Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Just Cause You Say It Ain't...


here it goes.

A mini-rant.

Must be something I feel like doing at the beginning of the year. Not that I don't like to rant at other times. I know the Pancake Rant of 2011 wasn't my best work, but I am working on it.  I understand that my rants are not nearly as well noted or predictable as my Dad's famous band-aid rant of 1993, or the the way to fix feeling sorry for yourself rant of 94, or even the Star Trek rant of 92...those were life changing, and I hope one day to be able to rant as well and as memorably as my Dad.  I guess what I am saying is it appears that I have a need to rant in an official, write it out for the 24 people that read this blog to see once a year kind of way, anyway.

Some people have New Year's Resolutions, which I have observed have limited success.  May I suggest you try a New year's Rant. I almost always feel better.

Sometimes it hurts to pull the plank out of my own eye, but I'm willing to take one for the team to say what needs to be said:

Saying "I'm not complaining"  followed be complaining, is still complaining.


I said it.

Kvetching is fine, I have nothing against it when the time is right, but let's just stop pretending that it's somehow not what it is.

It makes me want to chew my own foot off, and you can imagine how much less productive I would become if I mangled my own leg.  Please stop.

And yes, I am complaining about complainers, but I'm not pretending to not complain, so I feel justified.

It's a lot like saying something really ignorant and rude, and adding a just sayin! or my favourite upgrade the:  just saying :)- like the smiley face is going to make telling a pregnant woman she looks like a beached whale feel better.
What I'm just saying is just sayin' is not a Get-out-of-jerk-free card.

Umm...just saying??

Make the world better.

Choose joy

Reflect gratitude

Choose Encouragement

Be known for your thankfulness

Your life, and quite honestly, society will thank you back.


I feel much better.  Happy 2012!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nathan, the Composer

We've been studying music history as of late, although I don't know if that has anything to do with what's been going on this afternoon. Truth be told - I'm a little taken aback.

Nathan, somewhat out of the blue, started writing songs today. He calls them songs anyway, although I haven't heard the tunes, just seen the words...he tells me there are tunes that go with the songs.  I can't wait to here them.

I think they're beautiful, and with his permission, I'm typing them out here.  This is a good thing for me to do, as I have a bit of a tendency to, um, throw things out without looking at them too much .

I haven't done any editing on the form, only correcting spelling.  He just handed them to me and said..."I wrote these songs, Mom...do you like them?"

"Yes son, I love them."

And for the record, Loni...I cried.

In the World of Laughter

Come with me, come with me to the world of laughter
There are clowns and balloons and things that make you laugh so hard
And you can't stop even if you try
So hard but you can't stop laughing

Clowns and balloons and jokes
But most of all have fun
In the World of Laughter

In the world of laughter that is not the end yet
In the world of laughter that is not the end yet
In the world of laughter that is not the end yet

In the world of laughter there is happy people
And smiles on every face
And they have lots and lots of fun.

Clowns and balloons and jokes
But most of all have fun
In the world of laughter.

In the world of laughter
And I mean it.

The End

Come With Me

Come with me, Come with me
I will show you the way of Jesus and the way to heaven.

When I go to church I learn something new about God's mightiness. 
He can do amazing things that I can't do.

God is Good and Love.
He is my hero.
God is everything I love
And God is the
and the
King of the world
of the world.

You Died for Me

You died for me
You died for my family
You died for everyone and took away my sin
You died on the cross
You did that just for me
Your love shines like the stars in the sky
Your love was like noone else

You died for me
You died for me
You are my light
my life
you saved me 
you saved me
you are my Father and my friend
You died on the cross for me 

God you are amazing
and you are my hero.

You are love and life.

And right now, I hear him singing in the living room, writing more songs.  I am overwhelmed.

Do I need to say this?... all works above were composed by and are the intellectual property of Nathan Loewen, on January 24, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Today I Realized That

...going grocery shopping after being snowed in feels great. Almost as good as getting home with a van load of groceries before the storm hits.

...going grocery shopping with kids is not quite as much fun as going shopping alone.

...that I like to say yes to buying comfy and cozy clothes for my kids, except for the shopping part, that always puts me in a no mood.

...it's starting to sound like I have issues with shopping, and I do.  I'm ok with that. If I never had to set foot in a store again, that would be ok with me.

....that I love getting glimpses of who my kids are becoming.

...I wish I took more pictures.

...part of  the dearth of picture taking is due to the fact that in order to take a picture, I need to pull away from being in the moment to observing the moment.

...I'm not very good at removing myself from the action for any reason.

...I'm going to miss it when Keaton stops saying "Ax-alater" and "Oma-cycle" for Escalator and Motorcycle.

...Snow beats rain. Every. Single. Time.

...I really liked having all the activities that were supposed to happen this week get cancelled.  Is that weird?

....I was really glad the kids once-a-week school/resource centre wasn't cancelled today.  Is that weird?

...I like food.  Alot.

...Lego is a great invention, but a lousy thing to step on.

... my husband rocks.  I would marry him a hundred times over given the chance.

....my daughter is growing up, and she looks fabulous in glasses.

... having four boys is great.

.... I'd like some cookie dough, right about now.

... God still wants me to grow. I like this, and I hate this.

... I feel loved when my husband chops up lettuce to be vacuum packed.  Ok, that is weird.

...I like buying good shoes.

...I loved hearing Nathan read to Keaton tonight.

....even if he only did it so I would let him watch Wipeout.

... my kitchen needs to be cleaned, and laundry needs to be folded, but writing (if this counts) won.

What did you realize today?

Friday, January 6, 2012

FlashBack Friday: December 2011, Brought to you by the Letter C

Oh December...you were such a great month.  How did I not blog about you?

I think there is a part of me that is convinced that I will remember things for forever.  I think this despite the fact that I've been firmly entrenched in the "which kid was it that did cute thing A or crazy thing B?" for years now.

While there is a certain beauty and peace about living in denial, there are some things that I want to remember to do for next year - so here they are.

Cousins, Cousins, Cousins Starts with C
When it comes to Christmas, we've got family gatherings in spades.  It's the beauty of living so close to so much of our family.  However - what do you do when most of "your generation" of family can't be together because of scheduling conflicts for Christmas events...schedule something different of course!
We had almost all of the cousins on the Bateman side of the fam make it out to an early Christmas party at our place, and it was so much fun!

We got to eat together (I can't have fun unless there is food involved, it's something I'm working on, so don't judge me ok?), visit and laugh together, and those of us that have kids were delighted for a chance for the next generation of cousins to get to know one another better.

I didn't get a picture of everyone who was there - I'll work on that for next year.  The collage above makes me think of my Grampa Bateman, who upon reflecting on all of his grand and great-grandkids, has been heard to say with delight.."not an ugly one in the whole bunch!"  Did I mention I love my family?

Crisis, Crisis, Crisis...ok you get the idea
There were a lot of unexpected events that happened this fall and winter. Ones that make you hug your loved ones a little tighter, pray a little more, and realize that all the plans that seem so important when you make them, fade into nothing when a family crisis hits.

The key one being my youngest sister ending up in the hospital for 12 days mid-December. Things are a little more stable now. We were never really worried for her life...ok, we were, but we were told we shouldn't be.

It certainly felt like a Christmas miracle when Kyla was discharged on Dec 23rd.  She is expecting baby number two, and we are so thankful for each prayer that was prayed and we continue to covet each prayer.  They still don't know why she's having the heart trouble she is, but so far the baby is fine and we are just praying she gets better soon -22 weeks seems like a very long ways to goht now.

I am always so thankful my family functions like it does when crisis hits.  We all know how to pull together and help out one another.  We'd rather avoid crisis altogether, but it's not nearly as scary going through things when you know your whole family has got your back.  Someone will encourage, another will clean, another will babysit, and another will hold your hand while you wait...I love my family.  

Talk amongst yourselves, I'm feeling verklempt.

Cookie, Cookie, Cookie Starts with C

I thought it wouldn't happen this year - but on Christmas Eve day we did it.  We lit candles that make the house smell like a pine forest, turned up the Christmas music and we baked up a storm.  I was so thankful for that day, it truly was a gift.  With all of the other unexpected events that happened preceding Christmas, it was beginning to look a lot like the Christmas baking that we so enjoy doing and eating, wasn't going to happen, but it did!

On a totally unrelated note, I am officially on hour 9 of South Beach/17 day/Low-Carb diet.  It's totally unrelated to this though. Truckloads of Salted Caramel Shortbread, Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Mint Brownies, Melting Moments, Root Beer Cookies, Meat Pasties and Schnetze (farmer sausage rolls) have nothing to do with it.

I'm pretty sure that  the only vegetables I ate in December were tree-shaped sugar cookie covered in green icing.

Christmas Giving starts with C and then a G, sort of.

For the month of December we had our oldest three kids earn money through doing extra chores around the house.  That way they would be "earning" the money they needed to buy a Christmas gift for the sibling whose name they drew. We also decided to split the money they made 50/50 with the person whose name they drew and then the other half would go to a gift for a child in a developing country. (We chose the World Vision Gift Catalogue)  It was great to see the kids working  hard to give good gifts to their siblings and to make a difference in a child's life around the world.

Despite our utter exhaustion, and despite the fact that everything seems far too chaotic, the kids had their annual sleepover in our room...it's a lot of mattresses in case you wondered!  Somehow we managed to get their stocking supplies out of our bedroom without their noticing and we got everything ready early in the morning and summoned them with the traditional "ho-ho-ho, MEERRRRRYYY Christmas!"
I am admittedly not the best picture taker.  I usually have one or two pictures of Christmas morning, and that's it.  I blame getting so wrapped up in the events going on that I don't take time to stop and capture more than a couple of moments with me camera.

Mental note for next year - make sure to get a picture of myself  in the Christmas morning montage!

Christmas Cry
Josh is an excellent gift giver.  He has learned the way to make Christmas great, is to make me cry.  You don't feel this way?  I tell you, you are missing out.

I had shown him a necklace that I liked - but it required ordering well in advance to make it here before Christmas. He did it, which surprised me (it shouldn't have).  "The kids" gave me this beautiful family tree necklace.  I felt loved.  I felt unworthy of the fantastic family I have.  I felt loved some more.  I cried.  I almost made some of my kids cry, so I pulled  myself together.  Everytime I wear the necklace, I still feel the same.  Maybe it will help keep Attila-the-Mom at bay, when I remember how blessed I am to be a mother of five.

Then the man who knows me better than anyone else gave me an ice cream maker.  There was much rejoicing.  It is so. much. fun.  I may make myself cry some more, for totally different reasons, if I don't stop eating ice cream with such wild abandon.  But the possibilities!  The fun!  The fat!

I was made for this ice cream maker.  Thank you Honey, for always giving such good gifts.

Honey...mmmm...honey ice cream....wait...what?

A New Year, A New Post for Family Matters!

Hey there blog friends!

It's a new year: time to reflect on all we've accomplished in the year before and make plans for all we would like to become in the new year.

I'm not really good at making resolutions - unless you count "gaining five pounds (minimum) because of the new ice cream maker I was given for Christmas" as a real resolution.  Attainable?  Yes!  In keeping with the spirit of what resolutions usually entail?  Not so much.

Despite my issues with setting goals, I did write about a type of goal setting that our family has been doing for the past few seasons that we have really liked.  It's on the Family Matters blog today -

Here's a teaser for you:

I love lists, or at least the idea of lists.  By nature, I’m a little too free-spirited to really use a list, but there are small, neglected Perfect Country recesses in my brain that nudge at my Fun Country self and ask if they can play.  I entertain these thoughts occasionally and go through phases of thinking about all that I would like to get done in a day, a week, a month – you name it, and then writing it all down.   Of course it goes without saying that the best part of writing a list is crossing things off of said lists, because finishing something always feels good.  In fact, sometimes when I’m feeling discouraged I write backwards lists – things that I have recently accomplished and then proceed to cross them all off. Don’t knock backwards list writing till you’ve tried it!  It gives me that little boost of “you can do this” and I  begin to tackle the next seemingly impossible task – even if it’s just slaying the dreaded Laundry Monster one more time.
Never mind that I often go to the grocery store with a beautifully written list, neatly categorized, only to forget the two things that were absolutely essential for that evening’s dinner, despite that they were written out in my best Getty-Dubay script.   I can only pretend to be from Perfect Country for so long.

Head on over to their blog to check out the whole article.  Then if you are so inclined - leave a comment on their site and tell me what you think!
Our first wishlist!

Happy New Year and Happy Wishlisting!  Now where is my ice cream maker, I've got a resolution to fulfill!