Thursday, December 27, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
We normally spend Christmas Eve and Day with both our families. We are lucky enough that both sides get along so well that they invite each other over for celebration. And, because we came from two different sets of traditions, it has meant 12 adults and between 2 and 7 children are together for both those days. My in-laws celebrate Christmas Eve with a traditional Ukrainian 12-dish meatless meal before Midnight Mass at church and my parents celebrate Christmas Day, with a turkey, stuffing, etc.
Anywho, this year is different. My in-laws are heading to Australia with my brother-in-law and his family, as his wife is from Sydney. My other brother-in-law and his family will be staying in Lethbridge at their home. So, we are alone with my parents and my brother and his new wife for Christmas. Ah, the quiet of it all. Well, once our children are in bed.
So, a couple weeks ago, we celebrated an early Christmas with the Australia-bound folks. We gave our nieces their gifts early and had a nice, but simple meal that my mother-in-law lovingly prepared (as all her meals are). It was a pleasant, no-frills, no worries Christmas. Nobody cared that the house wasn't decorated, or that we had chicken instead of turkey. We relaxed by the fire, enjoyed good food, wine and music, and enjoyed out time together, even if it was 20 days early.
I don't know when we'll see my other brother-in-law and his family, probably sometime between Christmas and the New Year. And then we are talking about pulling together a traditional Ukrainian Christmas in January for some friends we recently made who just moved to Calgary. So, in all, we may end up with 4 Christmas celebrations!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
For me, as a mother, I find this song particularly inspiring in how I raise my sons. For me, a lot of life is about taking chances and learning from our mistakes, growing from our experiences and reaching for the next step. "There's a moment when fear and dreams must collide".
As I watch my boys learn...learn to walk, run, climb, speak, play, I see the unbridled passion and excitement they get from learning. I also see them learn their limits. I've seen my oldest son learn that bouncing on his bed can result in a bloody nose. I've also seen him learn that putting crayon to paper can result in a fabulous work of art. I watch as he dances around the house and through life, stumbling occasionally, but less as each new day and experience dawns. I am only allowed to dance with him if I dance as freely. Otherwise I am holding him back.
I know that as they grow the falls will probably be from higher ground and may be harder to recover from. And helping them through that recovery is the most I can do for them. Helping them to learn the lessons brought before them is part of my role as a parent. As much as we want to keep our children wrapped in our arms and protect them from all the hardships of life, we teach them nothing this way. They need to experience the world and all it has to offer, the good and the bad.
We can guide them and be by them physically, emotionally and spiritually.
I no longer have that excuse, as we now have sufficient cabinets, sideboards and bookshelves to make up for the lack of storage. (OK, I still have nowehere to put the towels for the second bathroom...) However, as hubs put it the other day, our basement looks like our storage shelves threw up. I get twitchy when I go down there to feed the cat or do laundry.
So, the adventure began...and just let me say...THANK GOODNESS for curbside recycling! You know those big boxes that your kid's high chairs came in? We've got 2 of those filled with paper recycling. 3 bags of glass spaghetti sauce jars and 1 bag of metal lids. I mean, I like making soup and sauce from scratch to freeze for future meals, but 50 jars worth? I don't think so. Plus, a few bags of plastic recycling. Ugh. Just the thought of it.
The act of cleaning it up has definitely made me feel lighter. It will feel even better when we start hauling that stuff (I should call it crap) out of there. And when we have the garage sale in the spring, I will be joyous!
I'm really looking forward to doing this year's walk as I missed last year's, having just given birth. It's one of the most powerful, moving experiences I've taken part in. I'm excited to be walking this year with my friend and neighbour, Lara.
I know so many people who have been affected by cancer...all types. Young and old. I think there's very few of us who could say cancer hasn't touched us in some way. This is my small way of helping out and bringing awareness to the efforts of finding a cure, teaching prevention and easing suffering.
Now, hopefully it warms up enough to start outdoor training seriously, because I am not setting foot in a mall until Christmas is over!
As I've said earlier, my interest in Rwanda stemmed from a speech I heard given by Romeo Dallaire. I then read Shake Hands With the Devil. So, when a friend lent me An Ordinary Man I knew I had to read it.
The majority of us in North America could never imagine the horror these people witnessed, lived through, helped fight and must remember. We could never imagine how one person could do these things to another human...a child, a mother, a father, the elderly, the educated and the uneducated. All stemming from a fear of loss of power.
So, I'm off to start the first of many posts that will remain in draft form until they're ready. My goal for today is to at least get the thoughts out of my head and onto 'paper'. I can clean them up and post them after that.