I will be driving through the prairies this morning and enjoying the scenery, joining in with some friends to sort shoeboxes at the Samaritans Purse Warehouse. Looking forward to the day!
Waking up early to send the boys to school, I realized that all the months we lived on the acreage throughout the winter, there were no pictures of wonderful Hoar Frost! It’s Majestic!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I will be driving through the prairies this morning and enjoying the scenery, joining in with some friends to sort shoeboxes at the Samaritans Purse Warehouse. Looking forward to the day!
Friday, November 26, 2010
Strings of thread attached to every limb,
Just another face in the crowd.
But to open the box and free the sorrow,
Now all we have is goodbye.
You are here, Welcome dear.
I love you Mother
Arms wide open.
I see your heart,
Why do you walk away?
There is a moment and then eternity,
When we see His love reigning in our lives.
I want to show you, not push you away.
When you take a closer look at this solo picture of her you will notice a vacancy in her eyes. It was not acting. I would often try looking into her eyes, and she would avert them to directly keep herself busy. This was a fear of belonging, that I lived with for years. Her own hauntings would continue until she found someone to love again, somewhere to be again, a safety after we left.
I was 4 when we celebrated our return home from here. This was our new life and hometown now. During a walk through the local mall, a photographer caught my attention. He was asking us to dress up! My Grandmother insisted that this would be fun. So I eagerly stripped off all my clothes, and to my shock pulled on the scratchy material. I did not notice the protests my mother said, or portrayed in her body language. It was fun to me while it lasted.
Today was a Thanksgiving day when I missed my extended family. I prepared a feast on the countertop in a portable oven. A roasted bird was presented to my family with the eagerness of the first meal ever made in our home. It felt just as if this second Thanksgiving that we celebrated was actually a Welcome Home. We belong here; we are safe, loved, and protected.
Grateful to have my family together.
Blessed beyond measure.
Monday, November 22, 2010
(I was the first to be born in Canada). We also hold Ukrainian traditions.
We celebrated 2-3 thanksgivings, 2-3 Christmases most every year with lots of meals together traditionally.
Our family was large.
We often would spend the festivities outside enjoying hay rides, hot chocolates, warm cider and handmade crafts.
There would be a roaring fire indoors for all of us to gather around and platters of food to enjoy buffet style.
Children would be scattered on the floor eating or sleeping,
& adults all over any furniture that was in the house.
It was not uncommon to see 6-8 people all over the sofas.
Gathering together from dawn until dusk, every weekend.
Once the weeks of December 21-Jan.7 came around there was many a day, spent all together. Our main celebrations for Christmas were spent in Salmon Arm. Our Thanksgivings (October & November) were the time to travel. Every year it was a different location. My favourite times were travelling to visit Grandparents, where my Uncles would also join us.
When we were little it was a rare occasion.
Oh the traditions
& knowing what to expect never changed.
As a Mom now myself, I knew what to prepare my children
& Husband for, each time we made the trek to their gorgeous part of the country.
Even though I didn't have a lot as a child, I always knew that my parents spent a lot of time preparing, growing and hunting for our food each year. They spent a lot of time preparing meals.
I learned to make up recipes at a young age and found especially baking to be so fulfilling. I knew my family would enjoy any treats that I made. They were delicious & inviting.
Christmas was the perfect time to practice all that I had learned, and I spent many hours baking and filling the counters with cookies, cakes and crisps from our harvested backyard orchard.
As much as I craved the time to share, I also really grasped the feeling at this time of year of hope. Hope that they loved me for who I am and all that I could be.
Every year the smells of evergreen would fill our home and after each snowfall the warmth of the familiar smell was in the air during our daily outdoors chores.
I can remember finally cutting down a tree one Year. We were visiting my Grandparents. I must have been about 7 years old at the time. My Uncle took me into the forest and we found a robust tree. Shaking off the snow hours later, cold and proud, we arrived at the front door ready.
That was the only present I had really wanted to give, to be able to cut one down and decorate it with our handmade ornaments and many bubbling lights.
We had so much fun decorating the tree. I now know we must have decorated that tree every day until Christmas. On Christmas eve after dinner I decided we needed to put more presents under the tree, so we found some empty boxes and wrapping paper.
In each box I would put a note in so it wouldn't be empty.
When we came out to put the presents under the tree there were surprises waiting from Santa. There were toys and new clothes just for us. We knew that our Grandparents had given all the gifts.
& in our joy we never said a word.
I will always cherish the memories I have of my few Christmases that I had as a child with my Grandparents. As I got older and started my own family it became a tradition to always spend at least one day of Christmas celebration with them whether in Alberta or B.C.
This is the first year that they are both gone now.
It is true that some of the fondest memories started when we were children that we have now each year. In the preparation of the Christmas meal, baking, the handmade ornaments, the tree, the songs, and the many friends to celebrate with our family.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
A pattern to follow:
cast on 42 on size US15 needles
for all size needles and gauges make sure the stitches are an even #
1. knit to end
2. knit 1 *YO k2tog* repeat ** to last st knit 1
3. repeat row 1 & 2 until garment is 18” or longer
4. last row-knit to end
5. 3 needle bind off. -Or bind off then mattress stitch ends together.
The simple motions of knitting often become a favourite gift.
For everything there is a season and this one is full of grace.
I have more time to create and less time to buy.
As I do, there is less of a need to keep, and more of a need to give away. I invite you to make one and give it away, Happy Knitting!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Slowly, I wash the table with familiar strokes, back and forth.
The crumbs fall to floor, and the splatters disappear.The plates and cups, and all breakfast remnants are cleared away. I walk over to the sink to start filling it with water, add a dollop of clear soap and watch as the suds begin to rise. It is quiet but there is a feeling as I pause for a moment of, Nothing.
Hoping now, I remember again.This time I am overwhelmed with memories at this table and many more tables that I have paused for some time at. The first plans for Christmas meals, the birthday parties, first solid foods, spilled milk. Friends have gathered here. Family have grown as each meal passes. I remember first meals with new family here. Walking back to the table and looking for all the familiar marks that it now bears. Cups that have knocked over and smashed on the table. Forks that have been fiddled with as someone waits ever so carefully for the food to be placed down in front of them. Hot pots that have scorched through the wood.
I have seen so many tables. Ones that I have been invited to and ones that I have invited myself to. Ones that hold dear memories that I will never know. There is my first meal alone on my own. Tables where stories were told that both inspired and empowered my thoughts. I welcome the past into my present sometimes.
Noticing that the table that is freshly washed is a little empty I fill it with a candle and a large bowl of gathered rocks that our boys have eagerly gave, for their collection. Now all collaborated into one bowl they all have stories as they wait for drinks, food or conversation to start sitting around the table.
“I found this one out back at Grandpa’s shop that time he built the go-cart with me.”
“Do you remember when we went on that old abandoned road and there was a creek where we threw stones. This is one of those throwing stones.”
” I found this one in front of our house, it’s shiny.”
From the moment the boys make contact with their memories, the voices rise about who remembers more correctly until; their mom, little sister or even dad chime in with a “hush quiet, let’s all take turns.” It is still so quiet right now I can hear the bubbles deflating in the dish water, waiting.
“Please just try it, it might be tasty.” I say as the his eyes start darting nervously from the first unfamiliar glances at what’s for dinner.
“Why?” Ethan asks, obviously needing to know that their is hope in this food.
“Because I tried, and its always good to try new things."
I smile even in this moment that he paused because I know he will try it. When all is said and done there is always a- “oh ok it is good or no thank you.”
We talk and laugh and are often quiet around this table. But if there is too long of a pause someone always has something to say.
There are memories of our children learning how to give thanks, building crafts, learning to draw, writing their first letters.
Time is always on the move and it sure has epic stories to tell that began at a table..
Drawing memories, with many cups of coffee..
Sunday, November 14, 2010
This blog was an additional blog started for Asher, when he was 6 years old. Though all the answers were asked by family and friends, we did have a few occasional visitors. As his parents we would read the questions and in return type the answers for him. This week we had a fun time to reminisce with Asher, as we all gathered together to go through the one page blog together. It was a hearty laugh and fun to share, now that he is 5 years older.
Asher is 11 on Sunday, and I want to share 11 thoughts for him here:
1. One day you will leave home, explore this world on your own agenda, and I will live vicariously through your adventures. One day you will dream of your life here, lived in the past, and remember the adventures those first 11 years brought to our lives.
2. Today as you dream of your future, with the loves in your life, I see your eyes sparkle with all that it could be.
3. The day you were baptized, I remember your prayer, with tears in your eyes.
4. I adore your hugs, from growing arms that become bigger with each day it seems. As you rise up and grow past my eyes I now need to wait for you to sit so I can smell that ever familiar waft from the top of your head.
5. Your sensitivity speaks volumes to many hearts.
6. Keep pursuing that which you are good at. Rediscover lost arts too. Such as drawing, drumming and guitar. Remember that band of yours that was going to put out an album? Ethan was on keyboards too. Jamming Coconuts!
7. Asher I know you love to draw and the 3D is amazing. Within the many hours that you spend drawing, animating, and writing instructions you encourage your siblings to join in with all those discoveries.
8. Asher you encourage Ethan to continue with his Manga drawing, Kai's space drawings that are promptly folded into spaceships, and Azaelea's attempts at experiencing colours.
9. The fierce approach and determination to standing up for your friends has taken you aback this last year and I see you surrounding yourself with those that have the same views.
10. This last year your soft voice has taken on a new tone. One with more wisdom as the year has passed and we have great questions, answers, and discussions about life. In these discussions we discover misconceptions that peers have led you to believe too. In all this I see your curiosity come alive asking more and more in-depth questions.
11. You are You Asher and I love your sense of humour, and contagious laugh, and when you smile hard enough I see a dimple under your left eye. Looking forward to watching this new year go by full of blessings.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I woke up this morning, with a song flittering through my mind such as two little birds that fly in circles around each other. Remembrance day service at the school today, or gather our little resources and find all the mismatched boots, mitts, scarves and toques for this ever increasing chilly weather and growing children??
Both of these tasks were more important than ever as we tried our best to pack healthy lunches with the little our fridge, cupboards and shelves offered. Oh goodness this is a ache that stays burning bright with hope. I pray for multiplying blessings for each and everyone that feels this incredible sense of insurmountable worry.
Determined to be still and breath, knowing that this is the peace that will carry me through the day. I sat down to write and the words flowed from my fingers bringing light to how I have been feeling. How long it has been sunk down so deep in, the core of my heart, that the cracks were letting it out full force.
Simplify my thoughts, bringing closer a reality that this too shall pass. Time does not stand still in the angst it keeps carving away into the present moment as those moments pass by sometimes with an ever increasing pace.
I was genuinely relieved that there were no chores to be completed. The younger children were playing in soft tones over a play set they enjoyed. Just as the 2 older boys were heading out the door to school and would be stepping on stage now within the hour. I had little to offer them in the way of patience to find matched winter accessories.. Then I read this email that I received from a dear friend. A blessing, to calm, add warm fuzziness, to brighten a day. and share with you.
~Alicia, I'm sure you are feeling the blessings that come from being obedient and honest & real in your exposure into the depths of your personhood. You are a "stone" that has taken a lot of rough abrasions( a serious understatement) and is becoming a refined jewel, so very precious and delicate and beautiful! It blessed my heart to see how much you've grown since the beginning of our relationship.
God will continue to heal your wounds, You are clearly a testimony of God faithfully and gentlely shaping a person into His likeness with Mercy and Grace and Love. I pray that you feel the Lord's presence in a rich way, and feel at peace.~
Its a deep well in my heart issue over a wealth crutch. That is a simplified comparison. I feel challenged by the established rules about where to live, how to get through low points and continue through the rough patches without grasping so hard to the definition of “success.” I realize that this is what simple living is all about. Those who have chosen to break out of the mould per se must be different, not buying into society’s standards and continue to share overall goodness. Be it in life giving words, actions or wares with those in need. By doing what we love rather than doing what’s going to get us the biggest actions, attentions, or paycheques each month. Within the end of this statement I can only hope that I hang onto the words that bring peace.
Because I will continue to believe that “Everything will be alright”
Monday, November 08, 2010
Click click the knitting needles chimed with a sweet song I discovered. As the melody smoothed out to a soothing tune, and the soft wool ran through my fingers, I paused to hear the momentum of the song end. My mind had continued in turmoil while the morning past and now it relaxed. Often in the quiet, when there is a slow pace at home, there is a calm before the storm.
I whispered aloud how lovely it was that; today my daughter slept the morning through and through.
Watching out the window the sun shone bright. A cloud here and there wisps through the sky that still let the brightness of blue brightly compliment. Perhaps later we shall welcome a midday walk?
The music continued to change and the time slowly went by as I tiptoed through the house trying to keep the solitude and peace.
I found a favourite nook to pick up my knitted pattern but placed it down beside myself again and decided to write in response to a goodbye post of a dear friend.
Entitled: Beautiful Memories.
Hold fast to your remembrances of loved ones.
There is an indescribable delight when our lives intertwine with poetry.
It did not take long before I was lost in thought again, enjoying memories and catching my breath with others.
The thoughts continue as I read an email from a friend that I do not 'know'. This leaves me with a profound hope of what is to come with this writing that I am trying to encounter.
The new-found knitting patterns and one old faithful are becoming a collection similar to recipes of comfort foods.
I rely on these when there is time to invest in stocking the wool chest. While our little daughter quietly wakes up and joins me in my nook, I begin the day. We shall eat and be merry, walk in the briskness of this fall day, and go through the motions while the day folds into afternoon.
We will pause for cuddles and a story or many….
I believe this is where I will go and join her and leave with some familiar poetry, I wrote together with Daryl.
In the stillness
In the quiet place
I can feel you near.
You are forever
I am only a moment
May I see your face?
What I know now
You have always known
You see deeper to that unseen place.
Quiet my heart to the anguish of pain
Move me closer
Please break these chains.
You are the one that saved my soul
My empty life now overflows
When I see that all is new
I know that I am not the same
I see the cross where Jesus died
I see the tomb that opened wide
And now I know your coming back to take me home.
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
I miss the times when the songs would rise, as Daryl led worship. This one song among many others, had me in tears every time.
Hold fast to your remembrances of loved ones ,There is an indescribable delight when our lives intertwine with poetry. - I love this! Beautiful.
Monday, November 01, 2010
Today is the beginning of my favourite month!
I start thinking about…decorating~creating crafts~Birthdays for 2 of our children~baking~gifts~family pictures~cards~lost addresses~new have to try and old faithful recipes~soups~comfort foods~rich deep chocolates~fondues~evergreen tree branches~travelling or stay home~sweaters~knit accessories~homemade candles,~essential oils~baking breads,~roast turkeys~music….
I would love to hear of some traditions that you enjoy!
It’s that time again. The moustache month! Where the 4 o’clock shadow is all day every day for the month of November. To raise awareness for Men's cancers and put your best foot forward.