuff.
A few times I felt a few tears burning in my eyes, and I kind of felt like hiding in a closet and pretend that this wasn't our life.
But then you keep on going and make it happen.

The drive up to our new city, went well.  I drove the mini van (that Hubby had time to repair in the midst of the moving madness!, only a new starter motor required) and Hubby drove the Suburban with a trailer in tow.  I only had to stop 3 times to feed baby, so not bad!!  We made it up here early evening and unloaded the trailer and whatever stuff we had in the cars.
Then the 6 youngest kids and I spent Fri-Sun at friends house, while Hubby, friend's hubby and oldest daughter returned down to pack up the house in a moving truck.
Of course the big truck we had ordered wasn't available, so we got a smaller one, that didn't fit quite all of our stuff... So the following weekend Hubby had to drive down one more time to get the last of our stuff in a trailer.

In the mean time I spent the weekend at our friends' house, and several of our kids got stomach flu.  Gotta keep it interesting!!
Monday night we spent in our new home, and it felt nice and exciting.

Now my baby woke up and I need to feed her, but here is bit of what has been going on as of late!  Will write more later, but will sign off saying that life is going really well for us right now :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

A chapter ending...

I am grabbing a moment to write a few lines.
Baby is sleeping and the rest of the gang is gone (it's strangely quiet in here!!) to watch the annual fireworks over the river between USA and Canada.
I didn't feel like bringing such a small baby along, the crowds are huge down there and it gets quite loud too.

Four more nights in this temporary home, then off to new adventures.
When we found this rental we signed a six months lease, and after that it's been on a month to month basis. We knew we weren't planning on staying in this house for long, but we didn't know that our next home would be in a different city!
We had planned to find a house in this area, and settle here for the time being.  But God had other plans.
It's with mixed feelings we leave this area behind.
I wasn't born in Canada to start off with, but this is the only city I have lived in, in this country, and the longest time I have lived in ANY city, in my life!  My hubby moved here with his parents and siblings when he was 5-6 years old (he moved to Canada when he was 4 1/2, and spent the first few years in Toronto), and has lived here more or less since then, besides some years spent in Finland as single and married.
So, this city has become our "base".
It's not a strikingly pretty city by any means.
It's rather polluted and boring, actually.
The summers can get nasty hot and humid, and the lakes are too polluted to swim in.
Doesn't sound so appealing, does it?
But home is where you create memories, where you birth and raise your children, where the good and the bad days take place.
Regardless of what the surroundings are like, the comfort of the familiar, the convenience of the known, become a security and a safe place to be.  It becomes HOME.

When we moved overseas four years ago, almost to the date!, it was such a big move in so many ways, and in my gut my only wish was to one day be able to return to Canada...
There were so many changes about to take place, it was hard to even sort out all the feelings and first impressions.
I remember being overwhelmed, and like in a daze, for a full four months after arriving to Finland.
Even if I enjoyed many parts of being there, the first while was quite intense.

Now we are moving to another city in Canada.
It's exciting and A LOT easier in so many ways.
But in some ways it's harder.  I know I'll be comparing the new city to this one.  I will miss some stores (the shopping here is a lot better and more varied), but I will enjoy the beautiful nature up there.  The winters might feel long, compared to here, but on the other hand, I will enjoy the cooler summers.
We will have four very distinct seasons, something I love!  The fall up there is spectacular with all the maple, birch, oak and other trees.  It's really like a mix of Canada and Finland.
There are lots of beautiful, clean, beaches to visit.
Berries to pick and the national park to hike in.
But it's different to what we are used to.

Again I feel myself taking a deep breath before taking another plunge.
Not knowing what the water will actually feel like.
I send a sigh above, praying that our Heavenly Father watches over us, as he has promised to do.
I need patience and strength in many ways.
I have 8 kids' needs to attend to.  Some of them will be homesick and miss living here, others are more neutral, while some are excited about the new.
Hubby can hardly wait to go fishing in the awesome rapids, where salmon and steelhead need to watch out!
I wish for a slower, more predictable, every day life.  Something I've craved for several years now. I pray that God grants my wish...

I will update when we have settled down a bit, until then, remember us in your prayers.

Monday, June 9, 2014

...and life can be a smooth road too!

I need to share an update, since we have some good news to announce!

First of all, last week we were going up to look at a house that we wished to rent in the city that we are about to relocate to.
Last minute the guy, who was offering the house for rent, backed out of the deal.  We felt pretty let down and discouraged by this, asking ourselves what we were really supposed to do.  Maybe we should stay where we are?  Hubby looked into different job options and we took a hard look at our situation.
If we decided to stay where we are, and no job comes up, our situation will just stay the same and that's not what we want.  So knowing that he has work elsewhere, we figured we need to find a rental where he has work, but IF a job comes up locally, before we find a rental, we'll stay here.

It's not like we "want" to move just to move.  We moved in 2010, 2011, 2013..so yeah, it's not THAT appealing in itself.  But sometimes you have to make changes, in order to achieve the desired change in your life, long term.
We also know that the house we are in right now is temporary, so regardless, we'd be looking for a different living arrangement before long.

So, after talking back and forth and reminding ourselves of what our goals are, not just for the moment, but also down the road, we prayed for God to show us the way.
I had a wish to find a house in a specific area, where we have friends and that is also close to schools, shopping etc.  The friends also have a daughter with diabetes (like our 3rd daughter) and they are already good friends, so we had wished for them to live close to each other for support, and maybe even be able to go to the same school.
A few weeks ago we had found a rental close to this family's house, and it sounded very promising.  I couldn't believe how well God was lining up things for us.  Until that deal fell through (due to the lady's plans changing).  I was so upset when that happened, but knew in my heart that God had something else in store for us.  Something that would better suit our needs.  But how could it be better than that?
Then we had the second house lines up, that also failed to work out.
So, like I said, we prayed that God would show us the way.

There was an ad for a big house, on a really nice street, up for rent.  It even had a pool in the backyard. The problem was the high rent.  One of my friends asked me to contact them anyway.  So I did, figuring there was nothing to lose.  My hubby also called and talked to the landlord, and she had some people come look at the house that evening.  She said she'd let us know how it went.  Well, those people didn't work out, and neither did several other families that came to look at it.
On Thursday she sent us a bunch of pictures of the house and we emailed back and forth.  We were able to find common ground on the rent amount and after some more emailing during the next few days, she told us "The house is yours!" on Saturday eve!!
She trusted us her house without even meeting us, saving us a trip up there.
God surely walked ahead of us, preparing the way.

It's always so humbling, and such a great reminder, that God is indeed almighty and HE leads the way where we are supposed to be.  And yes, this house WILL be better than either of the other two.  So with thankful hearts, and busy minds, we now have 3 weeks to get this place packed up and our family ready to move!
Off to yet another new start, leaving a good place behind, knowing we have a good place ahead of us.  We are truly blessed.

And thanks for all the prayers, they were needed, we felt them, and they were heard.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Life can be a bumpy ride...

I have to literally carve out time to write a blog entry these days.  Whew.  Little Gabriella turned a month old yesterday and she has already brought so much love and joy to our home.  It sure is special to a have new little person in the family.
She's growing fast and is a strong little girl, we are more than a little bit proud of her.

So, the last month has obviously been focused mostly on her, but it sure hasn't been boring otherwise either.
Hubby took some time off after she was born, and then was laid off, so he's not working at the moment (not construction anyway).  He has been able to start working part time, from home, for his old boss, doing accounting and analyzing for their air-line leasing business.  He actually loves that kind of work a lot!  Since we can't provide for our family solely on these part time hours, hubby has been busy looking for other work as well.
He has been offered full time work for a construction business in another city, and so we decided that a move might -again!!!- be necessary...
So we found a few houses to rent, and for a while it looked like things were falling into place quite nicely, making it seem like this is what we are meant to be doing.  We informed our landlord that we'll be moving out of our rental at the end of June, contacted the new schools our kids would be starting in the fall etc.
Then one of the rental houses fell through, but we figured, "Ah well, no big deal, we still have a second option" (that was more or less a done deal, we just wanted to go and see the house and sign the lease) until that house owner decided to sell his house instead of renting it out...

So.  Back to looking for a rental again.  It is not easy to find a house big enough for us, so it is more than a bit stressful and overwhelming, and we are second guessing our decision.  Of course most of our friends and family had heard about our latest plans and our kids have already told their friends at school that we'll be moving.  When you have made those announcements, you have already unloaded a lot of emotions that you carried up to that point.  Then things came to a halt, bringing new emotions to the pot.
Argh.  It is not very enjoyable or easy at all.
At the moment I am just trying to disconnect for a few days and just let myself float in God's hands.
But with moving boxes already brought up from the basement and things "hanging mid air", it's hard not to think about this whole situation.
I was fortunately able to extend our stay at our rental house to the end of July for now (thanks to our great landlord!), so that eases some of the stress.

I just wish I had a crystal ball that could show me what we are supposed to do.  If we move, I am fine with that but also sad about leaving what we have now in this city.  On the other hand, if we stay here, I know we'll be disappointed as well, and make some people sad.  I would be fine with not actually moving though. This would be our 4th move in 5 summers... so if we don't move this summer would be fine!  But if hubby doesn't work and doesn't find work here (he has tried and applied for many jobs locally), we will be in a pretty hard spot economically, so we realize that sometimes you have to make changes in order to better your life long term.
Life isn't easy, and I suppose it shouldn't be, but these last 4-5 years have brought a bit more change and excitement than we ever asked for.

I just have to try to focus on the good and to be thankful for all the things that are good and easy in our life.
We have a beautiful, healthy new baby to enjoy.
We have great kids and a happy marriage.
We are healthy.
We have food for the day and all the essential things that make life convenient, like cars, means to cook, clean and do laundry.
We have hopes and dreams for our future, we have faith and friends.
I pray that God will soon show us the right direction and that we'd be given patience and wisdom to accept whatever we are dealt.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

She's here!!

Welcome Gabriella May!  Born on May 3rd, weighing 8lbs 3oz/3720gr and was 20 1/2"/51.5cm long.  A healthy and perfect baby :)

We feel so blessed and happy.  Hubby made it home Friday evening at 8.30 pm.  6 hours later my water broke!!  At 11.26 am Gabriella was born.  Good thing hubby was here with me, I sure needed him at my side.

We are now at home, resting and enjoying our new little miracle.

10 minutes "old"

Our little rosebud :)

Happy parents of 8 kids <3 

Gabriella May <3

Friday, April 25, 2014

Final count down...

I haven't written much this spring.  I take it as a sign that our life is fairly uneventful = not a whole lot to share.

We had a beautiful Easter weekend in every way.  The weather was gorgeous and believe it our not, spring did arrive!!  Unusually late, but this last month has contained many sunny and fairly warm days.
Magnolias are starting to bloom, bushes are green, dandylions are decorating peoples lawns, trees are also budding and turning green.  I love it :)

Here are some pictures of our gang at Easter btw, for once we remembered to take pictures when they were all in their dressy clothes!  Fun memories of a nice weekend.

Hubby is still working out of town.  He's been applying for work locally, but without luck for now.  This is not the situation we wanted, but him sitting at home doing nothing isn't a better alternative, so for now I am more or less a single mom.  He's been able to be home for the weekends lately, so that's very nice.
On Sunday he needs to head up to a new project that's starting 6-7 hours drive from here.  It's north east of Toronto, so if the traffic is bad, driving back home could easily take 8 hours.  In other words, if I go into labor when he's up there, his chances of him attending the baby's birth are very slim.
I really hope that won't happen, so my "goal" is to have the baby this weekend ;)
I have 11 days left to my estimated due date (May 6th) and I usually go overdue, but, you never know!

I am feeling more and more ready for this baby to arrive and I've been in the so called "nesting mode" as of late.  Meaning, I am trying to get all sorts of stuff done before the baby's arrival.  I have that restless energy, while also feeling pretty wiped from being big and pregnant.  My quality of sleep at night is definitely compromised, I need to use the bathroom very frequently and turning is a pain...
Ah well.  Soon I'll be up all night with a newborn, so I might as well get into the groove of things again!

The kids have another 2 months of school left, here they go till the end of June.  Over all this first year of school back in Canada has gone well for them all, and now our little guy is talking a lot about starting school/Kindergarten in the fall.  I think he'll be ready when September arrives, which makes it much easier for me to send him away!  We sure enjoy our days together at home though and he keeps me truly entertained!

I hope to update you all with some exciting news in the near future, till then, I hope you are all having a wonderful spring!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring is here!!!

Spring is here.  Not really.  But it sounded good, so I wrote that.
It's actually snowing as I write.  But 1st day of spring did arrive last week, with no signs of it at all.
Our snow is more or less gone though, so bonus to that.

But, let's not talk about weather, soon enough we'll be complaining about the heat and humidity.

On another note, today I have 6 more weeks to go to my estimated due date.  Not bad!
I waddle forward and am feeling more and more ready for this new person to make its entrance.
I have more and more discomforts and sleeping is kind of a joke.  I am out of breath and get very light headed when I try to do stuff.  Good thing I can just sit on the couch and stare while my house takes care of itself ;)
He, he, he.  Super funny.

Last week our oldest daughter turned 16.  SIXTEEN!!!  What???
It feels way more recent than that.  I very clearly remember a bright eyed little bundle, full of joy and poopy diapers, that we brought home on a cold March day.  I felt absolutely and utterly clueless.  I felt that the hospital staff was incredibly irresponsible for allowing me to take her home, as if I knew what I was doing!! But sure enough, at about 40 hours young, they sent us out the door, wishing me luck as a first time mom.
My husband had an evening shift and all his family were out of town, so there we sat, the new baby and I, trying to figure out how this baby business worked!!
Somehow we survived those first few weeks.  Our baby cried.  A lot.  And nothing fell smoothly into place. I kept looking for an instruction label on her, but all in vain.

And now, our little guinea-pig, turned 16.  I don't know how, but she actually turned out quite OK!
Now she's getting ready to get her beginners licence and looking for a part time job.  She's kind of almost grown-uppish.  

It gives me hope to see my big kids grow up and becoming decent young people, knowing that I still have many more to raise.  I very much enjoy my younger ones too though, realizing how fleeting their "little kid" stage is.  Our 4-year old keeps me laughing every day, he's a hilarious kid, and he knows so many things, I can't help but being impressed.

We are all looking forward to meeting the baby.  My hubby is worried he'll be at work (2 1/2 hours away), when I suddenly have to go to the hospital.  It's actually quite likely to happen, but I am not worried.  It will work out somehow.  I kind of hope I get to shock the socks off of him and interrupt his day with a "My water broke" phone call :)
He has promised to drop his tools and run when the time arrives...
I can totally see him doing that, and the image makes me smile.  He's so excited, like we've never had a baby before.  Or maybe it's because we've had babies before that he's so excited??  Regardless, I love seeing dad's so excited about becoming a dad again.

Well.  As you can see, the new baby is what's on our minds most of the time these days.  I pray for strength and patience these last weeks.  At times it sounds soooo long, and then I'm all "WOW!! it's really coming up!! I wonder if I'll remember how to take care of a newborn again!!"
But at least we had our guinea-pig 16 years ago, and a "few" after her, and they have all taught us something, so I bet I just might catch on again.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The longest, coldest winter!!

I can't get over this winter!
Where we live we typically have a few weeks of snow, sometimes barely that.  Some winters it's slush and rain and wind.  This winter??  We got snow in mid December, and it has more or less stayed since then.  The temperature has stayed mostly below (or well below!) freezing.  Still!!  At the end of February!!  This is when spring usually starts to show subtle hints of its arrival...  This year, not so much.
I don't MIND winter.  I actually appreciate living where there are 4 pronounced seasons, but now I am ready for spring!!
Bring it on!!
Maybe the most comical part of this is that where we used to live, in Finland, they've had a record mild winter, with way less snow than usual!
Strange world.

Enough about weather.  I just realized I haven't been on here for a while.
Not tons going on I suppose.
Kids have had/have colds and sniffles.
Hubby has been working out of town, but has also enjoyed some much needed time at home with us!
I have less than 10 weeks left till my estimated due date :)
I still can't believe we are having a brand new baby join us soon, it'll be so much fun, and also a big adjustment.  Mostly in a good way, of course, but it'll "slow us down" a bit, that's for sure.
I've gotten used to the care free life with no diaper bags, diapers, bottles, pacifiers, extra clothing, night feedings, teething babies etc.
I am however looking forward to little tiny newborn snuggles.
To see a little wrinkled face for the first time, to hold that new person for the first time, to smell the sweet smell of a brand new baby.
We are so excited!!
The kids have felt the baby's kicks from the outside of my belly, and we try to figure out a suitable name.

So the main focus right now is prepping for baby.
I have done "some" shopping as well... There are so many things you need for a baby, and well, many things that are "nice to have"!
Over all I am doing well with this growing bump, but slowly I am getting more and more "done" with being out of breath, bulky, clogged sinuses, running to the bathroom non-stop, hungry, and in pain for various reasons.  I know many women have far more difficult pregnancies, and complaining won't change anything.  I am thankful that my body is holding up at this "advanced maternal age" (that's what they call it when you are over 35, and I turned 39 a few weeks ago!!), and I hope and pray that all goes well and that I will be able to carry the baby to full term and have a safe and healthy delivery.
Those things you can't take for granted.

One bonus with this cold winter is that I've stayed comfortable!  Many of our kids are born in the late summer/early fall, and that usually makes for a very miserable summer, feeling overheated and sweaty.

Not too much else going on here, so let the "baby count down" begin!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

An average day...

January is racing towards the finishing line.
One week to go.
Last I wrote about starting this new year, and already a month is almost past!

Today is a regular day.  I need to catch up on laundry, dishes, vacuum, pick up stuff from all over the house, pay bills, maybe even make some dinner.  I had a shower.  I picked up our 2 oldest from school at 11.00, since today was the first day of "exam week" and they were done already then.
We got take out pizza for lunch.
My 6 year old wanted to be picked up early from school, her belly was hurting a bit, so I picked her up.
(she's fine now, playing a board game with her brother)
It's windy and very, very cold.  We have some snow.  It's been a cold and snowy winter here so far.
Hubby has worked A LOT.  But this afternoon he took a few hours off and will be coming home for the night, and then head back in the morning.

My belly has grown a lot.  The baby is very active in there and the kicks, flips and punches are becoming quite strong and powerful.  I love it.
My old mommy body has some aches and pains and discomforts brought on by this pregnancy.  Every time I'm pregnant I'm a bit older and every pregnancy takes its toll on my body.
Sometimes I really understand why people stop at two kids... partly to keep their bodies in good shape longer.  But then I look at my kids and realize how worth it is to have varicose veins, a lazy bladder, an achy pelvic and tired looking skin....  At one point this body will no longer exist.  And no matter how good shape I am in when I take my last breath, it will decompose just the same.
Sounds a bit morbid, but it's the truth.
I do like to know that this body will have carried many children, and hopefully my family will keep on growing for many years to come, so in a way, my hubby and I will never die.

This is my everyday life.  Daily chores, thoughts about the new baby, homework, nagging on the kids, missing my husband, wasting time doing nothing...  And these days become a long string of days, and one day I'll look back and realize that those days were my life.
I try to fill them with as many hugs and kisses as possible. I try to laugh a lot.  I try to appreciate growing another baby in my belly.  I try to be positive and happy.  Because when I look back at that long string of days, I want them to make me smile.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy 2014!

Happy New Year everyone.

It's funny, when I was younger a new year seemed to mean so much more.  I'd have big dreams and elaborate plans and each new year seemed "magic" and exciting.
I don't know if this new way of feeling comes with age and maturity, but for each year, New Year seem very much like any other day.
Sound kind of pessimistic when I write that down.
But I don't feel it in a pessimistic way.
It's more like a "matter of fact" feeling.

A new year is to many a "new beginning".  Promises are made, and within a few weeks broken... ;)
I have learned that changes that I NEED to make, is something that has to happen, regardless what day of the year is.  I won't focus on a certain day or hour, I try to make small changes each day instead.
Sometimes I succeed, often I fail.  But failing to succeed doesn't hurt as much if you weren't too hyped up about the change in the first place.
Sometimes things just don't work out.  They weren't meant to be.

I write a journal, one page per day, and at the end of each month there's a full page where you can add notes.  I just did my final notes to 2013, and wow!!  It sure made me reflect about our past year.
One year ago I started 2013 with a hope and prayer in my heart.
A big wish was sent above.
The wish really burned in my heart, and I was quite scared that our goal for 2013 would not be met.
The big plan was to move back to Canada from Finland.
When you stand on the threshold and sway back and forth, waiting to take a step towards a new adventure, so many, many thoughts and feelings are present.
When there's a big change you are about to make on behalf of your family, you want to get it right.
Times like that it's easy to be humble and remember to pray.
But it is Oh so HARD to be patient and not doubt.

Last spring was a blur of activity.  Getting our house "ready enough" to be put up for sale.
Did we list it at the right time?  At the right price?
We felt nervous and excited and impatient.
The months went by, too fast and too slow at the same time.
I wanted time to move forward, so that we would be back in Canada as soon as possible!
I wanted time to stay still, so I could enjoy our last months in Finland, making the best of it, but also so that we would have time to get everything done and ready to go!!!
I stubbornly prayed.  And pleaded.  And doubted.  And stressed.  And somehow, survived.
To me the unknown is the worst.
If someone would have told me
"It won't happen, give it another year!"
I would have been fine.
All the reasons I had for why this last year would have been a good year to move, would have seized to matter.  I would have steeled myself for another year and made the best out of it.
The not knowing ate me alive though.

At midsummer we still didn't know.  We spent the weekend away with many dear friends, and I totally disconnected from the house selling and the whole move.
I embraced the thought of maybe staying another year, and truly felt it wouldn't be so bad.
Besides, how would we even have time to get everything ready to move in just 6-7 weeks?
There was still a lot of work left to do on our house.
I stopped stressing and let it all just "be".
The Monday after we'd been gone, we got a call.
Some friends of our neighbors who had viewed our house a week and a half ago, called back.
"Can we come and see your house again this weekend?"

Saturday came, and it was my Hubby's grandma's funeral.
Our thoughts were so far away from earthly worries or concerns.
We spent precious time with friends and family, bidding farewell to a beautiful soul.
In the evening we came home to meet the prospect buyers, and Hubby and I felt so at peace.
We knew God had walked ahead of us and prepared the way.
After showing the house again, and a brief conversation with this very nice couple, we decided on a price and closing date.  We were really selling our house!!!
I had thought this moment would bring me such ecstatic feelings.
But mostly I just felt a silent prayer of gratitude.
This was not our doing.
There was no room for patting our own backs.
Things fell into place at God's time.
When our frame of mind was just right.

We had 5 weeks to get the house ready, have it inspected, book tickets, order a shipping container, pack everything up... Prepare many things in Canada.
We rolled up our sleeves and went to work.
Hard work.  Many, many long days.
At times I almost felt exhausted to tears.
I promise you, those are the times it is EASY to remember to pray.
Before getting out of bed in the morning, I prayed.
And God gave strength, sanity, health and enough energy.
Our kids were so good and helpful.
The weather was amazing!!
We had a wonderful guy work for us, he'd stay late many nights, helping my Hubby with construction.

Somehow... it worked.

There are so many details I could add, but mostly I look back and think "Wow".
It sure wasn't our own doing.
We could have gotten sick.
It could have rained every day.
There could have been delays.
The tickets that I booked for our overseas plane could have been gone (we found some really good deals, and when I booked them, there were only 12 tickets left on that plane, and we needed 9 of them!!)

So what have I learned from all this?
It doesn't matter what day it is, what year it is, or what time it is.
What matter is that things will happen in God's time.  And with this knowledge in my heart I greet 2014.
With a prayer that I will try to stay humble and remember this, also this year, regardless what our future has in store.