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Sunday, December 29, 2013

"2013 Reflection"

Have you tried to reflect back starting from January of last year? Wondering if you accomplished everything you've set out to do? I reflect back every New Years. Questioning myself what I can improve, change or experience within the New Year. Not a resolution - they never work . Just what can we do differently that we haven't tried. 2014 is an even year with my favorite number 14. I'm hoping that means something. It shall be interesting.....for now our 2013 reflection!

Last January I turned the big 40. I went and pierced my nose on my birthday. A spontaneous decision on my part that I still love today. We had a flood in our basement and we lost many items, especially books. They didn't survive the water. One of the biggest highlights of last January was our littlest daughter getting her new adapted trike!

In February I really started getting into fitness. I joined my sisters boot camp. Daily I headed to my favorite little spot, Notch hill. One of our sons turned 10. Two of our daughters donated their hair to Locks of love. Our family was featured in AFABC's Love Note and our littlest daughter was hospitalized for the first time in 2013.

March was a big month consisting of spring break with daily travels and an early Easter. One of our daughters turned 13 and one of our sons turned 19. March was a huge hospital month for our littlest daughter including Children's. The biggest event was reconnecting and flying our second oldest daughter home.

In April we had three birthdays, one daughter turned 13, our oldest daughter turned 23 and our one son turned 7. I became a grandma, we through a successful baby shower while our oldest daughter traveled Central America. At one point during our daughters travels, I thought I was going to fly out and retrace her every step thinking that something happened to her! To finish April our family participated in the MS run.


May was beautiful. I went hiking and found the Sacred Waterfall. Our one son turned 13, while another son turned 11. We visited the hospital again but not with our littlest daughter this time, it was with one of our sons who broke his arm during a basketball game at school.


During the month of June some of my sons and I hiked Mt. Benson. I participated in a school camping trip to Hornby Island and during Father's Day we all as a family hiked out to the Sacred Waterfall while bombarding Red Robbins for dinner afterwords! We wrapped up homeschooling with a trip to Butchard Gardens and the Monster trucks. In June I officially lost my car.....a funny story while waiting for my one sons neuro-assessment to be completed. I parked my car and went for a run. I didn't pay attention to where I parked it. Some suburban community. I'm sure our Neurologist talks about the day we looked for my car.....while I asked her for my own assessment to be completed - we both laughed after the stress released finding it parked where I left it!

July was camping with no fridge. Just coolers. We camped with friends at Elk Falls and we camped at our usual place, Comox lake. One of our sons turned 13, another son turned 5 and our littlest daughter turned 6. My husband turned 45! Towards the end of July we met another large "great" family living up north. They were visiting the Island, we had a weenie roast and celebrated finally meeting each other!

During August I hiked Della Falls with my one son, sister and niece. It was the toughest hike I've done but well worth it, even the blood infection that developed in my leg from blisters was worth that hike! Beautiful. My husband and I had our 14th Anniversary on August 14th, we have been together for 16 years. Another son turned 15. We continued with day trips, including camping an evening with friends on Hornby Island. To wrap up August I went shopping in the States. (I think) If my memory remembers it correctly! lol

September was a very special month. We finally had our family portraits done. We had everyone together and it was a very memorable event for me. We are finished adopting. A family portrait just completed us. Our oldest son turned 20 and our second oldest daughter turned 18. During September I went on a road trip with my second oldest son moving him up north to Fort. St. John. During that trip I visited my husband's brother's family. I miss them very much! They have 15 children who I adore and miss everyday. The miles between us are too long, time moves too fast and during my visit seeing my nieces and nephews older reminded me on how fast time really is. Life and relationships should be cherished.

October I hiked the Snoqualmie Pass in the fog! I love going to the States! Even to hike! Thanksgiving was successful and I was thankful going out on a date with my husband! (It doesn't happen very often) To end the month we had a Halloween party here.

There was another hospital visit in November. Our littlest daughter fell ill again but the funny part is, the pediatrician found hidden broccoli in her ear. This hospital visit was nice because my daughter made an elderly man smile. After weeks of not smiling or talking at all. (I was told by his daughter) It was a special moment and it brought my attention back to that everything happens for a reason - even going to the hospital. There's always an alternative reason for everything, even if it starts out negative. We had two more birthdays, one of our sons turned 9 and our little man turned 2 already! One day in November we just drove, we finally reached our destination at the Birds of Prey then had dinner at a friends house.

December.....oh "Ho ho ho" it wasn't. We planned a Mt. Washington Christmas. It was a vomit fest underneath the mistle toe! We are still sick on Dec 29th! We have one soul survivor out of 17 people! We did have a successful Christmas party! Lots of adoptive families came out to celebrate the season and meet each other. We had a awesome talent show, and Santa was a BIG hit! There must have been 50-60 children that sat on Santa's lap! During December our two daughters donated their hair again to "Locks of Love" and finally after many, many, many years we purchased a convection double oven! It has made my life in the kitchen 100% better with time! During the cold streak, (minus 5 maybe) our main well pipe broke but with a handy dandy husband, it was fixed quickly!
During the holidays many people struggle financially and emotionally. My previous post written I meant. Cherish each other, and every day that you have. Life is too short and unpredictable to waste. We're all human, we all make mistakes and we will continue to make mistakes. If you asked me for my New Year resolution, it would be to continue to find out who I am, to continue to experience life, love and not to waste anymore time with nonsense.

Now my 2013 reflection is over. I look forward to 2014 and I will continue to share my life with you because I'm hoping that people don't feel alone with their challenges; I want to share not just for that one reason but to hopefully inspire to live one day at a time, and live your best life with any challenges. "We do" Have a happy healthy and safe New Year from the Hohnstein's!

2014 we welcome you!

Friday, December 27, 2013

"I'm so sorry"

I wasn't sure on how to write this post after returning a day early from our Christmas holiday. I even struggled for a title. We were sick the whole time away. The relentless flu went through our family one by one, all night, every night and all day long. We went with another family, dear friends of ours that managed to escape our pandemic, I think. Even as I write I have two still very sick children. I don't have a story for this post. I was going to write about some of our highlights, and some of our drama but when I returned home to find out a local family we know lost their six year old son in the early morning on the 26th, I am at a loss for words. A happy healthy little boy fell asleep and never awoke. Having a semi-horrible Christmas for us is nothing to write or complain about. There is so many individuals suffering from loss and life is so unpredictable. It completely saddens me as I can't comprehend the pain a parent goes through loosing their child. It brings my attention to all the unnecessary drama that people create in their life, in their friends and families lives. I'm definitely surrounded by it. I constantly question why? We all are people trying to succeed, love and continually search for some peace to be together. I know a lot of "drama" is created because of ignorance and the lack of experience but when the day is done - what did or does an argument with one another accomplish? People are passing away daily. Losses we will all feel eventually. When that happens we can't take back what was said, what was done during that day........the people left living have to live with their last words given. Shouldn't that be simply, "I love you" Shouldn't that day always remain memorable in a positive way knowing that it could be the last? Shouldn't we work together, succeed together and live without conflict with one another? I'm human. I'm guilty of many things - I'm guilty for not saying, "I love you" enough. I don't know what it feels like to loose a child, nor loose a parent. I haven't experienced this - I dread the day I loose someone I love. My heart goes out to everyone that has. I'm at a loss of words knowing a little boy just passed away in my community. I'm speechless knowing on how many others have passed away and continue as our world is relentless like the flu. You will never know when it's your turn, and whose turn is next - so please treat people with only love and a kind heart. Cherish what you have before it's too late. I'm adding a fundraising link for the family who lost their son this Christmas, to help them financially during their time of grieving. Please if you can, donate - support is needed. Unfortunately hearing and/or experiencing loss is a horrible reminder on showing us what's important. RIP is a commonly used abbreviation that doesn't help the pain who suffer, there is no words that can be said after loosing a child. I always write, live as if it was your last day, or heaven for bid - your child's.......we really really need too and I'm deeply sorry for everyone who has lost.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas!

We're heading for a white Christmas...
May your Christmas be full of magical memories....
and your heart be filled with love and joy....
stay safe and healthy....
live, experience and celebrate life....
Merry Christmas to all
and wishing you all a great holiday....
with lots of bright insights!
";)-wink" - Me.
Stay tuned......our adventure awaits....

Friday, December 20, 2013

"Our threes"

Well...........I'm completely not sharing part of our week. All I can share is when you hear the saying, "It runs in threes" It does and now that it's the end of the week and our threes are over, we can rest in semi peace. Our week was testing my patience, my stress level and now that its the weekend and school is over - we made it alive! Thursday night I brought two of our girls plus our educational assistant to the live play, "Cinderella" to end our homeschooling. It was funny. Cinderella is playing at the Echo Players in Qualicum until December 29th - If you have the time, and need a laugh, it's a must see! It's a pantomime comedy and it's great that the audience gets to interact with the cast. After the show our daughters had pictures taken with Cinderella. It was a great finale to homeschooling! On Friday night we celebrated having a pre-Christmas! My father and mother from Campbell River previously dropped off gifts for all our children. To celebrate the last day of school our children had a great evening opening their gifts. For me, it's not about the gifts, never is. It is about having supportive family, and building memories. The end of our week proved worth while after our threes.

 I love our card.....
Thank you for our parents, thank you for our grandparents!
Let the holidays begin!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Annual Adoption Christmas Party 2013

 The Christmas cake made by my sister!
 Santa and his elf were welcomed with love!
 All the children were very patient waiting for their names to be called!
I'm guessing 50 children!
Our daughter was extremely happy when it was her turn!
The talent was amazing!
 Mini food hampers
 Beautiful door prizes!
Gift certificates, a beautiful brand new jacket and stuffed toys!
The dinner selection was amazing and bountiful!


Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself.
- Norman Wesley Brooks
Thank you with all my heart, words can not express enough on how appreciative I am for the wonderful family and friends in my life. Thank you everyone who helped, who donated and who attended our annual Christmas party. My greatest gift is making memories, and magical moments for children - that feeds my spirit.
Spread the news throughout the year - 2014 Christmas party is already being planned!

Friday, December 13, 2013

One year ago on December 14th, 2012

On December 14th 2012 while many children's lives were taken, many families mourned, I listened to the horrifying story on the radio while travelling home with our new little boy. (I cried buckets driving home for many reasons) Zachary was placed with us for adoption on this day....I will never forget our gain while many losses occurred. RIP little angels, I without knowing you will always remember.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Hair

Round two for "Locks of Love" Two of our daughters have donated ten inches each twice for children without hair. I've written a previous post about the organization and it's not just about cancer patients. There is conditions such as Alopecia which is a auto-immune disorder that causes the hair follicles to shut down. Locks of love provide wigs for trauma burns, accidents and dog attacks. Any incident or disease that relates to hair loss, real wigs are provided for children. Our two thirteen year old girls donate. For several different reasons. For our girls they can't look after their own hair, our one daughter has hair sensory issues and our other daughter takes scissors to hers. So we grow their hair out enough for the ten inches which is the minimal requirement for donation, then our daughters are back to a maintainable shoulder length style. For us this works and it's a wonderful donation for them to make. If you're interested in donating your hair or your child's hair, it can not be processed, bleached or collected off the floor. It needs to be clean, dry, healthy and sent in a tied pony tail at both ends in a zip lock bag to your donation address of choice. There is either "Locks of Love" or "Wigs for Kids" but beware - with any donation you make, you need to make sure it's a creditable company. Calling the Cancer Society for verification should be done first. With any donation to anywhere we have to be aware of the ongoing scams. When my one daughter cut her hair today, I wasn't angry because it sparked another donation for another child to feel confident with beautiful hair. I can guarantee a Christmas wish from a child out there somewhere is to have hair. A story I will explain to my children, to understand once again that there is more to this world then material.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Got water!?

Have you ever seen the movie "Carrie?" Where the girl has telekinesis, she feels different and is under confident. Carrie is extremely bullied and lives in fear. In the movie "Carrie" she's pushed over the edge and her natural powers take control after having pig blood poured down on her. Well.......I had a vision of this movie when I was washing my hair while brown dirty sludge came from the faucet. It was disgusting and slightly came as a shock to me. We live with a well system. Water we're always trying to conserve. Over and over we dictate to our children the importance of saving water. This week my husband had to replace and fix the main pipe running from our house to the well. Luckily we were only out of water for one day. This doesn't mean our water will continue to run.....I just wish our children understood the importance on where the water is coming from - a well and it should be limited.

Besides digging holes and bathing with sludge, we've been busy......I won't get into a huge explanation onto what we've been busy with because Santa never tells. It's that time of year of secrets. I am looking forward to 2014. For me 2014 seems significant. Fifteen years of marriage. An even number. My favorite number is 14. I wonder what 2014 will hold? Hopefully no more water issues (unlikely) and just more memorable life experiences. We will one wish for the New Year is more physical motivation, peace within all of us, for time to slow down and for clear endless water coming from our faucets and not flooding our basement. For now - back to December's plans and to celebrate an ending to another memorable year while being thankful for having water!

Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.
Mark Twain

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Dec 14th is fast approaching! This is not a party to miss! Please note: there will be a talent sheet sign up for your children, door prizes, dancing & much much more! Please RSVP for more details! It's a potluck designed dinner, any pre-adoptive, adoptive AND supportive family & friends can attend! You will also need to bring a labelled gift per child for Santa's bag! More the merrier! "Ho Ho Ho!"


Monday, December 2, 2013

"I love"

Since I wrote last some of our family members became ill including me. We're finally mending but I'm completely sore. The tension in my body lately has been driving me crazy but the show must go on. Today (Monday) already December 2nd I have a lot to do. For now I'm not going to rant about my aches and pains. It's the least of our worlds problems. As we all are getting ready for another memorable Christmas, many people are suffering from their lost ones. There has been so many tragedies within our world, and in which continues on a daily basis that I feel that anything we endure is minimal. We all move forward with our lives, and our families but this Christmas I'm going to add a candle with hopefully a few minutes of silence to teach our children that as much as Christmas for them is all magical, there is millions of people suffering from their tragic losses. Losses that if we haven't felt, we will. Teaching my children to have respect outside from their own little world, to also realize that life isn't just a white magical place, is a necessary enlightenment they need to know and have. As I was in bed this weekend from a horrible flu or possible food poisoning, that's what I continually isn't just about the memorable events, it's about respecting the ones that are having a rough time and to realize we aren't alone when tragedy happens. I will admit that I get caught up with the holidays. I try very hard to make our children's holidays memorable, but I want to add something more.....I want our children to know while they're having a blast, that others aren't. So I've decided to make time for this as a tradition for our family. I want our children to know that life is unforeseen. We don't know and can't predict what's going to happen tomorrow, so taking one day at a time honouring life, and respecting ourselves and others is key to living. This goes back to when I write and preach about being kind to others regardless of their circumstances. It's a cold time of year either mentally or physically, and regardless if people pretend not to want some sort of acknowledgment, they do. Of course with your own safety in mind, drop off a warm lunch, a coat that no one wears in your house to someone on the street.......try to stay positive, give support when needed and my biggest preaching for our children is we're all the same, just our circumstances are different - so be kind. While I catch up on life today with my own sore body, I feel positive and good inside knowing what I believe, how I want to live and hopefully shine some light with not only my children but for others on caring for everyone. What I know for sure, enjoy your life and treasure the people you have within it; while adding the strangers that desperately need it too; while honouring and respecting the lives lost, and the families suffering. Live having respect and honour for all, this world would be a much better place starting today. "I love" two words to chant everyday!