There's no place like home, except maybe Tofino

Friday, August 26, 2011


Things to remember:
- Nya slept really well and did much better overall than I had anticipated
- Long Beach is so much more beautiful than I remember
- our van worked well except for the 1 time we had to jump start it because we left the interior lights on and drained the battery
- Darren drove the truck with the boys and all the toys and I drove the van with the gear and the girls, so I didn't get car sick at all
- the pizza in Tofino is HUMUNGOUS 
- EVERYTHING gets dirty, that is just part of camping
- but everything also comes clean again, and hot showers feel so good
- my husband is pretty cool!
- my sisters-in-law are the very best kind of people 
- We saw a Barenaked Lady (of the musical variety, that is)
- Darren shared a wave with Sarah Mclachlan (also of the musical sort)
- I, after 13 years of Darren trying to get me out there, surfed! And I got up the very first time I tried! My thoughts about this: Why did I wait so long? And there is nothing like catching that wave. As Billabong says ,"only a surfer knows the feeling". I now understand (to a very small degree) the passion my husband has for this. I am absolutely hooked! 
It was too fun to have Mike, Julianne, Brent, Lauren, Darren and myself all out at the same time surfing in the ocean together.
- I am so very glad I went. I cannot wait for the next time!

a move, but not my own

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I have not blogged about this yet for many reasons. Most of all because it is just hard and sad. But worthy to be remembered when I am old and gray, so here we go.
My parents moved. Moved from being only 8 minutes away to being another province away, and frankly it stinks. Because the truth is I am not strong. Not like I wish to be anyway. I miss them. I want them, selfishly, to always be there whenever I need them. I would want them to stay here just for me and my children forever and ever. But that is not the way it is suppose to be right now. God has a different plan for us all, and although I cannot see it, I must trust that He can and that He knows what is best, and that someday I will understand. But for now it hurts and I cry, and then I carry on and it is okay. Or at least it will be.

Dear mom and dad, 
I want to thank you for all the years you devoted to raising me. 
I am grateful for the love you gave when I was small and lovable, 
and even more so for the love you showed when I was big and rather hard to love. 
Thank you for teaching me about my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. 
This above all else will forever be the best gift I could have possibly been given. 
Thank you for your love that now extends to my children, 
and for your continued faithfulness and examples. 
I love you. I miss you. I want you back. But I wish you all the best. 
Until we meet again please know how much you matter.
Love, your girl


Thursday, August 18, 2011

For those of you who are wondering - we are not moving. I never meant to so coyly hint and then leave you hanging. Now that I have said that here is the deal - I am a home body. I love being home. I am not a super social person, although I do love people. I set down roots and I dig deep. I love the idea of having my grown children come home to the house that was their own for all of their childhood. I hope that they will love it always and want to return. I love my house, my yard, my community. I love living 5 minutes from church. I love living 2 minutes from the beach. I love my life. But.....

there is a dream! There is a part of me, be it ever so small, that longs for adventure. I imagine selling it all and packing up our littles and moving far, far away while everyone is still young. I feel like I have this amazing window wherewith I could go anywhere and do anything with little protest from the kids. I feel the desire to step out of my own backyard and be immersed in a different culture. I feel something pulling me. It is pulling me away from comfort, and to the unfamiliar. I feel my heart changing. I feel myself excepting. Is there something else in store for me that I am being prepared for?
So when I say that we may or may not be moving, it will not be happening for a few years yet, if at all. Maybe it is enough that I would be willing to go. Maybe we are meant to stay here for the remainder of our lives. Maybe we will never live that dream. And if that is the case than we will most certainly live another kind of dream, the 1 we are already in.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It could be due to the fact that we have been reading a lot of "Little House on the Prairie" books, or it could have been "My Side of the Mountain". It could very well be Soule Mama (more on her later), or it could simply be the part of me that dreams of being that mom who can do anything and make everything. But whatever it is I have had an overwhelming desire to learn to can, quilt, knit, garden, and farm.
So Julianne and I got together and did some canning. We canned honey, pear and vanilla bean jam and syrup, plum jam (thanks Katie for the plums!), apricot jam, peaches, and blueberry syrup. It has been so fun to see the shelves fill up with the food I have made for my family.
I am so excited for those cold winter mornings when we all stay in our jammies and eat peaches and waffles with blueberry syrup! (although I am not rushing summer nor heralding snow)


My cute canning cohorts!

oh siblings, where art thou?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Grandma and Grandpa McCullough took the 4 oldest children to the Chemainus Theatre today to see 'Snow White', leaving Nya home alone with me. I planned a busy, but quiet, afternoon. I scheduled the carpets to be cleaned and thought I would begin to calendar the fall semester for home school. This all would have worked out beautifully, except for the fact that I couldn't put Nya down for her nap because the cleaners were here. So instead I ended up chasing a turkey around the house and backyard. A turkey who almost doesn't know what to do with herself without all her built-ins. It struck me this afternoon just how much she (and I) depend on them. Nya wants to be pushed on her bike. Nya wants up on the trampoline. Nya needs this. Nya needs that. And for the most part I don't do these things. The other children do. Nya knows no other way of life. She has never been without them. I on the other hand have become accustom to the extra help that is offered by the older children, and I gladly except it. I am grateful for their love and care for each other. I use to be the 1 who would push the swings, pull the wagons and piggy back babes, but I have been replaced with much younger and much more exciting models. Does this make me a terrible mom?, maybe. But since my children want to be with each other I figure I must be doing something right. And since my kids are okay with that, then so am I. I am still the 1 who provides comfort, protection and love. I know this because they want me at the first sign of fear or pain or simply when they need to talk or be hugged. But for fun they know that is found with their built-in-friends. So when people ask me if 5 is a lot of work. I can say that yes it is but so is 1, just in a very different way.

where i fear to tread

Friday, August 5, 2011

I can take my children almost anywhere. I go to Superstore without fear! We brave Walmart, the video rental store, the post office, Michael's, Home Sense and even, but with a little more coaching and trepidation, we frequent the public library - Shhhh! I have realized that they will, and they do learn how to behave. I leave feeling worn out sometimes, but on the whole, and probably because I have learned that the time bomb is ticking - I go in, I grab, I get out, and we most often have success! Having everyone use the washroom and making sure that they are feed and hydrated helps a big whole bunch.
But there is 1 place where it really doesn't matter how much prep work I do it is always a flop.
The fabric store.
I do not know what happens when we enter those doors. I do not know if it is the overwhelming temptation of all those hiding places, the plentiful colors to distract or little buttons, patches, threads spools and sequins to touch. It could be that they have my blood and see the possibilities of all that fabric and the excitement is too much. It could be that they somehow know that mom needs to think, she needs to think REALLY HARD. At other places I am certainly careful with what I spend money on but I pretty much buy without commitment knowing that if I get home and change my mind I can always return without worry. But at the fabric store once those scissors are out the deal is done, like it or not! They will be no returns, no refunds, and therefore my choices take extra certainty on my part. Did I ever mention that I am quite indecisive. Well maybe I'm not so bad. No, really I am. Could it be that at other places there are lots of other moms in the same boat (albeit sometimes smaller, but the same) and that our chaos is 1 of many and therefore less noticed by myself and others? It could very well be the quiet, proper manner with which seems to be the standard for the quilt sewing female employees of the fabric shop, who with every glance seem to silently speak, "silly woman, this is no place for children"? (I really haven't ever been treated badly at the fabric store. They have always been lovely and helpful. It is most likely my very own thoughts) And yet, despite all of this, I hold out hope and I go to the material store. 1 day either they or I will learn better, and there will be quieter more confident trips into fabric heaven. Trips where I actually leave having made a purchase!


Every summer we head up to Parksville - we love it there. We were able to get up there this Saturday along with Mike, Julianne, Owen and Lyla. We played on the playground, we got wet in the water park, we enjoyed the beach, we even fit in a few games of tennis! And, as 1 just must, we ended the day off with ice cream cones! 
I feel so very blessed to live in this most beautiful place. I feel confusion at the fact that we feel something else may be awaiting our family. I feel that I should be contented and satisfied. But then I realize that I am not asking, seeking or even wanting something more, I am wanting something different. Maybe wanting is not even the right word. Maybe I am needing something else. Maybe there is something I need to learn somewhere other than here. 
We may or may not have a big move ahead of us, but 1 thing is for sure - no matter where life takes us, whether we stay and grow old here or find home on some other part of the world it will be an adventure I don't want to miss, and I am so grateful to be able to share it with Darren and all our mini's.