Friday, October 24, 2014

Blessings

 
 
If you've visited here for any length of time, you know that the journey I am on is filled with it's fair share of difficulty, heartache, and pain.  Sometimes it feels as though we only get brief moments of "normal".  It feels as though most of our days are difficult.  Some days I think I'm a complete whiner and wuss! Then I look back over the past 8 years and realize there may just be a reason I feel overwhelmed.  As you know my Dad passed away in June of 2006, after a brief 2 week battle with liver cancer.  That Christmas my Mom was rushed in for emergency surgery on a massive cancerous stomach growth.  In December of 2007 my mom passed away.  2008 was spent grieving, learning a new normal.  In July of 2009 Malia joined our family.  We had many months of difficult adjustment followed by a few short months of relative calm.  Raina joined our family in December of 2010.  More adjusting.  2011 marked the year that we knew we had to take some drastic measures to protect one of our boys from severe bullying, and entered the difficult (at least to me) journey of homeschooling.  In 2012 we knew there was another child waiting for us in China and thus began the fundraising.  The fundraising effort almost did us in.  It is something I wish we had never done.  Not because we didn't need the funds, but because of the negativity/judgement we faced.  In July of 2013 Jackson joined our family. More adjusting. More dealing with some less than supportive people.
 
I've waited for many years for life to become easier.  More relaxed.  Less stressful. 
 
But what I wanted and imagined is not happening...unless I choose each and every day to see the beauty in the little things.  Kids waking with a smile, family suppers,  kids delighting in little things, minutes alone with Martin, hugs from teens, gorgeous fall weather.  I'm learning that this thing called life is ALL about the little things.  It's about embracing the "here and now".  It's about taking what comes our way and seeing the "beautiful" in it.
 
All these years I know that God has been working.  Working to mold me and shape me into what He wants me to be.  In the past 2 years I've finally begun to see and feel the difference in me.  Even Martin has noticed.  I'm seeing myself more and more as God sees me.  I'm beginning to embrace the difficult.  I've begun to see the good in it.  I still struggle some days with self pity, doubt and questions.  It seems so unfair sometimes.  But I am beginning to see that "difficult" can be a very good thing.
 
On the days that I struggle to not let the "difficult" rule my life, I am reminded of the song Blessings by Laura Story.  It perfectly sums up what I've been learning.
 
 


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cavendish Beach, Confederation Bridge, Bay of Fundy

We spent some time at Cavendish Beach.  It was a bit different from the beach closest to us and had it's own unique beauty.  Honestly, I can't get enough of these beaches!
 
 
 
 
 
We headed out for a short road trip a few days ago, exploring New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.  Knowing how rare vacations are for our family, we figured we may as well try to see as much of the maritime provinces as possible, because chances are we will not have this opportunity again. 
 
One of my favorite things about these provinces are their houses and the colors of their houses.  In Sk we don't see many old houses and most houses are bland in color.  Not only do these provinces have a LOT of old houses, but they also have a lot of houses with a LOT of character.  And I LOVE houses with character. 
 
This is my dream house...sweet and homey, but not super huge.  And I love the color too!
 



 
We headed across the Confederation Bridge.  What an amazing human accomplishment!  We researched it as we drove and learned some pretty fascinating facts.  It takes about 12 minutes to cross the bridge and is definitely a "must see"!
 






 

 








 We stopped at Hopewell Rocks and enjoyed the low tide and the beauty of these rocks.
 






 
 We stopped for a short break in Alma.  It is amazing that at high tide these boats will be at dock level. 
 
 
 
 

Our first night was spent in a small town in New Brunswick. The plan was to stop in Saint John for night, but in doing a web search we found only 2 motels with room available...and one only accommodated 4.  We were later told that there were a lot of conferences going on that night and that almost everything was filled up.  So we decided to stay in this nifty little town and got the most interesting room ever!  It was clean, (sort of...except the floor) and huge!  It really made me laugh!  It was actually 3 rooms made into one huge room.  I had all kinds of ideas on what it was used for...some not so attractive thoughts!  lol!  As you already know, I like cleanliness, and any motel grosses me out.  I had a difficult time getting past the looks of this one!
 
 
 
 
 Attached to this motel was the neatest 50's/60's diner.  The food was amazing!  I couldn't resist ordering the breaded chicken burger and fries.  It took me back to  1990/91 when Martin and I were dating...and ate greasy food without giving it a second thought! 
 


The old jukebox still worked and Jackson had a blast standing beside it and listening to it.


 
The nostalgia of the place took Martin back to "the good ole days", and he couldn't resist listening to some oldies.  Listening to "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes?", by George Jones takes a LOT of concentration.  I knew I was married to an oldish man, but didn't realize how old my girls' taste in music is!  :)
 
 
 
The next morning we took the ferry from Saint John to Digby, NS.  It was a pretty cool experience and we even caught a glimpse of a few dolphins, but all 3 disappeared very quickly.
 
One of our kids, hates heights and had a difficult time enjoying the best views along the railing...and became a hobo instead!  lol!


 
 




 






 






 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 


Monday, September 15, 2014

My Birthday...In PEI

My birthday started with peaches n cream and mocha in bed...all made by my kids and Martin.  It was so incredibly relaxing...an amazing birthday gift!
 
We then headed to Cape Tyron Lighthouse.  It was a fairly long, cold and windy walk, but well worth it!
 









Martin and the boys freaked me out by walking past the safety fence.  The cliff was a sharp drop straight into the water.  





 
 

 




After a late lunch, we headed to Garden's of Hope.  What an amazing gem to find!  It has a butterfly garden that was closed, but all the other neat gardens made up for it.  Our favorite was the Magical Forest.

 
 





This place also has a respite cottage for families of those suffering from a terminal illness, and those involved in their care, at no cost.
 
One secluded area had this sign posted.  Made me smile!
 

 
Sometimes you just can't get the shot you want without a kid in it...I think she adds to the photo. :)
 



I thought Morgun was posing so I could take his picture, but in reality he was hiding the "Electrical Fence" sign, hoping to convince someone to touch it!  lol
 





 This outing was one of my favorites!  We laughed and talked as a family like we haven't done in a very long time.  So fun to see all of us laughing and having fun!...the BEST birthday gift ever!!
 





 
 We headed to New Glasglow Lobster for supper.  Everywhere we asked, we were told this was the place to go for lobster...pricey, but worth it.  It was featured on The Food Channel as one of the "Places You Gotta Eat!" 
 
We left disappointed and nowhere near full.  The place offers an "all you can eat" menu of appetizers, salad, and dessert, and came with pop, coffee or tea.  Non of the food lived up to all the hype.  It was ok, but definitely not worth the cost and not worth asking for seconds.  The lobster we cooked the other day was tastier and flakier. The best part of the meal was the dessert...lemon meringue pie and strawberry shortcake.  The service was ok, but slow and inefficient.  Anyhow, that's my unprofessional opinion. :)
 
One of the neat features of this meal was that we got to try mussels for the first time.  They certainly did not taste as I had expected.  Not at all fishy tasting.  They tasted more like a mushroom to me. Mussels aren't something I would walk too far to get, but it was a neat experience to try them.