Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesdays

 - a little jam & toast snack......

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Home Learners Group - Birds

This Friday Liam, Keisha & I had the pleasure of joining in on a day all about our local birds.  We started out meeting up at Ms. Hannah's where we visited, read some books on birds, listened to bird song and made bird houses with Grandpa Paul who was visiting all the way from England.

I needed to head out at the half way point....Keisha & Liam were welcomed to stay on their own.......Mrs. Neilson arrived shortly after I left at that point they continued on with building their bird houses and enjoyed a walk about looking for and discussing the local birds in our area.   Thanks everyone for a great day !

We have a WALL !!!

The first block being place !!!!

Our third load of blocks being unloaded....

We did have one small hiccup in the day......we all happen to look away at the exact same moment and the hydro line got caught on the digger and out it added a little bit of one was hurt and it was an easy-ish fix.....we did need to call BC Hydro.....they came in a timely manner and were super friendly and charming and well...pretty easy on the eyes....:)

By the end of the day we had stage one of the wall done !  It was so much fun stomping around in the mud with the guys.  The guys I have helping me on the project are just the best.  There respectful and funny, there's been NO talking down to me because " I just a girl and what would I know any ways", sadly something that I still witness and experience on occasion.  They have been great!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

a little kitchen time......

This afternoon I decided I was in the mood to do some concentrated kitchen time.  I enjoy the creative process.....I like challenging myself with new recipes or adaptions.......I thrive on the challenge of working my budget to allow us to eat the absolute best food I can provide.....I  relish in the peace that comes over me as I get into the zone......I soak in the " Good Mommy" energy that fills me has I create yummy goodness for my family.

We enjoy " Crisps" in this house.  This one is made from a mix of frozen peaches, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries & cranberries.  Today I made a topping with gluten free oats, rice flakes, cinnamon, ground & whole flax, vegan soy free margarine and a small amount of brown sugar.

As Liam requested some gluten/dairy/soy/nut free chocolate chip cookies and some applesauce muffins.  Some with with pecans for Anthony & Keisha and some without for the rest of us.

This morning we had buckwheat/rice pancakes.  I made a huge batch so that we can reheat them over the next couple of mornings.  Sometimes with pure maple syrup & vegan margarine.  Sometimes with nut butter and homemade jams.  We'll be having Tuna salad mix & Chicken Quesidia's ( made with corn tortillas) for this weeks lunches.  I've pulled out the Chicken stock to thaw in preparation for this weeks soups.  I'm thinking Butternut Squash and Vegetable rice.  The rice cooker is on and the Greek seasoned Chicken Breasts are roasting.

The beginning of this week will be quite busy.  We're going to start placing the blocks amongst other things.  My puttering today will provide me with many stress free meals through out this upcoming week and help in the never ending mission of feeding my small little tribe.  I LOVE how well they eat and how they appreciate good food....:)

Friday, April 13, 2012


Here I am sitting at my desk enjoying a lovely bowls of homemade soup, the " bigs" are out, Liam is quietly enjoying some computer time on the laptop, Ana's sitting at the table working on her badge work for Guides and Tyler has finally top screeching at us and is happily nibbling away....:)

( Homemade Chicken Vegetable Rice Soup )

Yesterday was an interesting day.  I was being reminded all over the place that " Drama" is an addictive thing and how much I dislike being around it.  There was a time where the " drama" creating scenerio was usually consider an aspect of being a youth and finding your way or a sign of a low self esteem.  Something that is usually grown out off or kept in check once a person reaches adulthood.  Not so much anymore's every where!  I've never really enjoyed being around these events and have tried my best to avoid them.  I'm at the point that I can't even tolerate fictional story lines on show or in movies that contain that " catty" element.  We don't have cable anymore and I don't miss it at all !  The few shows that I did enjoy I can watch online or enjoy when we stay at a motel.   I've stop participating in play groups and online support groups that seem to be all about complaining and attacking others for their choices or feelings. There's a difference between a person coming to a another and sharing the details of a difficult period/incident in their life for support and the person who is always complaining and stirring up conflict ! It's all so negative and emotionally draining....I really don't understand how people have the energy for it. 

Now onto a more up lifting subject......SPRING !! 

Our sensory holiday is going very well.....the weather is slowly warming up and the flowers are starting to pop their lovely heads out.  I'm looking forward to getting my hands back into the dirt.  We're now going to have so much more useable yard.  It's going to be so nice to be able to let Piper play off leash.  I'm full of ideas and plotting all kinds of projects.  I'm trying not to get to ahead of myself.  The retaining wall & fencing is going to eat up most of our improvements budget.  We're going to have to take a break and do a little more saving up before moving any further......patience is a virtue !

Smile it's a wonderful day....enjoy it !!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cool Mom the big stuff is arriving !!

 ( Off loading our first of 5 loads of cement blocks)

 ( measuring for our future fencing)

 ( Poor Mr. Jones...if he only knew that this job site was also going to be an ongoing photo shoot.....:)))

Our current favourite breakfast.......

Waffles....gluten/dairy/soy/sugar free as usual.  One of the many blessings of not doing the crazy school run in the morning, is having the time to make and enjoy a real breakfast together !  We rarely eat boxed cereal anymore.  I've messed around with several flour combinations....this is currently our favorite.....

2 cups white rice flour
2 cups organic brown flour
1 cup millet flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 ground flax
2 tsp xanthum gum
4 tbsp gf baking powder
4 egg whites whipped
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup oil
2-3 cups liquid ( rice milk/water is what I usually use)
2-3 cups frozen fruit ( this morning it was blueberries)

We don't usually eat the entire batch the first morning.  This morning there was 7 left over.  Since I know that we have some earlier mornings coming up I'm going to toss these in the freezer to save me some time down the road.  I'm really happy with how this little electric waffle maker works.  It has been lugged around all over the place from campsites to motels in and out of suite cases and bins.  It's super durable !!

Monday, April 9, 2012

a new friend for my girlie......

and me !  His name is Tyler and he's so wonderful.  Keisha & I we're running some errands and stopped by our pet store to grab Piper some food and there he was.  He's about 5.5 months old and super cheeky...:)  I've been pondering whether we were ready to add a new pet to our household and to my list of responsibilities for a while now.  I've had a fondness for cheeky Cockatiels since meeting my first in my teens.  After catching up with an old vintage Cockatiel friend of mine named Bogie while in Whitehorse.  I came home certain that we would fine the right one to join our family.  I wasn't going to rush into getting any old bird !  He would have to be a "he" and just right......the cheekier the better !

So in we walked and there he was performing up a storm.  I tried to ignore him and tell myself that the timing wasn't good and then Deb starting sharing how they came to be at the store.....a sad rescue story. There was 5 in total.  The others had all paired off and someone had been giving him a few pecks on the head.  There he was skawking, chattering and strutting around and I just couldn't leave without him.  Keisha just kept looking at me...." like, mom you just bought bird !" with the biggest grin on her face.  ( Keisha LOVES birds).  Keisha has worked really hard to become comfortable with Piper and other peoples canines......however she's still a bit nervous around them.  So there we were sitting in the van just grinning at each other with Tyler sitting in his cage.  She asked me what I was going to name my bird?  At that moment I just knew he was meant to be her and I's bird.  I asked her if she would like to share my bird....she teared up and nodded " Yes".  We bounced around a couple of names...she suggested " snowy"...I suggested something with more syllables maybe, than maybe he'll learn to say it......she ponder it for a few more minutes and then said " Tyler" and that was that !

She was beyond delighted to introduce him to the boys when we got home......they think he's great !  I'm super proud of them.  They both happily embraced the idea that he was "hers" and were excited for her.  Liam - " Mom that so good you got him...Keisha likes birds so much...she's so happy"

I'm impressed with how comfortable she is with him.  When he's trying to be all bossy and " I won't go on your hand" she just talks to him sweetly, she doesn't flinch or back down.  He would sit on her shoulder all day if he could.  She greets him every morning with a joyful " Good Morning Tyler" and he skawks right back.  She has made her way through several books on how to care for your pet bird and is doing a great job !  Cockatiels are estimated to live from 15 to 18 yrs on average.  A great pet to carry her into adulthood.

I'm a big believer in that things happen for a reason, even the crappy things  Our meeting Tyler was just two days after our birdie friend Bogie passed on.....I'm sure that there was a greater plan at work in our being there at that specific time and place for all our paths to cross.  Now if only I could whistle...we need to teach him a couple of good ditties to entertain us with....:)))

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sensory Holiday

We're in the middle of a sensory holiday around here.  Well mostly Ana is.  So what does a sensory holiday look like......first and foremost very little contact with others for the first few days, meals eaten alone in her room and lots a quiet.  She's played, napped, listened to music, finished listening to several audio books and made her way through an enormous pile of books.  This is not a punishment, no one is yelling at or bossing her.  She was way over due for some calm.  Her nervous system was on overload !  What does that look like you ask?  Well imagine the Tazmainian devil with OCD and a severe " A" personality.  She rages and bosses and names calls & curses, she's aggressive and mean and micromanages everyone & thing. She's the last one to fall asleep and the first one awake, rarely finishes a meal and argues about every little thing, nothing is her fault, she can never not be first or loose and is incapable of sharing.  She refers to this state of " crazy" as her Gremlins.

She's come a long way over this past year and a half.  Coming home to learn and changing her diets has made life so much easier.  We've been working with our Child & Youth Mental Health Worker Ms. Danielle for almost 3 years now and wouldn't trade her in for the world !

We're just finishing up Day 10.  As each day passes I see more and more of that fabulous girlie of mine and less ciaos.  There's been no melt downs or name calling for almost 5 days now, her body is calm and she is well rested.  Yesterday, after her shower she sat and enjoyed watching a couple of "Pixar Shorts" with Liam and Keish.  Today she came out and sat and read in the sun with me for almost an hour.  She was able to take redirection and avoid conflict.  She skipped happily back to her room when asked pleased with herself.

I'm not sure how long this holiday of sorts will be.  I know from experience that it won't be tomorrow or even the next day.   I was a little worried about how we were going to wrangle it.  Keisha & I did this dance for almost 6 years and it appears to have worked.  My goal is to help Ana's mind, body and soul recognize when she's approaching over load and to be able to redirect herself before the " crazy" takes over.  When Keisha was young our family situation looked so different.  The kids were all so young and I had very little support and only one capable friend in town that was up for providing me with a break or back up.  Things are so different this go around.  The "bigs" are big.  We have lots of friends that are up for giving a hand or a ride to lessons or youth camp so that I can stay home with Ana.  Anthony's a huge support.  I have the opportunity to step out, run an errand or go for a walk with a friend or Piper without messing with Ana's calm.

So, if you don't see us around much it's because we're on holiday.  If we have to cancel our plans with you I hope you understand that it's all for the greater good and if your passing by please feel free to stop and say hello or give us a call it will be nice to see you.....:))

photographic evidence.....

Over the years I've tried to arrange photographic evidence of my life, my experiences and most importantly my mothering.  This is not because I enjoy being in front of the camera....I way prefer being behind it !  I want my extremely visual kids to be able to have some visual reminders of who their mother was and a glimps into all the many bits of my history.

As the first born child/grandchild my parents & grandparents arrange/took many photos of me when I was young.  Sadly, most of them were lost when a fire destroyed my mothers place several years ago.  Thankfully, I was able to scan and save onto disk a few that my Aunties had kept safely tucked away.

I was a sickly babe as my Dad would say.  I was long and thin with big blue eyes and crazy hair....far from a chubby Gerber baby !!

I have been reminded lately how happy I am to have these photos.  How I wish there were more and that some is better than none.....

I wish my insecure self had been open to having more taken in my youth.  I was way happier hiding out behind the lens.  I wish there was more visual evidence of my friendship and experiences.  I've got boxes and albums full of my sister, friends, children I cared for, youth group activities and almost none of myself during those years.  The few that I do have I usually organized and set up this very first one of me and my Keisha & Anthony......I asked my sister to take it so that they would have a family picture to share for " Family" day at preschool......

Last week I was making my way through 7 years of picture of shared times between my Vanessa 's family and ours.  She recently lost everything in a devastating house fire.  Boy I took all lot of photo's over those years...probably take even more now !  We had made a pack to capture each others mothering since were the one always holding the camera...:)  Boy I had a lot !  Thankfully we had shared our photos back and I had a lot that she had also taken....many I had forgotten about....many of me and my are a few ( ones without foster babies that is ).......

( This was taken in early spring.  It was Liam's 1st visit to the beach - Comox Spit to be exact.)

( a 2 yr old Liam and his Momma playing at the park....)

 ( Dancing - Me,Keisha,Sethy, Ana & Liam.....boy we liked to dance...)

( The boys ( Noah, Sethy & Liam) doing my hair)

( Sethy, Liam & I playing in the Ocean at the Comox Spit)

( this last ones is part of a very funny series between Ana, Ray ( Vanessa's Husband) and me.....Ana had the most horrible dragon breath it was so gross !!!)

I'm so thankful to have all these everyday shots of our life....that include me !  I have so many friends and know way to many adopted children & adults a like who have very little to no pictures of their mothers or life growing up.  I'm so happy that that is not the case for my kiddo's.  Please any fellow Momma's out there don't hide from the camera....your children don't care whether your fat or skinny, like your hair or have make up on.  Really they don't !!  They will be happy to be able to say and " there's my Mom " when going back over those photo albums !!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cement footings the next step in the adventures of building a retaining wall.

( Mr. Jones supervising a load of road crush being delivered )

( Compacting the base in preparation of building the forms for the foundation)

( Liam is such a good helper )

( forms built & first round of cement being delivered )

( Liam so wanted to get in on the action......I found him a good spot to supervise from ! )

( Mr. Jones hard at work....:)