Monday, April 25, 2016

Finding the Bluebirds

I grasp Annie's arm and stifle a giggle. We spot him at the exact same moment and two sets of binoculars pop up and lend us a nearly perfect view of the golden-crowned kinglet. She verbally describes the lores, the wings, the stripes on his crown. The description helps to confirm that what we're seeing is really the species we believe it is. We high-five and are eager to carry on down the path, but a tiny three year-old hand pulls on mine and I'm reminded we've been here quite awhile. I'm grateful she lasted this long.

We do the bird count as we meander back; "ruby-crowned, golden-crowned, horned lark, meadow lark..." It had been a successful hour of birding in our estimation. But, I wanted a bluebird, the sweet whistle-chirping beauty with the blazing cobalt feathers. Of course, I'd have to pick a dwindling species to be my favourite. Later that day I'd find him and even capture him with my camera--a little extra gift from God, I am certain. And while I am overjoyed in catching sight of new and returning flying creatures, I'm always on the lookout for my darling bluebirds.

Friday, April 22, 2016

All The Rage

They're smelly, puffy, sticky and cheap, and my children want them OH.SO.BADLY. It's all the rage in our world. They're sticker albums, and it's the thing that makes them do their chores quickly and whip through more pages of schoolwork than ever before. Every kid wants to trade them and my sister and I have got this thing mastered. We figure it's an easy reward and even an inexpensive gift and so, we scour dollar stores and craft stores for the latest and greatest. Sticker power is in our hands and we're rolling with it! What we didn't expect, after I'd found my old album from grade seven, is that we'd join the exchange and the competition would end up being between the mommas--history repeats itself :)

serious business
 smelling the "smellies"
"I'd like this one, please."
 a few of my favourites 
Holly's son, Ben begged her to get a book to trade with him since his brother, Sam became more of a collector than a trader--AND, he was not about to trade with 2 year-old sister, Clara, who was not a "real person". Holly obliged, and thus began the sister trade. All of our kids were thrilled. While I joined the fun simply to make my kiddos happy, Holly actually has a page of "untradeables" and won't budge on them!
 Oliver and Ben became daring and traded whole pages! Wish I'd caught the laughter over those deals.
 involving Clara and trying to teach her that she has to give one in return
Emily being sweet with her little cousin
A page from my old album (31 years old!). Remember these?
Did you trade stickers as a kid? Do your kids trade or collect?

The sticker rage is growing and it has spread to our co-op group and gym class. No one can wait to get out and trade. They're learning who makes the best deals, who really is just a collector and who gives away for free. The momma-chatter is now centred around which store and which aisle and what chores did your kids do before you woke up this morning? Simple joys. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

"Don't Worry, Mommy's Coming Back"

She's talking to her dolly about how she's going to go but she'll be back. Her dolly is telling her she doesn't want to be sad. The sleepy girl notices I'm listening and then she turns and giggles. She loves it when I sing, "My Mommy Comes Back" and sometimes repeats it to her babies. Quiet moments before bedtime happening here, and I'm thankful. 

1992. how she loves her babies, just like my girls did
1993. that smile, every time 
1994. hanging out quietly after a very busy and noisy day

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

First Day Of School in 9 1/2 Years

It all began with a cupcake. Meg and I surprised my niece by pulling her out of her grade eleven class to bring her a birthday treat and a wee squish. She was thrilled. Somehow that little trip turned into a visit with the guidance counselor, which trickled coversations that led to a flood of events and eventually, Meg's enrolment in her parents' old Christian school. In February, this kiddo stepped onto the bus for the first time since grade one. I took photos like a mom with a brand new kindergartener, and the whole family stood waving at the door.  Things have been quite different around here.
Humouring her momma with a "first day" photo.
Saying goodbye to a little sister one morning.

Amidst the homework and early mornings, our girl adores her new routine and has made countless friends already. There are missing moments here at home, but all in all, the Lord's leading is obvious. Now, we are witnessing our next teenager rise to new heights of responsibility. An unexpected wonder. God bless you in your new school, Meggie!

(Attempting to go back and catch up since January and regretting not keeping up! So many photos! Stay tuned! And, thanks Sarah and Betty for reminding me I have ignored my blog for too long :)