Being a Grandma is pretty cool. I don't know how many grandchildren I will have within my future but the one I have right now is sure a little doll. I take her occasionally over nights and she's just so happy to be at Grandma's. For her first year she and her mother and father lived with us but now they're out on their own. It's nice for me to step back out of their young adult lives, and support from a far. It's even nicer when I get to have my grand baby to myself without her parents. I sometimes joke with my daughter saying, "I'm keeping her for another four days, or another week" I asked my grand babe if she wanted to spend another night (knowing she might not have understood that question being that she's only 16 months old) but she came running to me with her arms open. Babies....they definitely catch your heart. Today my grand babe and I went shopping. Yes, I spoiled her. I loved doing it. Every one of our children have been spoiled in one form or another. I personally don't like the idea of a "material life" but we need to be clothed, and pampered once in awhile and especially by a Grandma! The funny thing is, she's not old enough to ask nor want, nor need - it was ALL Grandma. We had a great long weekend now it's back to school and back home for Grand babe.
This week I've been on a mission to have our life organized and structurally routined as possible up until at least June 2015. lol During my ongoing scheduling, online home schooling ordering and preparing for our public students to return back to school I have been going to the gym, and climbing the outdoor stairs. This morning I had a consult with a trainer that put together my own gym routine. It's all about routine. I'm ready to strength train. You are probably wondering why on earth during my "down time" would I want to go to the gym and strength train. When I feel productive (not only with everything that I do) but adding that one hour a day for myself, I am happy. I've written this before in a previous post, I believe I called it, "The happy hour, or the golden hour" located a year or two back in my blog posts. It's about on how I keep my sanity, on how I keep semi-stress free while raising so many challenging children. Basically how I keep happy. And honestly, it's just about having one hour a day to yourself. For my hour I've chosen to be at the gym. Besides doing this for myself, I have dedicated to strengthen for my seven year old daughter with cerebral palsy. My husband and I still move her short distances. I want to continue to be physically strong for her. During my consult with the trainer today he asked, "Why do you want to gain muscle and strength train?" It's a question he asks everybody. I explained that I don't feel confident (strong enough) in my back, within my core to continue lifting my daughter who's approximately sixty pounds. I want to learn on how to gain the muscle and strength without physically hurting myself because I have had my own hip injuries and including tennis elbow. He was great and now I have a routine of my own to hopefully gradually meet my goals so I can continue to lift my daughter when needed. I believe having our own personal goals are detrimental. Regardless if it's finishing a book, or knitting a sweater......we as parents need that feeling of accomplishment for ourselves. I also want it for my daughter. Right now we do everything, we hike through tough terrain......and I want that for our future. If our daughter can't do that for herself, I want to be there helping her experience life and to experience everything I rant and rave about our great outdoors - that dedicates me to staying physically healthy and strong. You never know, one day we might finish a marathon together, even if I have to push her wheelchair!
Who wouldn't want to conquer these steps over and over again with this view?!
All you need is a little opening to new beginnings......
You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.
I actually sat down and watched television. I watched "Undercover Boss" It is a reality television show about a CEO, or a owner of an establishment, and/or chain that goes under cover as a beginner. It could be dish washing, cooking, to working a till at the front desk depending on the business. It's actually very interesting. In fact, it's a really good program. The idea is for the owners to recognize and understand problems within their establishment. Once the week is over being undercover, the owner will announce who he/she was and if an employee needs more training, they will get that or if an employee is incredible, they are rewarded in ways of whatever their financial need is. It could be child care, or further education. Who knows....the options are endless because it's up to the owner to decide. It's not only life changing for the employees, it's life changing for the employer. I honestly truly enjoyed watching this show on TLC. It reminded me when I was a supervisor of a restaurant for ten years. It reminded me of being a mother. A good employer, a good parent are people that are aware of what is wrong and what works and strive to accomplish what's needed for a better atmosphere. For a better learning situation, and to give recognition where it needs to be. As a home schooling parent now of seven "and counting" .....I am learning myself where my children needs are. A good employer would also recognize where his/her employee needs more experience, and before "firing" trying to educate. Like our children.....we wouldn't give up because they lack common sense right? lol Experience is key. So as I watched "Undercover Boss" I thought RIGHT ON! I know many young adults struggling to find a position in the work field. Many businesses don't have the time, or the patience to teach new employees and especially employees who struggle grasping certain concepts of the job requirements. I believe an establishment wouldn't have to rehire every week or month if they would only focus on whom they hired in the first place. Train. Retrain and give that employee a chance. It's like children......regardless if they have a diagnoses or not, with consistency and routine there is hope. There is success. Sometimes I feel like a under cover boss. I'm always watching. I know what needs fine tuning, and with patience - eventually the most challenging of situations resolve itself. I've experienced it not only as a supervisor, as a mother. If you have the time, watch this program. I personally thought it was pretty cool and being me, I associated this reality television show with my life. With every ones life. Most importantly I loved the fact there was hope for advancement. You might not have thought about yourself as a "Undercover Boss" but in one way or another you are....and hopefully in a compassionate understanding way. Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.
To end our summer we have been slipping out to our different local areas for walks, swimming and just simply enjoying our outdoors with short hikes. During our walk along side the beach (just located five minutes away) I took my mind to my favorite place. Hornby Island. The path, the trees and the ocean with areas of longer grass reminded me of this little Island I would love to retire on. It's honestly amazing our world. It doesn't matter what I do, or where I go.....I see beauty everywhere. It can really calm ones soul. I wanted to beach comb but because I was pushing a wheelchair, some of my boys did. They collected little shells that I will use to start some craft project ideas in the fall. I decided we will go back several times just collecting before the rain starts. You know....during my spare time while I write a book, home school and look after my family, we will incorporate crafts. Anything - we can accomplish if we put our minds to it! Approximately ten years ago I used to travel to different little Islands, just to collect what I needed to make natural wind chimes. I used a hand drill for hundreds of chimes that I used to sell, eventually I upgraded to a drill press and that was amazing! lol All the proceeds went to Child Haven. An organization that helps the five poorest countries in the world. One was Nepal. I not only sold the wind chimes, I made hundreds for weddings, I taught elementary classes the importance of giving. I miss those days. So while I walked with some of my children, I explained to them that we can do this again. Making a difference is the most simplest act one person can do. It doesn't have to be through donations, nor adopting. It can simply be teaching our children the act of giving. Looking outside our little boxes we live in, and realizing that there is a world of beauty, and understanding all of us are the same but with different circumstances. We can make differences. We can enjoy ourselves while making differences and sometimes that's the best part. One wish.......I hope when my children are adults, they remember the importance not only our world has to offer with its beauty, to continue to have compassion for what and who's in it. It's everywhere, and in anything - in every one. That's what I see when I look into our trees, while listening to the waves crashing into our shore. Here's a few questions to ask yourself. Have you ever (it doesn't matter your age) laid outside when the sun has gone down during a clear night and watched the stars? How about during the day while guessing what cloud looks like what? Have you stood against a storm with your arms held out, pushing your body against the wind? And have you danced in the rain!? Swam in the rain? Got so wet that it was elaborating!? Life is here to experience, life is here to give and to love. I don't know about you, but during my stay here on earth - I want to live it, and I want to make sure my children grow up with those needs to live and give too. My thoughts for this August 23rd day. We don't need material to enhance our lives, we just have to open our eyes and see what's before us. It's that simple.
This past week I've been preparing for back to school. I will have seven home schooled and four in our public system. It's definitely a juggle stretching in several directions although I am that type mother where I try to accommodate our children's wishes. Some belong within our public system. They enjoy not only that type interaction, they enjoy their time away. For me being educated knowing how different the two systems are, I do prefer home schooling over our public schools because I have a 100% voice and decision making when it comes to schooling at home verses our public system. For example, I work one on one with our hired Educational Assistants while the public system we're not recommended to even speak with them. If I can't have the communication, I'm not a happy mother. A lot of scenarios happen in our public system that us mothers are completely unaware of..... Changing the subject (because I'm all over the place in thought) In our district there has been lots of changes including shutting down schools, adding grades k-7 and grades 8-12 together when before it was k-5, 6-8, 9-12. Change is good, don't get me wrong. Plus in many other districts the schools run smoothly with this new combination. I however think it will be a huge transition for the grade 8's to attend a high school straight from an elementary. I liked the split of having a middle school. It was an easier transition. That's just my opinion. Besides this change, the transportation has changed. The attachment areas have changed. So for our one son who wanted to remain in his school (with his friends) can not. He has to change once again because we can't stretch ourselves that far to driving him into a school that's out of the now new attachment area. I just found this out this week while trying to apply for a courtesy riding pass on the bus. There is no bus anymore from our area. We weren't told this before but I guess I should have put two and two together myself before believing this could be possible. Honestly.....this change with transportation set me off. I understand, I can embrace change but when your child (who has difficulties already with transitions) is now being told he has to change schools again, leaving his new friends because they're not in our attachment area is not only challenging for our son, it's challenging for us because he doesn't understand. We are once again the bad parents disrupting his life. So I couldn't control myself. My heart rate started to speed, I gave back the transportation form and said, "Thanks, we now have another drop-out" I stormed out like there was a fire in the building to come home and try to explain the reasoning onto why the change to our son. What really got to me was, I was told, "We can drive him to and from school" Really.....and I can stop our life for at least 45 minutes in the morning and the afternoon to do this? Not a problem. Are you kidding me?! We drive to another school to and from in the opposite direction, not to mention I promptly start home schooling at 9 am and my husband needs to work at some point in his life. Just my rant this week. It seems that every time I try to make life positive, for life to flow without glitches, I hear something that changes the future completely. I know everything will be smoothed into a fine icing later, it's like baking and burning a cake right now, all that preparation is thrown out, and once again you have to start over. That's what my week has felt like twisting my patience level into a knot. Not to mention in our Province there is a school strike. So I'm not exactly sure when our public children will start school which completely interrupts home schooling. So I have also prepared our public students that they will also being doing school work at home, while home schooling continues to proceed. Seems lately I have a lot of burnt cakes to deal with. So I joined a gym. I attend the gym when I can. It's my release and my strength training physically and emotionally "for my time" It's so I can physically care for my youngest daughter who's now seven with cerebral palsy that will soon undergo hip surgeries. I'm continuing to learn to meditate, to enjoy those dancing starlings when nothing else seems to be in sequence. Always continuing to believe that the icing will spread evenly eventually and yes, on a burnt cake if it has too.
Lately while traveling anywhere I have been noticing these large flocks of little birds in the sky. I seen them in the Seattle area, and again today on our Island. They fly fast and in sequence. Back and forth, up and down, like they're dancing together. Not one bird makes a mistake during this unique dance in the sky. There must be hundreds of them. I might be wrong but I think they're starlings that do reside in North America. When I researched them, their flight is strong and direct. The starlings that are located in our area are more likely the European Starling. I thought it was amazing watching these birds fly together. Dancing in the sky. They're also known as the song bird. I learned that these birds engage in groups of flight when they're getting ready to roost at night. Starlings are wonderful mimics as well as splendid singers, and incorporate so many different sounds into their songs that a flock of them is called a murmuration.I was memorized. I've seen this before but today witnessing their flawless dance in the sky I couldn't help but feel a sense of peace. Watching these birds fly was like they were performing for us. Hundreds of fluttering wings, and singing birds dancing happily without care. Can you imagine if life was that simple? If life was like a song bird just existing in harmony. I know after their murmuration, their dance is over too but it was a great thought. After my errands, some of us went to our friend's mother's house to swim in the ocean. My friend and her mother ( known as "Grandma") are truly beautiful people. My friend gave me this beautiful necklace from where we first met, and our favorite place "Hornby Island" Inside the little glass bottle is sandpiper beach glass, Hornby Island's shells and seaweed plus a little hummingbird feather. It consists of a little green top (my favorite color) and on the chain it has a little green leaf. I forgot to tell her about the starlings, and on how they seemed to make that moment feel peaceful then while ending the day with a tiny but significant hummingbird feather. Another fact she didn't know was that I love the hummingbirds meaning, a meaning I knew before this gift. It means the enjoyment of life, and lightness of being. Hummingbirds are independent, unlike the starlings, and they bring playfulness and joy into our lives while lifting up negativity's. They're swift, and are able to respond quickly, they're resilient and are able to travel great distances tirelessly. This is a little cherished piece I will wear and hold during our challenging times ahead. I didn't realize that today was going to surround me with significant feelings of peacefulness, and amazing birds to remind me to keep focused, to continue to dance, and remain resilient. I have been very blessed in my life to meet such wonderful people that I consider family. Tonight while holding this little treasure, I feel very honored to have the family and friends I have. I'm thankful that I'm able to pay attention to what's around me, to allow nature to soothe, and to recognize when I need a little song bird to give me some strength. Life is amazing if we can all learn to just listen to what's around us, to witness the beauty of our earth that's just before us and to absorb it all in. If you can learn to recognize and savor these moments daily, you will feel that peacefulness that I did today regardless your situation. I truly do love life.......I hope you do too.
Besides our trailers fridge and bathtub unusable, and the on and off monsoon, camping was once again memorable fun for our children. For my husband and I it was mostly work while occasionally visiting with friends we were camping with. Our last morning it poured while we were packing up. Everything was drenched. We were glad that we camped but we were very excited to come home. Being only two weeks until September, we are ready to play it low key and prepare for school, and prepare for our upcoming health challenges. During camping on August 14th, it was my husband and I 15th anniversary. I did bring out a bottle of champagne to celebrate although we never cracked the bottle. After putting our children to bed, and including my grand baby (that came camping with us) I crawled next to our littlest daughter and fell asleep. My father and mother came to visit for a few hours which was nice, all in all, it was a great camping trip. Now it's time to grasp our realities, carry on with our responsibilities and throw in a day trip here and there. Leaving this post with my thoughts for today.....I awake every day hoping for a positive productive best day possible but life throws those unexpected curve balls. It's not always a piece of cake. We all have experienced challenges from time to time and for us feeling like we're coming into some emotional days ahead, and perhaps some of you are too......my message is, reach out. Take the support if you need it. I have learned that it's ok to say, "It's not ok" The past few weeks we have received some news (not just about our daughter) but about my mother's diagnoses. (For confidentiality reasons I won't write anymore) I will state that "unexpected news" is sometimes hard to grasp. It's like you want to swallow but that knot feeling in your throat won't allow you too. Only if you could swallow and let the news settle - I know that feeling. As we continue to take one day at a time, not a moment goes by where I don't think about what lies ahead. I want to deliver this message not only to my mother, but for any one else facing scenarios that are scary and definitely challenging. Lets try and focus on the positives because believe me, me being a positive person (normally) I'm finding that challenging lately too. So you're not alone. Keeping busy helps. Most importantly, remember there is people out there that are supportive, and compassionate. There is people that have been there, they have the education and the positive experiences that we need to hear. Reach out. Those are my concluding thoughts today, especially to my mama and any one that has unexpected news hard to endure. "Love you to the moon and back, and we are here day and night" We will get through our next coming months all together. Until then - I understand the anxiety. One day at a time.....
I'm back momentarily.....(today only).....and during my time away, and while reflecting today I've straightened out my thoughts. We will embrace our future challenges knowing the outcomes are always successes. The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph! - Thanks, Jessica. For now, it's one day at a time experiencing, building endless memories and simply just living. I hope every ones 2014 summer has been as amazing as ours! Until I write again, stay safe and enjoy what's given to us - life.