Monday, April 30, 2007

He came! :) ...and he went! :(

Sorry I haven't been blogging. Lots going on these days and the computer is shared with too many people! It always seems like the moments (which are few and far between) when I'm free to sit at the computer without kids hangin' off me or supper needing to be made or something, someone else is using it! Oh well, such is life.

One of the things that's been happening is my dad was here for a visit! He left this morning. :( It was an amazing week with him. Probably the best visit I can remember. I don't know if it's the season/stage of life we're in or just that he's been here a few times so I felt more relaxed and less of a tour guide or what. Either way, I'm so glad he could come at the last minute and spend some time hanging out with all of us. It felt like we had a good balance of family time, work stuff and time with friends. One of the reasons for his trip was to help us establish a business that we are newly involved in with him. Although we seem to be babystepping along, I felt very refreshed and encouraged in the process! Some important questions got answered and his excitement and passion sure is contagious! :)
Sharing a smoothie mustache!
I think he read this book to Esther at least a dozen times throughout the week!!!
Grandpa and Simeon at Moxie's

Esther giving Grandpa eyes at the YMCA
Another visitor has graced us with her presence! Joyska! Her and my dad had some good diet coke/diet pepsi wars. It's always so much fun to have her around. And I felt so blessed to have a home to share with so many people! At least for 1 night. My cousin was also in Winnipeg for something work related, but unfortunately we didn't get to see her. But we are happy that Joyska's here for a few more days!!!Besides that, Tyler celebrated his 25th birthday last week. We had a fun celebration at Moxie's. He has grown into an awesome man and we're so happy to have his friendship. It's also very fun for me to participate as the big sister celebrating his relationship to a beautiful woman, who also happens to be my friend! :) Since the rest of our family lives so far away, I feel very privileged in this role! And Esther sure loves "AMY"!

Tyler and Sim watchin' the kite
Amy and Esther at Assiniboine Park

Simeon and Amy at Appleby's

The kids are well. Nothing really to report on them. They are loving the spring/summer weather we've been having. We get outside lots and Simeon always wants to play with the neighbors! We did have a little scare with a runaway baby the other day, but I won't share that story unless I get permission. For now let's just say that a backyard fence is our next priority! We do get out to a park quite often, most recently to fly a kite. Simeon (who's favorite movie is currently Mary Poppins) sings all the way there: "Let's go fly a kite..."Esther in her Hawaiian dress with Champ - the Armbruster's dog
Fun with Lillian

Deyan and I are well. Birth Roots just leased our first home away from home which is very exciting! We have quite a bit of work to do to make it the way we want it, but it's going to be awesome when it's finished. We're hoping to be up and running by the end of May! There is so much potential for us now, though it is a big (and somewhat scary) step! I am still not incredibly involved, but trying to help out when and where I can. Deyan's job continues to go well. Some of the guys he supervises were here today to so some stuff in our house. I could tell they have a lot of respect for him, which is nice to see.

PS - Happy 3rd Birthday today Isaac! We love you buddy! :)
Hope you all are enjoying life! Have a wonderful 1st day of May (my favorite month)!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Caring Friends

In case you hadn't heard yet, we're sick. Actually, Deyan and Tyler are healthy. Simeon is slowly recovering from a case of bronchitis. He's not coughing nearly as much, though he still sounds awful when he does! He's on his 5th day of antibiotics and his fever is gone. Esther has a sinus infection and is also on her 5th day of meds. She's still very congested and her nose is running constantly. She's had a touch of fever last night and tonight and is acting more clingy and whiny than she was earlier in the week. I am on drugs for bronchitis but I also seem to have either a sinus infection or the flu. I'm very congested and am just now getting some relief for muscle aches and pains and fever/chills, etc.

Needless to say, it's been a difficult Easter weekend. Of course we are so thankful for all that we do have. I hate to complain about trivial, minor health issues when there are far bigger problems in the world. I have to say though that I can't ever remember feeling this sick, except maybe in Bulgaria 2 summers ago. That was pretty bad too.

Anyways, being physically down always makes me homesick for my family. Who else do you call when you've reached your limit? Who else besides my mother would I allow within 50 feet of my house for fear of them 'catching' whatever we have? (sorry mom) There's only so much food Deyan can prepare meals with in our fridge and cupboards. The sheets need to be stripped and washed with the rest of the laundry to try to clean out the germs. We've run out of juice and fruit (our vitamin C stock) and milk but with stores closed on for the holidays and Deyan back to work today, I wasn't really able to pack up 2 sick kids and drag them out to get groceries. I'd thought of calling one of my dear friends to lend us a hand, but it's so hard to ask for help when you know they are all so 'full' with their own young families! I did manage to swallow my pride and ask Jocelyn if she might be able to buy us some juice and milk. Not only did she graciously agree, but she also brought soup and muffins and other meal ingredients to warm my heart and my tummy! Of course kindness totally runs in their family as I also woke up this morning to a jar of soup, a loaf of bread and a bag of cookies care package sent from Lillian (Joc's mom). I wonder if they realize that their generosity not only filled a physical need in our family, but it also helped with the disappointment I'd been feeling about missing all the Easter celebrations.

It is good to be loved.

Thank you God for great friends who pray and serve and give. Help me to be a great friend in return.

Thank all of you who've been praying and helping in so many ways! We love you and hope to be able to see you on the other side of this...sooner rather than later! ;)

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

What we've been up to...

Definitely not blogging! haha. Actually, it's been busy, but when is it ever not? There is probably lots I haven't filled you all in on, but then the thought of playing catch up is rather overwhelming to me so I think I'll try to summarize.
I've decided to take a 'leave of absence' from everything I possibly could in my life and just spend some quality time hanging out with my kids. They are growing up way too quickly and the stress of things I'm involved in (which I still love) was taking away too much from giving fully to my family. Of course family has always been a priority for me but so often 'stuff' gets in the way of being the woman/wife/mother I want to be. So, difficult though the process has been, I think it's a good thing in the end. Now, if I can just learn to REALLY let go (emotionally) and to capitalize on this extra time, I'll be laughing! I am trying to teach myself some piano and Tyler's graciously teaching me a bit of guitar and I'm enjoying both of those.
The kids are doing great. Simeon is really into stickers. They are a great motivational tool! He loves helping me make his bed or make supper or fold laundry. He's actually pretty good at alot of this stuff. I guess it's his detail oriented personality! His other passion these days (which goes along with stickers most of the time) is learning to read. He is forever asking me "what does that say mom?" and asking me how to spell words and making up his own spelling of words he knows, etc. With the exception of some short and long vowel confusion and thinking the "wuh" sound comes from a "y", he's got most of the basic phonics down pat! It's funny how he's always been so interested in letters and sounds. I'm excited for when he can really read - it will open up a whole new world for him! In the meantime, he still loves to 'read' books to himself (outloud), telling the story so beautifully! His coordination is also improving as I've noticed he colors more in the lines now and his printing/tracing is more accurate. Poor guy - this must be related to his personality as well but he gets a bit frustrated when his 'lines' don't look as straight as he would like or when his circle touches something he wasn't intending it to. I just keep telling him he's doing great and that those little things don't matter at all - just keep trying!
Esther is her funny/silly self. Her communication is improving daily (even though I'm horrible at teaching her new signs!). She's starting to put more words together to form short sentences (ex: night night dada or siminon's socks? or bonk head stairs!). She's also switched from calling Simeon 'bubby" (aka brother) to Siminon. It's cute, but I miss some of those first words and I thought for sure Sim's nickname would stick! I'm glad she's talking clearly because she sure lets her desires be known in a forceful way! One day she stood in front of the fridge and said "gogurt" (yogurt) for 20 minutes because she'd found an empt yogurt container in the cupboard and decided she wanted some. We didn't have any, but that didn't deter her! It did drive me crazy though! Otherwise, she's developped quite the strongwill which can be challenging at times. Her and Sim get along brilliantly most of the time, but occasionally they purposely seem to bug each other. I guess that's pretty normal among siblings. I love watching them play little games together. I especially love it when they get up in the morning and play upstairs while I'm still 'waking up'. They both copy each other often which is funny when it's cute, not so much when it's disobedience! What else with her...she still loves books and of course babies. She is not set on one particular doll or teddy, but she tends to pick one that she likes for the day and takes it with her everywhere (usually a doll). She also loves real babies, but thinks they're all named Elliot (our friend's little guy). She also thinks she's a 'big girl' now and tries to go down the stairs on her bum instead of backwards. (hence the "bonk head stairs" sentence) She LOVES to go out - in the porch, in the car, outside, you name it. If she's whiny, all I have to say is "we're going to go out Esther" and she runs to the door and says, "jacket? suze?" When it's warm I let them both play in the porch. Ah, I love our house.

Dey is still enjoying his job. He's making his first batch of wine as we speak - should be ready sometime next week. He seems to be busy with more social engagements than me these days - now that's new! :) But he still enjoys a quiet evening at home with a good snack and a movie.

Tyler still hasn't started work yet (and this cold week ahead is notgood in that regard) but he's getting quite skilled in his music and it's great to have his help while he's here (with kids, house stuff, errands, etc.) It's fun to watch my siblings enter new seasons in their lives. Hard to believe they're all growing up! It is so great to have little pieces of them here, even if it is for short visits! (We miss you Jordan and Courtney!)Lastly, we bought a family membership at the YMCA! I've only had the opportunity to do a few workouts myself - still have to coordinate the childcare to make that happen more frequently. But I take the kids there several times/week. Our Y has some great preschool drop-in programs and both kids love going. They've also started swimming 'lessons' (parent and tot class) and I'm amazed at how much progress a few weeks can make! Especially considering the class is designed to get young kids accustomed to water by singing songs, splashing, etc. Not alot of 'skills' taught at this stage. "Fearless Esther" can float on her own holding a noodle, goes down the little slide, goes completely underwater without flinching, puts her face in when asked, kicks on her back and front, etc. Simeon was quite timid in the beginning, wanting to simply sit on the stairs for the whole time. Now he will put his head underwater voluntarily, jump in holding only one hand, kick on his back and front, etc. They both LOVE to go, so I hope they will continue like this to be ready for summer swimming!

I guess that's all for now. Have a wonderful Spring week! :)

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