Monday, November 15, 2010

Lest We Forget

Remebrance Day is a very meaningful day to me. Since I was a little girl, every year I sang with the choir I was a part of for the ceremony near the hill. We sang In Flanders Field and God save the Queen, O Canada and sometimes others as well. As I stood there, I could see the faces of our vets. Some of them too old to stand for the ceremony, others saluting with all their might. I always fought to hold back tears. The moment of silence is where I prayed. I thanked God for our troops. I prayed for the families left behind, for the troops who came home but were never the same, for the children, for the enemies... So much to pray for. So many to remember.

No one wants war. Not a single one of our troops would say they love killing and fighting, but the cause is peace. It is peace for those who dont have to leave the comforts of their homes. We get to remain comfortable while they are lacking almost everything we take for granted. Why do they fight? For their countries, for their families, for strangers who live a life of peace and wish it to continue.

This year, here in Ottawa, a group of people decided to start selling white poppies. We wear the red poppies to show we remember our troops. This group wished to fight against those who sacrifice their lives for us and tell others we should not fight but be peaceful. How exactly can we have peace without our troops??? I was so saddned by this movement. It reminded me of people who tried to deny the Holocaust. No respect to those who fell or those who try to protect our Country.

More than ever, I wanted to take my boys down to the Cenotaph to be part of the ceremony. I want to teach them the sacrifice that is made for us. The meaning of this day of remembrance and how important it is. And so that is what we did.

Downtown was a zoo and it made me so glad. So many people showing their support. Matty was tired and unsure of his surroundings but once things got started he was interested. He loved the canons pounding and he was absolutely amazed at the fighter planes that flew overhead (really low).

This is a face of absolute amazement. No fear here.

We heard the choir sing, we heard the trumpet sound and the commands given to the forces present. I witnessed tears on the part of some and faught back my own once more. As much as I wanted to take my poppy and place it on the tomb of the unknown soldier, it was not possible since Levi was no longer willing to be happy. Off we went from the crowds to head home. Before we got too far, however, I had our picture taken to commemorate our first time at the ceremony.

Did my boys understand any of it? No! I do believe, however, that it was meaningful and that if we continue to do it, they will grow to see the importance of it and not just go for the guns. This was Matty's desire the whole time. "Guns Mommy? Guns?"

May we always remember, lest we forget!

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Current Dwelling Place

This is where I am living with the boys right now:

Isn't it nice?

When my sister and brother-in-law found out that we were going to take them up on the offer of living with them, they were immediately ready to get to work. Jo and Aidan's basement is currently unfinished but had an area where the kids could play and watch movies. With our coming, Aidan jumped to work on getting a room ready for us.

The future plan for the basement is for teenage boys to reside but it was not a priority. In enters Katie. Aidan got the room all set. The windows are mostly molded in, the closet is all molded and it works perfectly for us.

We are so greatful to have a beautiful place like this to live. I don't know how many people get excited about communal living but I was excited about it. So was my sister. We were the kind of sisters who, when we had the choice to look for beds for our room, chose one double bed. Why not two? We enjoyed being close together. When we had bunk beds most nights we ended up in the same tiny bed anyways. We wouldn't have changed it for the world.

Now we are under the same roof again. The house is loud but it is a joy filled loudness. 7 kids under the age of 8. 3 adults (2 of which are moms). You would think that could cause problems but we really enjoy the community. We try to give and take mutually, we discuss our devotions throughout the day. Its an on going dialogue that changes shapes but never stops.

All communities have their struggles and I am sure there are many things that I do that may annoy my sister and brother in law but Im pretty sure all of us would say we would be sad if this wasn't what we were doing. All these memories and relationships that we are building and making are things that will never be forgotten. Matthew loves his cousins and gets excited to play with them everyday and Levi loves his Norah.
(insert picture)

They are each others playgrounds.

I am forever grateful for such a wonderful place to live. I have support and love while my husband is away for longer stretches than I am used to and very welcome distractions for loneliness I would otherwise be feeling. Thank you for your loving arms and home. We can never forget it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Moving Week

I am no longer a city dweller. CRAZY!

Saturday was our moving day and it was a bit complicated since some things needed to be moved to where I am staying now (Jo and Aidan's house) while all the rest had to go to the house. I did my best to be organized but there are always hitches in the plans.

I made it to Jo's without clothes since the dressers never made it here but mostly it was smooth going.

Let me go back a bit and tell you more about the working up to moving day.

We needed to prime the apartment. Pretty much every single wall in our apartment was dark so they needed to be taken care of. The new tenant thought our colours were "like living in halloween all year long" and fair enough, they were bright and different (living area: red and orange, hall and bedroom: dark brown, kitchen: red, Matty/ laundry room: bright blue).
Matty's shoe was a primer casualty.

So I got my crew of helpers together and we got to work.
Tara in her painting attire, annoyed at me for the picture taking.

Karin giving her time even after a sleepless night.

I am still blown away by all the amazing people I have in my life. Meals were prepared for us, child care to help me get packing done, a work crew to paint and organize, a moving crew, people praying and loving us, several offers for a place to stay... I can't imagine doing it without the support.

Moving day came sooner than I could have imagined but we were mostly ready.
We piled everything that was packed into one area so I could double check there was nothing forgotten.

I had an unexpected surprise when I went to get coffee for the guys who were helping us move and found I had no wallet. I called my mom, I searched every bag in my car, I checked my parents street and my laneway... nothing. I tried cancelling my credit card as soon as I could but the lady was no help and being stressed, I rudely told her id figure something else out and hung up on her (sorry mastercard lady) and flew home very grumpily. I thought checking the messages would be wise and thankfully there was one message. It was from an employee from a store near my parents and they had found my wallet. PHEW!!!

Off I went to get my wallet and everything was in it. Nothing was missing at all. In all of this I was so thankful for Gods faithfulness (and it was a good thing I couldnt cancel my credit card). Initially I was handling it well, with God's strength. Then when I really wasnt finding it I began to lose my patience and started trying to take control of everything which wasnt good. Then God made it right anyways. I sang my heart out in the car on the way to get my wallet (Im glad no one could hear me since it was interesting. All my words put to some random music I was making up) and was then able to get the coffee and treats and continue with the move.

By 2:30 the apartment was empty and spotless and it was on to the next adventure: Van Dyks and van der Meers under one roof.

More on that another time. In the meantime if you are looking for me, Im with Jo and Aidan and can be reached there... just in case anyone is wondering :)