Tuesday, December 13, 2011

He Does Exist

So I believe in God.  Have always believed that God exists.  I don't know why I have always had that belief but I have.  To believe in nothing is a foreign concept to me.  Having a relationship with God though is different than just believing that there's some big guy out there.  I've had a relationship with God since I was 22 I can honestly say.  It is like any relationship with a human, sometimes there are periods when you are really close and then there are times when you are distant.  Like any relationship there are struggles.  This past year was definitely a struggle.  I was down right angry and defiant.  I was mad at God.  Mad that whenever I think things are about to turn out the rug is pulled out from under me.  I knew though that I didn't like being in this place with God.  I didn't like being mad at him.  I didn't like feeling like I had to still love him and be obedient, I wanted to love him and be obedient.  The fact that I didn't wasn't the issue, the fact that I wanted to and couldn't was my struggle.  So I did the one thing that I have always known I should do and haven't.  I started tithing.  Now by tithing I'll explain.  I've started to give more money yes, but I've also found myself praying more for other people, doing acts of kindness for others, giving in all of my other areas of my life, not just money.  Now to explain the money thing because this is what I think most people struggle with the idea of it I'll explain.  God says in the bible to test him; give him what is his (10%) and he will bless you tenfold.  Well the first week I joked with my cousin, "I'm going to buy me a husband".  I wanted God to bless me tenfold in the area of a husband.  However I did actually journal that I would take whatever blessing he felt I needed whether it be: my friend being cured of breast cancer who had recently been diagnosed, my brother and sister-in-law expecting again, my dad finding a job, or a man being put in front of me.  Whatever it would be I would gladly accept the blessing.  So I gave and waited. 
Well a week or so later my friend went back to the doctor to see what treatment options she should undergo.  How about pills.....why?  Because she is cancer free and the pills are a precaution!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  How's that for a blessing!
So I continued to tithe.  Each week feeling more and more blessed and excited to give because in turn I was excited to see what would happen.
So about the time I started tithing though a single man started coming to our church.  He always sat on the other side of the church with people I know but don't really know that well.  So this past Saturday night my friend encouraged me to introduce myself.  I didn't feel it was the time.  So I prayed that night and got my money ready to give.  I prayed to God that if I was to meet this man could he just make it blatantly obvious to me; could he just circumvent the circumstance so that we would meet.  So I go to church that morning and am singing away and who sits smack down right in front of me?!  I almost burst out laughing.  Okay God I get it.  I will introduce myself.  My friends husband leaned over and asked me, "been praying much?" to which I happily answered, "yep".  So at the end of service I introduced myself to the man and had a brief chat.  I'm turning it over to God to lead the relationship.  You see this past summer my pastor asked me, "Jody do you believe that God can give you a Christian husband?"  I said, "Do I believe that God is going to plunk a man down in front of me in church and say 'here you go' Nope."  Well I don't know if this is the man that I will marry but what if it is.  That would be an AMAZING testimony that GOD DOES EXIST. 
So if you read my blog and don't believe I hope that my little story makes you at least wonder if he is real and wonder how he could also bless you.  My biggest blessing to receive would be that everyone I know, knows God like I do because honestly the reason why I can be happy most of the time and see the positive is because I believe that God does exist.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Joe and Mary

I recently seem to have friends that have friends that are going through a separation and then of course the next step is divorce. Should it be? Not in my mind, the next step should be working together to figure how you get back what you had to want to be married to each other in the first place.
I don't believe that divorce should be as easy as it is.  People buy a car and make a commitment to make payments for a number of years and there are some people that are more committed to making the payments on that vehicle than they are to work on a marriage. 
A while ago I met an elderly couple through my work.  I'm going to call them Joe and Mary.  Joe and Marry have been married for a number of years.  Mary now has Alzheimer's.  Joe looks after all of Mary's needs.  She no longer has dementia, the precursor to Alzheimer's where she's forgetful and sometimes miserable.  Now she is at the stage where she has regressed to the point of being an infant now.  Total care.  She is in a wheel chair, she no longer communicates through words but instead grunts every once in awhile. 
The first time I met them  I met them in an office.   Joe drove up in an old Chev single cab truck.  From the back he got Mary's wheelchair, he carefully carried her out of the truck and into the wheelchair.  He came into the office, making sure he told her everything they were doing and ensuring he didn't get her feet knocked around on any doors or corners.  When they were in the meeting room she made some sound and Joe quickly rubbed her arm and said, "It's okay love we won't be long." 
When we were done meeting he just as carefully wheeled her out and just as carefully lifted her into the truck again.
This week I went to their home to meet again.  They live in an ancient farm house that was very drafty so they both were wearing layers of clothing and a hat.  Mary was dressed in her Sunday best it looked like.  Again he talked to her just as lovingly and when she reached out for his hand he took it and caressed the top of her hand while we talked. 
Now this couple makes me smile with a tear in my eye.  The love that Joe has for Mary when Mary is no longer Mary and really Mary can no longer reciprocate the love that Joe has for her.  To love a person this much is what I think marriage is about.  For Better or Worse.  This is definitely the worst and Joe is in the worse and through that time he still loves Mary. 
I want this type of marriage.  The type where when the worst comes we know we will still love each other and get through it. 
I have another story similar but different to this one and maybe another time I will share it.  So for anyone that reads this blog and is married, when you think your marriage is at it's worst, is it as bad and Joe and Mary's and what are you going to do about it?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm still little Right?

This is Jacob's first school picture.  He really is usually not that great at taking pictures, he usually hides, does the jello and disappears.  I call the jello move that move when you try and pick a kid up and they turn into jello and you can't get a grip on them they just keep sliding out of your hands.  That's Jacob when the camera comes out.  Well, when my camera comes out anyways.  So I think this picture turned out quite well!
Almost daily I hear the comment,  "Boy he's sure getting big."  Then a little voice "I'm still little?"  Yes Jacob your still little, your my little boy.  I think he's starting to get a complex about being big because he hears it so often, so much so that I want to tell people, STOP SAYING THAT!  I want him to stay little forever. 
This past weekend I saw my nephew who is definitely little, he's just 20lbs or so and 2-1/2yrs old.  He was wearing the coat that Jacob had when I got him.  It made me think, awe you were once that little.  Your still little, little enough for me to rock you when I sing to you before bed.  Little enough for me to hold you while we are singing at church, and little enough to give me hugs and kisses whenever we say goodbye.  I hope you always stay little.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween fun and a few crafts

Jacob and I did finally carve a pumpkin the day before Halloween.  Now I'm thinking that this really isn't that bad of an idea because then it isn't all wilted and looking deformed for Halloween.  As you can see he did help to pull out "the guts" as he called them.  What you don't see is that he did it with a little tiny shovel so he didn't actually touch any of the gross guts!

Our finished project.  Now you may wonder why the pumpkin is sitting on the toilet.  Well you see there is a candle in the pumpkin and the bathroom was the dsarkest room however with a camera flash you can't tell that so it just looks like we take all of our pictures in the bathroom instead!

Halloween right before trick or treating!  So I struggled with the idea of trick or treating last year and what to do about it.  I ended up deciding we would only go to our neighbors, whom we know, and then friends.  We end up going to 8 houses in town and then to my uncle's in the country and my brother's.  He still received plenty of candy and got the jist of trick or treating.

He's started to make some crafts in school; here is his noodle man!

And the painted turkey!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I am going on a holiday!  I haven't really been on that many holidays.  About 7 or so years ago I went to Vegas; then 2 years ago I went to Mexico, and that's about the extent of my holidays.  My boss told me about a holiday her daughter went on.  She went to a spa resort by herself for a weekend and had a really great time.  I looked into it and I decided it was something I wanted to do.  So in early January I'm going to the Kingfisher Spa and Resort in Comox, BC.  I'm looking so forward to it!  I chose there because it's only 3 nights, 4 days.  Affordable in some ways in that I wanted to spend under $1000 and I probably will spend just over that.  I wanted to do something that I could just relax.  If I want to sleep until noon I can.  I thought the time was enough because then I'm not gone for too long from Jacob.  He will stay with my parents.  I've been away for this amount of time before and he did okay.  I picked the time of year because it's somewhat of a birthday present to myself and it is also considered off season so quite a bit cheaper than other times of the year.  For the first time in my life I feel stressed and so I think this will be a good stress reliever.
Stress is a funny thing.  I'm just tired all the time.  I could go to sleep at 8pm, wake up in the morning and still be tired.  This has been my life the last few weeks.  I can't pinpoint any one thing its just a collaboration of things.  I'm trying to weed out some of the stress, slowly, or do things that alleviate my stress.  Tonight Jacob and I had a laughing war.  That is definitely a remedy I recommend.  Here's a picture of him during the war.  I don't know who won but I know Gertie sure got all worked up and into the fun as well.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A few pictures......

 This was Jacob's first day of pre-school.  We're working on smiling for the camera!  This is a work in progress.
Annual picture at our favorite fishing; even though we caught 0 fish there this year!  The spot is still beautiful.

Goofing around!

Friday, October 14, 2011

reverse disability/reverse discrimination

I've been in the human services field for awhile now.  Long enough to know that there is a concept of reverse disability/reverse discrimination.  I probably need to explain what I mean when I use these two terms because I don't think that they are known to most people.  Basically it means that because someone has a disability their treatment is overcompensated to the point that they are treated better than someone who doesn't have a disability.  So to explain further.  Have you ever been hit up to donate so that someone with a disability can go on a trip?  I have; I've never donated.  No one has ever given me a donation so that I could travel.  Or, what about a person with a disability given allowances for rude behaviour?  I've seen that too.  Having a disability does not excuse bad manners; Temple Grandin actually said that!  I heard her with my own ears at a conference one time.  She was the best speaker I had ever listened to.  She basically said that the reason why she is successful in her life is because her mom had the same expectations for her as she did for her other children.  That Temple would have manners, go to school, get a job, and be a contributing member to society.  I completely agree.  If you make excuses for a person with a disability not to have the same expectations you have for yourself you really are discriminating against them and saying, "well your special so we don't expect as much from you."  Really?!  Maybe people don't intend that but when you break it down that is exactly what it is saying.  Now don't get me wrong I know that not everyone is able to have a full time job and live on their own and etc, but they can have the same responsibilities I have to the best of their ability.  One area that I see quite often the ideology of reverse disability is when support people attempt to do "everything".  Do you not believe that they are capable of doing anything?  Just yesterday I met someone who had a less than great relationship with their parents.  The supports wanted me to come in and take this person's legal rights away so that the relationship with the parents would change.  This person knew that they didn't like how the relationship was and they knew what they could do about it but in their own words they said they didn't want to "go down that road".  So then I told them that my rule in life is that you can complain about something for only so long but then you either have to do something about it or stop complaining.  I'm sure the people around the table thought "how could you say that to this poor disabled person".  Well they are a person first and they have responsibilities too and in this case the responsibility is to stand up for yourself or choose to continue to be treated like crap.  Your choice, and me taking away your rights will not fix that.  The people around this person I think are being discriminating to them because they don't think that the person has any responsibility in the situation and so therefore are treating them differently.  This I think is so wrong.  So that's my beef for the week.  Next time I promise to blog about Jacob and about our little family, the original intention of this blog.  But I hope today's reading makes you think, do I treat people differently if they have a disability?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I've wondered how many people look at me and think that I'm very career focused based on where I've been and what I've done.  The truth is actually that I would walk away from my career and all the accomplishments in a heartbeat to be a full time mom/wife.  I do appreciate where I am now don't get me wrong but it isn't where I really want to be; it's where I am.  I find myself at another spot when I have a choice of staying where I am or pursuing a goal and going for the gusto in regards to my career.  I wasn't actually going to even apply for the position.  It is a management position within our department and there are only 5 in the entire province so to hold this position really is quite a feat and I acknowledge that.  I have to say though that if I were to read the ad for this position and then read an ad for the position of a wife and mother I would  much rather apply for the latter position.  Not so right now though.  Funny; this is the first time I've been in a relationship where I've made it blatantly clear that my goal is not to work forever or even for the next 10 years with my significant other right now.  When I discussed applying for this position with him he said, "well do whatever it is you want to do."  To which I responded, "I don't want to be working is what I would like to do but that isn't a choice I have right now so I work because I have to."  So I'm pretty sure he gets the picture that I don't want to be a working mom forever.  Now of course I am going to be negotiable about this factor.  My biggest hesitation of the whole "moving up the ladder" issue really is that you get used to a financial comfort level and, I don't mean to brag here but no matter how I say it is going to come out bad, I make darn good money for a woman in this community.  This has definitely allowed me some level of comfort, as well I've been able to pay some bills down much quicker than I would have had I stayed in other positions.  Lord help those that are reading this because I know I'm rambling and jumping topics.  My jeep is going to be paid of in January and then my aim is for a few things; one buy a quad for Jacob and I, and two pay off my student loans ASAP.  I will then be debt free.  Yes I will save for a down payment on a house but I keep thinking that's a silly thing to do simply because I'm going to get married and he has a house.  NO we are not engaged, but I know we will end up married.  So for me to buy a house and then have to turn around and sell it doesn't make sense.  Plus anything that I really like has been on the market for so long that I would be scared about the re-sale of it in a year or two when I was ready to sell it.  So I guess I need to just put money away anyways for savings for whatever; oh I know, maybe a wedding!  Okay, back to the job.  I did apply and I have an interview Tuesday morning.  I'm not worried and actually I don't even think I will be successful but there may be two positions available.  This is going to be confusing so bare with me.  Whenever there is a management position available they offer 2-6 month secondment positions and then at the end of the year the position goes to open competition and you apply for the job permanently.  SO right now there is one 6 month position available.  I don't think that I have a big chance in getting it, but we'll see.  I do know that I'm a bit bored in my current position and I have been looking for other opportunities and challenges so this may be my answer.  In all honesty I actually hope that I get the second position, not the first.  I'm trying to finish my degree and I'm 2 courses away, currently in one so if I buckled down I could finish by the time I was able to do the position and so I don't think I'd be as stressed.  Then there is also my personal life.  I feel like a juggler sometimes.  I wish we could have 28hr days.  In the fall I'm on the road a lot; every fall it seems like this.  Then I'm doing schoolwork, Jacob has BG club one night a week; I'd like to be part of an adult bible study because I've done it in the past, oh, and the poor man in my life; I told him he's my Saturday night guy so if he's busy on a Saturday night we don't see each other but every few weeks.  Oh how I wish I had a nanny!  Not because I want someone else to parent Jacob but because I would like for him to be in his own home more and my house cleaned!  Because somehow I still need to get laundry done; dishes washed and vacuuming done in the week as well.  Hence the reason I rarely ever blog anymore.  I told a close friend that I would gladly walk away from my career to be a stay at home mom.  He told me that I'd be bored.  To which I said, if I was bored, I'd sit on a board!  You can still be involved and make a difference to the community without working in it.  That's what I'd do.  Aaah, if I could just find that wand to make my life how I would like it to be.  Until then I will work and do the best job I can at it and if that includes continuing to move up the ladder, I'm ready to take the next step. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Valuable information

This past week I attended my annual conference for work.  One of the topics was end of life care decisions.  Now this is a topic that comes up quite frequently in my work.  We are dealing with aging people and so you need to make that decision.  Often I try to be proactive and start the process before there is a crisis because then everyone already is aware of what the plan is.  I've learned more and more about what happens at the end of a persons life and how death occurs.  Some interesting stats for you to take in is that on average 90% of people wish to die at home; of this stat only 42% actually do.  Most people spend 80% of their life health dollars in the last 2 weeks of their life.  SO if in your life the health care you used was $100,000.  In the last 2 weeks you would have used up $80,000.  So why does this happen.  Well people don't want to die so they try to remain alive as long as possible even when the only sure result is death.  The doctor that was presenting putting it very well.  "we can't make you undead if you are going to die eventually".  It's a fact of life that everyone is going to die.  He acknowledged that the medical field does a very poor job of explaining what happens at the end of life so this has created a fallacy that you can be "healed" from death.  We all know that's not true though.  SO what has caused the biggest fallacy???  You probably are going to think I'm cracked when you read it but it is CPR!!  CPR was discovered in the 60's and it's intention was to be used when a healthy person went into cardiac or respiratory failure for unknown causes; ie, they had no other health issues at the time.  So what are the stats of CPR; oh and these are stats from Edmonton done in 97-2007.  If a healthy person with no other presenting health related issues has CPR performed the likelihood that they will resume normal life afterwards is 19%.  19%!!!!!  That's not how it is in the movies and on tv??????  That's right.  So what about the other people; well 12% will end up with some resulting health issues from the CPR being performed, this could be a trachea, brain damage, punctured lungs and fractured ribs are inevitable, and possibly other internal organ failures and damage.  Then of course there is the other group that ends up with so many resulting health issues that they end up living in a long term care facility.  And of course the last category, you end up dead.  So what if you are sick or terminal and you want CPR performed to save your life.  0% that you will return to your previous life.  Some may be resuscitated and live a few more hours but like said before if you are death's door there isn't any way of making you undead.  I wonder if people really realize this.  When discussing end of life with some people they want "everything" done.  However everything being done isn't going to cure you if you have a terminal illness or if you are just plain old and it is your time!  You won't go into cardiac arrest, die, have CPR done and revived and come back 63 when you are really 84!  So why would I post something as uncomfortable as this.  Because I think people should have the information.  This way they can discuss it with their loved ones and when the time comes everyone can feel comfortable that they are doing what you would want.  For me that is NO CPR!  I'm comfortable with dying; I know where I'm going to go and my affairs are all in order.  Now there is a difference though, do I want to die.  Nope, but I do know that one day the time will come and that day will be okay.  This is what the dr said most people struggle with.  They don't want to die and aren't ready and so therefore want the dr's to do "everything" to save them.  However the dr's aren't going to be able to make you ready to die and more comfortable with dying that is something each person has to do on there own.  So think about what I've written, talk to your doctor and your loved ones. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Time Stop: no wait go faster; no stop.......

Jacob starts pre-school on Monday!  I thought I was ready for it until now all of a sudden I realize how fast he is growing and how quickly time is going by.  Life is funny because on one aspect I so want life to slow right down and savor each moment.  I love being around Jacob; don't get me wrong there are times when I like to be alone.  However whenever I'm off work early or can spend time with him I choose to rather than being alone.  I was alone for a long time and I've had enough of it.  I want to be with my son.  I enjoy being with him and spending any and all free time with him.  Yet still I wish I had more time.  Do other parents feel like this?  Over September long weekend I was away from him for 2 nights; this is the first time I can remember being away from him just because, not because I had something else to do.  So for one whole day I sat at home by myself.  I can't say that I really enjoyed it that much and maybe that's why when I can be with him I want him around me.  I have no problems just he and doing something together and not having another adults company; he's great company.
So pre-school.  Jacob is going to school 4 afternoons a week and taking the bus one way.  He seems so little but so big all at the same time.  He's starting to be quite the little independent man; wanting to do more and more for himself, by himself.  The latest thing is he will ask me what something is and then tell me I'm wrong and what it actually is.  Example; he's watching Land Before Time right now and they showed the sun up close so it's a ball of fire.  He asks what that is and I explain it's the sun and the sun is a ball of fire; his response, "no, that's just fire, not the sun."  I've started to just ask him back what things are instead and see what he figures out.  And tease....  he loves teasing and will say to me, "I'm just teasing you" with a big grin on his face.  STOP!  I want all of this time to just stand still and savor it.  So I'm trying to be more and more thankful for the right now and not try to rush tomorrow.  In other parts of my life I'm totally trying to speed things up.  Work has changed and I'm not sure that I'm supposed to be there anymore so I've started exploring a bit but once you get accustomed to a certain pay grid and position it is a bit difficult to go down.  I feel a wee bit trapped in this little town because I don't know what I could do or where I could go.  I want time to speed up simply because my plan is to finish my degree, get my master's and open up my own counselling practise.  Specializing in working with folks with cognitive difficulties.  I really enjoy people with limited cognitive functioning and finding a counsellor for them is really difficult, so really it's an untapped market.  So hurry time.  Then of course there's the never ending saga of my love life.  I wish sometimes I could wake up 8 years down the road to children bouncing on my bed and my husband groggily asking if I'm going to make coffee.  Then of course reality sinks in and I think, "what if in 8 years I'm still not any closer to being Mrs....."  So this one I'm at a toss up, hurry up or enjoy right now.  I think I want time to hurry up in that department because I want to be at a different place in life but then I wonder if life will be that much different.  Maybe I won't be my own boss as a counsellor, maybe there won't be a bunch of kids and only a 12 year old, and how do I feel about all that.  I should be very happy and feel blessed I know but I wonder if I feel that way.  I've always had the "dream" of what life would be like "when".  Then I've started realizing life is right now.  This is it.  DO I wish it were going faster or do I slow down and enjoy it right now and what I have right now.  I am a dreamer, have always been that way but sometimes I do wish I could turn the dreams off and appreciate the moment more right now. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer So Far

We've been busy this summer so far.  I know I posted previously about summer but I thought I'd say some more on the topic and share some pictures.

Taken at the Canada Day Parade in Elk Point.  We went to the pancake breakfast and then enjoyed the parade before heading to meet some friends for afternoon water fun!

Enjoying some water with my dear friend Jen and her daughter.  Jen and I have been friends since we were 10 and now we live 8 hrs apart and only see each other 1-2 times per year.  We make good use of the phone though.  She and I became moms about 20 days apart.  She was pregnant when I found out I was getting Jacob and had a beautiful baby girl, Mackenna.  She is one of the cutest kids I've ever seen in my life, I could just eat her up!

Then we went camping with some other friends.  My friend Jodie and her family.  A busy family; 4 children under the age of 4, including twin boys who are 8 months now.  Busy, busy, busy! 

Then my sister-in-law came with the kidlets.  She's the wood chopper and fire starter!

Of course we brought Gert with us and Jacob insisted on taking her swimming.

I'm not so sure she enjoyed swimming as much as he thought she would though.

Enjoying some yummy cherries.

Playing in the lake with his cousin, Madison.

Then we had a rainy day and what do you do when it's pouring outside with 4 kids??  Movies, face painting, games, snacks, whatever you can!

After it finally was done raining for the day it was time to play in the mud puddles.  More Aunty Jen's idea than mine, but your only a kid once!

Then it was someones birthday!!!!  Yep, Jacob turned 4!!  Party at the lake.

My first attempt at a cupcake cake.  Turned out pretty good!

After a week of camping with family at one lake we moved to another lake and camped with other friends.  Jacob didn't jump off the dock the entire time at the first lake and then by the last few days at the second lake he would jump off; but only towards the shore!  I am glad he knows his limits and doesn't try to jump from the other end!

Lots of fun was had and we camped for 2-1/2 weeks.  Now though when I ask him what he wants to do each day his answer is "go lake".  Can you blame him??

Saturday, July 16, 2011


It's summer now and I love summer.  It's such a busy time of the year with so many things to do and places to go.  So far we went camping with my sister-in-law and kids last weekend.  For the first camping trip of the year it wasn't optimal weather, rained a lot, but we made the most of it and still enjoyed being in the outdoors and around the fire.  Next week we are going camping again, this time for a week and a half at one lake and then the following week we are going to another lake and camping with some friends, I have to work that week but Jake will get to stay and hang out and play all week. 
I tend to feel really busy in the summer; like there is so much to do and not enough time to do it!  To try and manage my time better I've made a few changes.  One being I'm off facebook again.  I spend too much time surfing, popping in and I need to make some time to do my school work so facebook is gone.  I've struggled with facebook for a number of reasons.  One being too much time spent on it.  Another is that I feel that you carry on surface relationships.  People post little glimmers of their lives and I do the same but then when you see each other face to face there really isn't that much of a relationship.  I'm also bothered by the fact that some people post nothing and yet look at others information and then it is a one way relationship.  This last reason probably bothers me the most.  I admit I have stopped posting as much or putting as many pictures on to almost "punish" those people who don't equally share.  Now I realize how all silly this seems so therefore to just avoid these internal arguments with myself I'm just off facebook. 
I've also fell way behind in my other blog.  I was still trying to at least save a post and then get back to it later but even that has become difficult to find the time to do.  I'll go back to it again I'm sure but for now the posts will be sporadic. 
I find I'm tired a lot lately so I've started taking a multi-vitamin, something I've never faithfully done and I'm also looking at changing my eating, removing bad carbohydrates and most fats.  I read the 17 day diet book last night; well skimmed it, and I think it sounds good and realistic to do so I'm going to prepare to do that I just don't know if I should do it while on holidays or wait til the fall.
So that is us right now.  Jake starts pre-school in the fall.  He's going to go to the French school because the class sizes are about 1/4-1/2 the size of the English school.  I'm not really that concerned about the language thing.  I looked at a video of him just last October and really he still wasn't talking that much.  Now you pretty much get everything he is saying and in sentences.  I've had other friends that sent their children to a french immersion program who didn't know French before and they adjusted and learned the language.  Kids are sponges and just soak everything up. 
So below is a picture of how I'd like to be spending all my summer!

Taken at the local splash park.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Wedding

This past weekend my baby brother married his best friend.  I got the honor of performing the ceremony.  This was a special day and special wedding.  Not that all weddings aren't special but my brother and his now wife have had a relationship for almost 20 years already and they are only 23 and 24.  They truly do have a love story that goes back to diapers.  I always knew that they had known each other for a long time but when I saw the pictures of the birthday parties, kindergarten graduation, teen years, and now it became evident just how long they had really been together.  They've always been friends.  Even when Casey was seeing other people Lisa was in his life as a friend. 
It was a lot of fun and overall just a great wedding.  This picture has a story behind it.  You see they have just done their vows and now are going to do the ring exchange.  So Cory, the best man and my other brother realizes he doesn't have the rings, Ashley the maid of honor and sister to Lisa sees Cory's panic and bursts out giggling.  Cory is trying to blame James, other grooms man for not bringing the rings and Casey and Lisa are staring lovingly into each other's eyes, oblivious to it all.  Thankfully the rings were only 2 miles away so Cory's wife went and got them.  Needless to say it was a hilarious and unforgettable moment in the wedding.  The rest of the wedding went smoothly, and of course Cory was teased all night for his forgetfulness but he took it in stride and went with all the jokes.  I had a great time and can't wait for the next Dunlop wedding, oh wait that would be mine!  No I'm not engaged but a woman can dream can't she!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

You grew in my heart

I know that's such a cliche but last night I used it.  We had gone to my brother's and got back late and so Jacob fell asleep on the drive.  As I carried him into the house I told him how I loved him and that he was mom's big baby boy.  To which he asked, "grew in mom's tummy?"  I didn't know what to say.  I  was caught off guard, I was thinking this conversation would happen later, a different time, a more alert time.  I should know better though and know that life doesn't work just like you plan it.  It's not that I was avoiding this conversation.  It wasn't an option to lie to Jacob about the most important thing of his life.  That I am not his biological mother but I am his mom forever.  I've made no secret about the fact that he's adopted and when I get a shocked look and people say, "he looks so much like you" I smile.  God planned it perfectly I guess, what or who else could take credit? 
So off I carried him to bed and told him that he grew in another mommy's tummy but that he came to live with me and he grew in my heart and I would be his mom forever.  I know that this won't be the last conversation of many and that's okay.  One day I will open up the pictures I have stored away for him and show him the picture of his first mommy.  The one that loved him enough to make sure no harm came to him in birth and for this I'm forever grateful.
So you might be wondering why this came up.  I'm only assuming that his little buddy who he goes to the same sitters her mom is pregnant, a good friend of mine, and I'm sure that there has been lots of talk about Savannah's mom having a baby in her tummy.  So the conversation may come up a lot over the next several months and that's okay.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Jacob's personality has really began to develop in the last few months.  Here are a few shots to show what a tease he has become.

This was taken at his cousin, Charity's, birthday party.  What fun that was playing in all the blocks and activity centre.

Dancing with Gert, his "favorite friend".

So what if there is still snow on the ground, the sand box is free and so in the sand he will play!

He came into my room with his pjs on his head saying, "I'm Jesus, see jammies on my head."  Now I'm not sure why having jammies on his head equates to being Jesus but I'm pretty sure he was trying to make the cloth like moses wore in Prince of Egypt on his head.

Being a space monster at Chris and Marlene's.  He thought that this was great fun!

 Hiding for the camera.
I found you!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The struggle, the challenge, the unknown

So I'm dating.  Yep he's a wonderful man.  I can remember over the past year slowly I started praying for a mate.  Someone who would be nicer to me before I could be nice to them.  Sounds silly but seriously in the past it always felt like I was doing the work, so I wanted someone to swoop me off my feet, literally even.  A little dream of mine to be physically picked up by a man.  Maybe it's because I'm a bigger girl, but just the thought of a man grabbing me and picking me up gives me butterflies. 
Okay, anyways, so I'm dating.  Did I mention that I'm dating??!  Just kidding.  So if you've followed this blog and my other blog at all you know that I'm a Christian.  Being a Christian by bible aka God standards is that I accept that Jesus came to earth, died for my sins and that I acknowledge that I'm a sinner and he paid the price for me to be able to go to heaven, so I love Jesus essentially.  With that comes certain rules laid out by God and ways to live life.  One is that Christians should not date non-Christians.  Sugar coat it as much as you want, it says it in the bible not to do it.  Then of course it also says Christians are not to be unequally yoked in marriage, aka Christians and non-Christians are not suppose to marry.  So what happens if this does occur?  Well there are going to definitely be differences of opinions because I will believe what God has said in His book and want to live like it says.  I will love God and Jesus more than my husband and children.  I know!  But I will and do.  God loved me enough to sacrifice his only son. 
So now the struggle.  I have Christian friends who tell me that I should missionary date.  This means date as if he were your brother.  Yeah, no.  That is just odd to me and seems incestuous.  That means touch and explore only as much as I would with my brother, again this leads to the ickyness.  Can you imagine dating like this and then on your wedding night you have sex with the man you've been treating like your brother??!!  This totally doesn't fit for me.  So then there's the non-Christian dating.  Date, kissing, sex, move in, get married when you both feel its finally time.   Well this also doesn't fit for me.  I won't live with any guy before I'm married.  This is for a number of reasons, primarily being Jacob but another is that I did live with a guy before marriage once before and when it ended I was homeless.  I have a little one to think of and we can't move in with my parents if this doesn't work out, although I know it's going to. 
So what do I do?  Well I'm going to be a sinner I know.  I know I'm not going to date like a Christian.  I struggle with the advice and what others have said.  I struggle with it because I have yet to come across someone who is giving the Christian dating advice that lived it, or has lived like me.  So people that have so far given me advice or I've heard speak have been in the two categories: 1) grown up Christian and never crossed the boundaries before they married.  2) became a Christian after they were married and then their spouse also became a Christian.  So these two people have never been a non-Christian single and then a single Christian.  I'm waiting to meet a person like me and that person can tell me how to date and I will wholeheartedly listen.  Right now I'm hearing a lot of "wa wa wa".  The only person's advice that I've heard, value and appreciate was my pastor's wife.  She said to me, "if you choose to marry him and he's not a Christian, that's between you and God, however we're going to pray for him and that God just continues to open his heart."  Thank You!!!  This is the best advice and the true advice. 
So I'm dating.  Oh, and this man also has actually picked me up and carried me.  He did it on our 3rd date.  Help me I'm falling!!!   NO don't help me, I want to fall madly in love with this man and never look back. :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's just different this time

Okay, I'm going to try and not make this a long post but I'm a woman and tend to go into all the details so I apologize in advance if I go on and on.

About 2-3 months ago a friend of mine told me how his sister and her boyfriend had broken up.  I jokingly asked if he was going to set me up with the boyfriend.  He then in all seriousness said, "yeah I told him you were the perfect girl for him and he's been asking for you phone number ever since." 
So back up 4 years.  I met this man at my friends home 4 or so years ago when he was dating my friends sister.  After I met him I told my friend that the guy was the nicest guy I'd ever met in my life and that if the couple ever ended to "hook me up".  Now I was absolutely joking about the last part.  I wouldn't ever wish hurt via a break up on anyone.  Over the years I've seen the man and his girlfriend together and alone.  I think I've known for a few years that this was a relationship that was doomed though.  She wanted big city life and he loves the farm.  So it was only a matter of time.  Now at the end of it I never thought I would work into the equation at all. 
Well now to present time.  They did break up.  She chose big city and career over love.  My friend, the brother, had told the guy about me and the guy then began pursuing my phone number.  My friend though held him off for about a month in giving him my number.  The friend felt like he was going to be put in an awkward situation because he was supplying the phone number to his sister's ex boyfriend for a new potential girlfriend.  I get it but at the end of the day who cares, she dumped him for her career. 
So guy keeps asking for my number for 3 straight weeks before my friend finally caves and gives it to him.  All along i know about the guy asking for my number.  My biggest concern being that does guy know who's number he is wanting.  Friend tells me he's sure guy knows.  Then one night guy tells friend, I know who she is just give me her number, friend says no you don't, guy: she works for government and her name is Jody, give me her number.  Okay, good sign.  He knows who's number he is pursuing and still wants it.  Finally friend is on the phone with me one day and guy calls him again for the number and friend tells me that's it I'm hanging up from you and giving him your number right now. 2 minutes later guy called!
So we talked for almost an hour and then made arrangements to go out the following Friday.  He wanted to go out that night!  I have no idea why but a few times after friend and I had talked about this I got the feeling that if this worked out it would be good.  One reason is that he's the nicest guy I've ever met, as said before, and that both he and I want the same thing.  Marriage.  At the end of the day we are both at the place where we want to find that person we can wake up to everyday.
So we had our first date, which lead right into the second date, which lead into plans for the following weekend, and also we had the "talk".  He brought it up.  He wants relationship, as do I, we both want to go slow but at the end of the day I think we won't be able to take it slow.  I think that we both 'want' to take it slow because he's protecting his heart and I'm protecting Jacob.  However I'm not sure that our hearts will allow us to take it slow.  Its one of those situations where you just love spending time with the person because you want to know everything about them and you can't get enough of them. 
So I titled this post, it's different this time.  Well it is.  He pursued me.  I've never had a man pursue me.  NEVER!  We got the relationship talk out of the way and agree we both want the same thing.  Again, never happened before.  Last time I was actually in a relationship the man didn't know if he wanted me as a girlfriend, nanny, friend, housekeeper.  Each week he changed his mind.  Then any other guys have not wanted relationships at all.  I am myself around him.  I don't seem to have a sensor or filter of things I shouldn't say or in the past wouldn't have said.  It all comes out.  It's different.  It's just different this time.
Oh and one more difference; it's not a deal breaker but it definately is a big deal, both my brothers really like him.  Now this is a big thing.  My one brother will pretty much accept anyone, he may not like them but he'll accept and put up with them.  My other borther though will not be so nice, he typically is very judgemental and if he doesn't like someone he isn't going to try and pretend he does.  Well both my brothers really like him and think he's a nice guy.  So huge!  It's just different this time.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Life after a three year old

When I signed up for being a mom I knew that everyday wasn't going to be roses.  I've written before of all the changes in Jacob in the past year now here is a post dedicated to how he has changed my life.
My house will forever be in a state of "getting cleaned".
You will always find trucks, cars, trains or food somewhere deep under my couches.
No matter how hard I try I can rarely seem to get anywhere on time anymore.
I no longer spend days eating only cheerios for supper (breakfast maybe, but definitely not supper).
I sit at the table for meals. 
I have a table!
I pray at every meal.
I no longer spend a lot of my time doing nothing, aka tube watching.  I used to have shows that I watched every night of the week, now I can't figure out what I watch because I never seem to have a tv routine, not such a bad thing.
I eat fresh vegetables every day.
My toothpaste no longer lasts nor does my expensive conditioner because twice now he has poured both into the tub while I was busy doing other things.
I always have yogurt in the fridge; never mind that I just have a fridge full of healthy food.
I had to make a choice between my pet and my child.
I actually know what is on the tree house channel and that I don't think Spongebob is so great.
I can't just run to 7-11 at 10pm at night for a pop; that I didn't ever really need in the first place.
I need to watch the blinking sign in church for number 228 now in case I need to leave and pick up a screaming kid from Sunday school.  (thanks to all the workers for putting up with the vocals)
I look forward to movies now just for the popcorn because I haven't gone to an adult movie in ages.
I've learned to shower at night so that my hair is dry in the morning to do because I don't have time to do both in the mornings.
I've learned that you can live on little sleep because toddlers don't always sleep through the night.
I've learned that as much as I look forward to nap and bedtime I look even more forward to when he's awake.
I've learned that you can wash my couch seat cushion covers when Jacob thinks that he should give the dog milk to drink while he has it tied up on the couch. 
I've learned that nothing is ever safe and so it is just always better to be safe than sorry.
I've learned that life just is not the same and it will never ever be that way again.
I've learned that all the time I waited to be a mom has been worth the wait because now I'm a mom forever.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Starting all over again

As of February 8th I could apply to adopt again.  You have to wait one year after placement of a child to wait again.  Now I had done my homework.  I have the Child and Youth Enhancement Policy in my office.  I have it for work purposes because there is a portion on youth transitioning into adult hood and adult services and my office is listed in it as part of the adult services.  So a few months ago I drug out the binder and read the section on adoption.  It said that application could be made again one year after placement of a child. 
So today I contacted my social worker and asked her for the application papers to apply to adopt again.  She did up a package I picked up and as I was filling it out I thought maybe I should give the website a quick peruse, just to see if there were any new children available.  There was a sibling pair; girl and boy ages 6 and 2.  I thought this is a perfect age group if I was going to adopt a sibling pair as my "ideal" child is either older or younger than Jacob so to have one of each would be great!  So I email the social worker.  She responded that even though I already had the package I actually couldn't start the process until September as this is when Jacob became legally mine.  WHATT!!!????  Instantly I was ticked off for a variety of reasons. 
1) What policy manual was she reading because the one I have says one year after placement; not legal.
2) In July I had been told the legal process would be started but it didn't happen until I started questioning it in August and September.  So if I have to wait until then because of someone not actually doing what they said they would ticks me off. 
3) Who is this benefiting?  Kids being kept in the system for longer periods of time is not ideal so why have a year after placement; which is based on someone doing paperwork?!
So I didn't respond at first.  I was ticked and knew better than to say something right then.  Plus I'm very wary of being too much of a pain in the you know what and then getting the label of annoying client.  We all know those people.  However if I have to go down that road I would because it is for the betterment of my potential child and family and I don't care if I have to have that label in the long run.
So I left the office and then returned after lunch.  There was an email from my sw'r.  She said that she double checked with her supervisor and it was indeed a year after placement, not legal and she apologized.  Hallelujah! 
So I have filled out all the papers, made my doctor's appointment and contacted my references to ask them to speak on my behalf about my parenting.  So I'm thinking maybe mid March I'll have everything and a meeting with my social worker to discuss my preferred child and be put back on the wait list!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Busy- and I hate saying that

Have you ever called someone and the first thing they say is "oh I'm so busy"?  I used to hate hearing that.  Now I find myself saying it, I used to think it was an excuse to not keep in touch but I'm now realizing it isn't an excuse, it's reality.
I've realised I am a person that likes to have a lot on my plate.  I don't know if I have adult ADHD or ADD and it doesn't matter because I don't really believe diagnosis give you any more insight into a person either than funding when you need it. 
So things on my plate currently are: mom full time, work full time, course through work for the next 13 months; meetings every two weeks and trips to the city every second month, my last two courses for my degree for the next 6 months, pampered chef; seems to be one party/show a month; and I'm applying to be a marriage commissioner.  Plus of course I'm a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, etc that all needs to be fit in there somewhere.  I have no idea how all of this happened but I do have to admit that I like the pace.  I'm more organized the more I have on my plate.  This past weekend I actually cleaned my house top to bottom, even took down my shower curtains and washed them!  Got all my laundry done and put away all by Saturday night so Sunday and Monday (which was a holiday) were free days to lounge around, go swimming with Jacob, and spend quality time!
Now why am I writing about this; well at Christmas time I was busy with baking, making homemade gifts etc.  The director of our program did baking and gave it to each Public Guardian and my boss brought it in to share with all of us.  Some people were making snide comments about how did she find the time, was she wonder woman.  Our director is a mom to a little girl of 9, she's in the office early, home late, but she does crafts and baking with her daughter on the weekends and when she does make it home on time.  I've been to her house and that week she had finished making mustard pickles so she gave us each a jar.  I am very similar to her.  Last night I got home and made bread for us, on the weekend I was invited for supper somewhere so I quickly made up some brownies.  At Christmas all my co-workers got a tin of nuts and bolts.  You can come to my house at any time and steal a jar of canned peaches that I made this summer.  I find the time.  I was quite offended when they were chiding about our director being wonder woman because I share similar traits to her.  That we care enough to find the time to make and give something home made isn't something to make fun of I don't think.  It isn't what we are giving but it is that the time we took to give.  I value that.  I think I've swayed way off topic, but who cares it's my blog right?!
Anyways I guess the point is that even though I have a lot on my plate I will still make time to take Jacob swimming, read him a story at bedtime, bake bread, and get my housework done!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A year in reflection

February 6th was officially one year since Jacob came home.  I've been thinking about this post for awhile and thinking about what/when I would write.  Today seems like a really good day since we both tried each other's patience all day so a good time to reflect on all the positives instead of dwelling on this one grumpy day.  I even told Jacob he could call me "grumpy diesel" today, one of his trains is named grumpy diesel and the face on the train is exactly how I felt all day.  From the time he woke up he just seemed to be over the top whiny and cried over everything.
Okay, enough negative.
So in the past year we've had so many things happen, bumps along the road and smooth pavement too.  I can't believe the changes in him.  Physical, he's only 4 lbs heavier this year, but 3 inches taller!  I know!!!  In the past week I've had half a dozen people tell me how he has grown and he just seems so grown up.  He does still fit the first pair of jammies I bought him, mostly because when I bought them they were too big.  He's in size 4 and some 5 clothing now, where as before he was in size 2-3,  the boy is going to be taller than me by the time he's 12!
He loves baths now.  Last night it was an hour long one!  This a big change from the crying and screaming of dislike for 25 seconds, because that's as long as baths used to be.  In fact every night he wants one; I'm trying to convince him of having one every second night because he hates having lotion put on and having that many baths dries a person's skin out.  What a change though.
He now loves Gertie.  I remember the day he came home he sat on the couch and just watched the dogs and it took several months for him to warm up to them.  Today he spent the majority of the day playing with "Gert".  He pulls her around on the leash and she just follows, never seeming to get annoyed.  Then he has to snuggle with her at bedtime and she happily jumps up on his bed to go to sleep.  I'm shocked that she still wants to be around him by the end of the day!
He has become quite the little dancer and I know all parents have this idea that their kids are gifted and I'm no different, so he'll be joining something musical soon.  The minute any music is on he stops, listens, and then his little hips get going and his foot taps and pretty soon he's trying to do the worm on the floor, stomping his foot, and dancing around. 
He plays with other kids now.  This is huge.  I can remember the first few times of going to a friends house and he didn't pay attention at all to the other kid.  Now he may not always join in if he isn't interested in what they are doing but he will if they are doing something he likes.  This is a trait that I hope he keeps.  Don't fall into peer pressure, it's okay not to do what everyone else is doing.  I hope he learns this trait from his "momma" still I get people absolutely shocked that I'm single and adopted by myself.  It happened again 3 times this week.  People almost sputter, at the idea, not in a negative way but just shocked that you would consider doing it. 
He's POTTY TRAINED!!!!!  Now this was an almost since August.  He would have occasional accidents, but for the most part would hold it until he was taken to the bathroom.  Then this Friday he said "go pee" and went running to the bathroom and been great every day since! 
He talks a mile a minute.  Seriously, I can't believe that only 4-5 months ago he would only say one or two word sentences.  Now he is constantly chattering away.  He knows the nursery rhymes, Humpty dumpty, cat and the fiddle, twinkle, baa baa black sheep, and on, his favorite these past few days has been I'm a little Tea pot.  I love nursery rhymes and had gotten an book of the old traditional ones and then at speech was told nursery rhymes are the best books to read kids because they are repetitive and have a rhythm.  So we read them several times a day. 
Now for the biggest change.  I'm mom.  This past week I had to be out of town for 3 nights, 4 days, the longest I'd been away from him.  On day 3 he told my parents, "Where mom, need go home."
He knows it and that is awesome and so even though today was a tough day we're a family and I wouldn't change a thing about it.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Jacob had all of a sudden learned the concept of money.  Whenever he can't get a toy to do what he wants he says, "oh no broken need go store buy new one, need money"  or "need screwdriver, go store buy need money."  Not sure how he has come up with this concept really because I don't talk much about money or involve him in money, such as getting him to pay at a store or even say about needing money.  Lately it has become so much that I told him the other day "you need a job to get money."  To which he said "no".  Well today I asked him to throw something in the laundry and he went to do it.  I gave him money.  He now has a little money jar.  I don't know if he's too young for this but he seems to understand the concept of needing money to buy things so from now on he will need to bring his money to the store if he wants something.  It's weird though because I don't even buy him something every time we go to the store.  I rarely do actually, so I'm not sure how he learned this concept.  I wonder if paying him for going pee on his own will work??

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We're "normal"

A few months ago Jacob began to self-stim.  For people that don't know what I'm talking about self-stim is when a person does something to comfort themselves.  It is sometimes a child sucking their thumb.  Jacob's case was a bit different.  He would chuckle to himself and make body movements as well as vocalizations.  The issue with self-stim is that sometimes the person is escaping into their own little world and it is hard to get them to join into the rest of the world.  He would do it non-stop if allowed.  I was frustrated at the time and did what I knew and spent time in his face playing with him so that he couldn't escape into his own little world. Eventually it pretty much disappeared.  However I realized that what brought it on was my going back to work and then I realized that when he did it when I first met him he was coping with all the change going on, not that it was part of who he was, like how I thought.
So to help me to help him cope with change better I had made a self referral to a program called CASA, they deal with infants and children under the age of 4.  You meet with counsellors and psychologists and they do an in depth assessment of the child and situation.
Today was our day to go.  It was a 2 hour assessment filled with questions and observation.  The end result is that Jacob has had trauma in his life with all the changes but that now his adjusted to the current situation.  He may for years to come have anxiety about situations that he doesn't know everything about.  He is delayed in his speech but is making leaps and bounds with it and is catching up.  He likes to chew on hard toys which I need to replace with gum, and either than that he is a normal little boy and all of these things are normal things in other kids as well.
So why did I feel the need to go through this process??  Because we do go to speech and one of the aides that we deal with, the minute she heard self-stim, assumed he had autistic traits.  Now the drawback of small town supports is that they see a limited number of children and don't really see the worst case scenario kids.  So my opinion is that they are looking for what is wrong with the kid and assuming more than it really is.  Versus the city where they see those kids that are really really high needs, so seeing a kid like Jacob to them is just a normal developing little tyke, no issues.  So I can now take the report that they will send me to speech and say, no autism, no issues, only speech so lets do what we're supposed to be here to do, work on speech, not diagnosing my son, who is PERFECT!!!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My dog.

This is my dog Gracie.  I've had her since she was a puppy, almost 11  years.  I have always had the attitude that a dog is a dog is a dog is a dog.  They are animals, not family.  That is until you have to make a tough decision.  Gracie has always been a dominant dog.  She's territorial.  She perceives that all space is hers.  She always has, for as much as I think I'm the dominant in the house, and I am, she thinks she is 2nd in command.  I knew that she and any child would be a challenge.  Jacob doesn't really engage with her, he likes Gertie and will play with her but Gracie he pretty much leaves alone.  So over the past 11 months there have been 3 incidents.  Once Jacob did go in her space; she was hiding under the picnic table and he crawled under, she snapped didn't bite.  Then another time she snapped again, this time though she was on the couch, totally not her space, and he crawled up, she perceived it as her own and snapped, this time though she got the tip of his ear.  I consoled him made sure that he was fine then when he wasn't in the area dealt with her.  She's been outside ever since.  She comes in at night to eat and sleep but either than that she's out.  She does have a thick coat and shelter so she's fine out there.  I am at a loss of what to do though.  Does she become an outside dog now and that is how I deal with it, do I put her down, do I try to find someone who will take her?  I've emailed two trainers to ask them for suggestions or see if they would think she can be rehabilitated.  My dream is that we buy an acreage and then she can be an outside dog all the time with a doggy door to the garage.  This way she has warm shelter whenever she wants and all the open space she would like.  She doesn't go after Jacob, for the most part she ignores him as much as he ignores her, we only run into an issue when she thinks its her space and he's in it.  Ugh, I hate this decision.