i just have to say that i am tired of being tired.
i have absolutely no energy.
yes, i could go for a walk (since its a beautiful day and all).
i could go downstairs and play "just dance" on the wii.
i could get off my butt and walk up and down the stairs 20 times.
i could do a lot of things.

but right now i am too tired to even consider those options.
that really makes me sad.
life is so short and here i sit,
feeling like everyone is doing well with the life they've been given
except me.

its just "one of those days".....
that i'm really sick of having.
and i sound like i'm begging for a pity party.
i wonder what red bull would do for me?
it would probably make me aggressive.
i can just see myself fighting for a school parking space,
and punching out one of the moms.
that would liven things up for me.
my children would disown me...
but.... i would be burning calories. right?


a decade!

This was me, 10 years ago.
I was very pregnant....can you tell?? and heading to the hospital to be induced.  I was 15 days overdue with my first full-term baby, and VERY ready to get...the...show...on...the....road!!!!
I actually remember not leaving the house after about the 8th day overdue, because I got tired of random people asking when the baby was coming.  "geesh people, I DON'T KNOW!!!" (we were living in winkler so it was hard to go anywhere unnoticed). Alas the pregnancy hormones were not kind to me, as I gained 50 lbs (granted I was on bed-rest for half of the pregnancy), developed lots of acne and grew a larger nose.

Ah, but having recently lost a baby at the half way point (4.5 mons pregnant), and then having to deal with the uncertainty of this babies life...I didn't let my faltering appearance steal any of my joy! And, wouldn't you know it, hours after giving birth, my nose noticeably changed back to its original proportions. strange! I. am. a. freak.
Finally home from the hospital, we attempt to take hand and foot prints. I'm looking a tiny bit sleep deprived.
Yes, the first few years of his life were INTENSE, but also full of many, many happy moments. Of course!
Papa reading "Franklin". A favourite picture.
Liam was SO much fun and had the cutest little laugh. 
We lived at the Winkler Bible Camp for part of his 2nd year. It was wonderful having the large grassy fields as our "back yard" and room for him to run around.  
Liam thinking he's playing along with Daddy.
Most of our pictures from Liam's first birthday party are blurry because the little guy just wanted to run around with his Clifford balloon. Nothing else really mattered to him. I remember being all stressed that he wasn't playing with the adults or taking time to eat his cake.  Now i think, who cares??
(rygiel photography)
Liam hasn't really stopped running since those first formative years.
I know I'm the only one to get nostalgic because I am his mother and all....but looking through the old photo albums and baby books, I feel so much gratitude.
Happy 10th birthday to my Liam Josiah.
I can't wait to see what your future has in store.



well its Monday.
and a shroud of sickness covers our house.
wanna come over??
kent is the sickest of us all (apparently he's near death).
poor guy.

did you know that its not a good idea to take strong cold medication and then relax the night away with
a glass of wine?
you did?

even though I am not feeling 100% I still have this urge to go thrift shopping.
I actually have steinbach, on my mind....
and MCC.
STEINBACH MCC, my favourite store in the world.
yes it is.
i am thinking about vintage pillow cases (sweetness)...

and pyrex bowls (beautiful).

Let's not forget the Mennonite Museum 
 with its main street and old country stores!
I would love to do a Steinbach day-trip.
maybe we can plan something?

Speaking of menno's (i know its hard NOT to), did you know that Winkler now has a museum??
They surely do!
My history loving father helped spear-head the whole project.
I think its really brought the community together- as many people have donated personal items to display. There is a pump organ, old washing machine, clothing and uniforms, toys, depression era dishes, school desks, horse blankets, pictures, radio's....
I was impressed.

Perhaps if steinbach's day trip is a success, we could extend our drive and hit the rest of southern mantioba!?
Morris MCC, Winkler MCC, Winkler museum, Twisters for burgers/fries and a malt!!!!!!
whew! I'm getting carried away!

lets start there.
goodness, now i'm hungry for half a dozen vereinke with thick, salty gravy and farmer sausage!
where can I get me some of that?
(nothing like a bit of grease to erase cold and flu symptoms.)

Nah ya, have a happy day!



i am NOT a morning person.
don't even try to speak to me when i get out of bed.
i have to first find my glasses (blindly feel around for them),
make my coffee, take a few sips of its caffeinated goodness...
and then I might...might respond to questions or comments directed my way.
i'm not exaggerating here.
mornings are not easy.
(*kent by the way is a complete opposite and actually SINGS when he gets up.
yah......i don't join in.)

especially school morings.
I grunt and mumble,
occasionally stagger,
and glare.
and ....well, you get the picture.

But then, it happens....
as much as i loathe the morning routine on a school-day,
i miraculously cheer up by the time we're in the car and on our way to school!
i'm serious.

i'm not sure whether its the fresh coffee i'm hastily gulping,
or the cold morning air that snaps me awake
and out of a groggy, grumpy mood....
but the minute my hand shifts the car into reverse and we get going,
i feel transformed.
ok not transformed, but less groggy, grumpy and nonverbal.

the radio plays encouraging worship music,
the children silently lean back and relax
(lets face it, their bodies are still in shock from getting up and moving quickly),
we drive and the morning shines over us with possibility.

"For I know the plans I have for you." declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

whether i recognize it or not, His protective hand is guiding me through each day.
from the morning (as rough as each one is...), until I close my burning eyes each night.
no matter what happens today, tomorrow or the next day, He has plans to give HOPE.
and thank goodness. I need all the help i can get.



I really want to recommend the devotional "Made to crave", by Lysa Terkeurst.
60 days to craving God, not food.

Whether you have "eating issues" or not, Made to crave speaks to that yearning and emptiness all women feel; the desire to feel beautiful, good enough, lovable. The devotional is a beautiful reminder that ALL our needs (even weight obsessions) can be found in Jesus.

This is not a book about losing weight, tips to take off lbs or a sure-fire way to avoid chocolate (although her website covers topics about healthy living and taking care of your body). Lysa instead writes about the root of our cravings for food, and addresses the spiritual battles that women fight when they are obsessed with how their body looks. This devotional was written and created as a follow-up to the original book. I haven't read it yet, but actually ordered the DVD series online for a price that i just couldn't pass up. I'm not sure if I'll do the book study by myself or with a group of friends.  It will be a great resource to have on hand, none-the-less.

I no longer have the eating disorder that overpowered most of my 20's, but my frailties and vulnerabilities around body image have been forever bruised. I feel weakened by the lies that I believed for so many years-the only way i find strength in this struggle is to cling to Jesus.  I may no longer need psychiatrist help to keep food down, but I will forever need reassurances from scripture or these kind of resources to remind myself of where true beauty is found. Jesus' love is not dependent on how I look or on circumstances in my life, it is steadfast and He is sovereign.



preparing for lent
from Ash Wednesday until now...
i've tried to give my time, give of myself
to faltering relationships.
a phone call, a letter, a kind word.
instead of ...silence and absence.
how am i doing??
not great.

For week three: repeat week one and week two.
Repeat and repeat and repeat.

my (sometimes small) attempts at giving peace to others:
reaching out instead of looking inward
showing mercy instead of heaping judgement
holding my tongue instead of lashing out
praying for patience instead projecting irritation
respecting imperfection instead of resenting "annoying" behaviour....

could use a lot more practice.
maybe a lifetime of practice.

a song about forgiveness and the beauty of Grace.
my heart knows this is where PEACE begins..

His love
His sacrifice


"...as long as the baby is healthy"

The day before yesterday I added a button to the blog.
Autism Speaks.
A great site that provides a ton of resources.
I have to admit though, that it was a bit of a step...jump....ok. LEAP for me....
to add the button.
The word "Autism" is a very scary word for those who don't understand the disease.
Or who don't know there is a spectrum of mild to severe autism.

My son has a form of autism (PDD-NOS), but I rarely talk or write about it because...
-I fear that people will misjudge his abilities, or will treat him "differently".
-I feel strongly that some things in my life must remain private.
-My son does not have the ability to respond to what I write.
-(and more than anything) I really want to respect his feelings.

I am not ashamed of autism or its presence in our home.
Quite the opposite really.
I'm proud of how our son has dealt with his limitations and how "autism" has
provided a unique lens for which we see the world.

I'm cautious....
we'll see how this goes.


8 is great

well, even when we try to hold the moments and pause the childhood days,
time keeps marching on.
our little 6 lb. baby girl turned 8 this weekend!

 she sure is special and loved.


Jesus calms a Storm

This sunday its my turn to teach the preschoolers (age 2-4) "Children's Church" during the regular worship service.
I LOVE this class.
I love how they look.
I love how they sound.
I love how they pray.

We all sit around a tiny little table on tiny little chairs.
They look at me.... squirm a bit..and smile.
I put on my super-excited-happy-face, clap my hands with wild delight, hug myself a bit, and say something profound like..."oh, oh, do you know what happened yesterday?" (eye's wide, mouths open)...
"I changed my favourite colour from BLACK to PURPLE!!"
ooohhhhh ahhhhhhh...they say, not comptely understanding what i'm talking about, but they like my face!
(the parents on the other hand look at my travel mug wondering if i'm hiding something in there that isn't black, hot or caffinated-if you know what I mean).
I then whip out something bright purple (because you have to have props),  and ask them what colour elmo is??!!!!!!!!
and we all get along famously.
Its an Oscar quality performance I tell ya.

so anyway.
Our lesson for sunday is "Jesus calms the storm".  Mark 4:35-41
i have a very nice seg-way from swapping Sesame Street stories, to Jesus.
Its called snack.

About the story.
The disciples and Jesus fishing on the sea of Galilee.
A wild storm starts.
The disciples FREAK out, especially when they see Jesus having a nap
in the middle of it all.
They wake him up frantically.
Jesus questions their fear when they know
the Son of God is on the boat with them!
Jesus demonstrates his power over the wind and the seas.
"Peace be still", he says. And the waters became calm instantly.
A miracle.

I love how this story from the bible applies to us today.
We may not be anywhere near a lake or an ocean,
but we all have raging storms in our lives.
I know that sounds cliche', but its true, right?

Storms that tear up everything familiar or dear to us.
Storms that leave us bitter and tired and depressed.
Storms that destroy and consume.
Taking over every part of our life
We are left powerless.
We are drowning.

Within those storms, there is the promise of hope
No matter how horrendous our storm, Jesus gives us peace.
We forget He's there sometimes, or we get quickly overwhelmed
We feel we are the only ones who can keep water out of the boat.
We try to do it all.
We freak out. We panic.
Just as the disciples did in the story.

This is what we (myself included), will be colouring in class.

But the bible gives us the picture of Jesus; 
standing and boldly facing our biggest fears for us.
Reminding us of who is in control.
"Peace, be still".

I'm wondering if I should bring some sort of inflatable boat or kiddy pool along to the class...
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