Finding and creating adventures in everyday life.

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Stances and My Laid Back Boy

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I love my Zane. He is a bundle of joy and fun and frustration. He doesn’t have a hustle bone in his body, he doesn’t understand the concept of hurry. He wants to play and chat and have fun and tell jokes and get to know you and spend time with you and invite everyone round for a playdate. Like I said, joy and frustration. Frustration only because we do live in a world that has schedules and clocks and you do have to focus in class to be able to learn, but his love of people and sharing are a great joy.

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Karate is hard. It’s fun, it’s invigorating, it’s exciting. It’s also tough and it requires focus and sharpness. It’s not a natural sport for a laid back, chilled out boy. Zane loves karate. He knows the stuff – his self-defenses, his katas, the Japanese. He takes his time with it all and that’s good, but it can also be a hindrance because speed is important too. He’s also not particularly competitive and isn’t upset when others pass him on their way to higher belts.

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Then there are the stances. Stances are the things that Zane gets dinged for most of the time. He has trouble doing deep stances consistently. He knows how to do them, but when he’s in the middle of a kata, he sometimes forgets or gets distracted.

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He really wants to get to his next belt and prays every night that God will help him to get there. He’s also working on practicing his stances. While we were at the Oregon coast recently, he was constantly jumping into his horse stance when I took his photo. Jude did some stances too, but he did lots of different stances and even made up some of his own. Zane was focused on that horse stance which is featured prominently in one of the yellow belt katas.

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It’s hard to see your children struggle, to not rise to the top and shine brilliantly, but it is a deep joy to see them dig deep and persist and practice and do their best. It’s hard to struggle yourself, to feel like you’re not sure if you can do what needs to be done, to forget the things you’ve learned in a fog a weariness and sweat and self-doubt. For our whole family, karate has been about so much more than working out or learning cool moves. I don’t know when any of us will get our blue belts, but when we do, I will know how much was involved in getting there – especially for my laid back Zane.

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It’s one of my greatest desires that my children are inspired to create. I am a firm believer that everyone is creative – it may not be artistically, but everyone is a creative being. So I love it when my boys make stuff – whether it’s a tower made out of Legos, a chalk drawing, a Crayon Physics puzzle, a culinary “creation” or a drawing. I want to honour their creativity & display it. This is an age-old conundrum – we parents want to display the art, but there’s a lot of it! I take a lot of photos of their creations, but it’s fun to actually keep some of the art work & put it up in the house.

It’s such a fun time with Jude because all of the sudden he’s doing all these drawings that actually look like what he’s trying to draw. He’s having a blast with it too. His imagination is blossoming.

I came across this idea on Pinterest, loved it & decided to recreate it with a few changes. I also saw this idea & wanted to give it a go – I ended up just writing on canvas with puffy paint & really liked how it looked.




I have another idea for displaying paper artwork that is non-standard size that I plan to put in place this weekend. I’ll post pictures when it’s up & ready to go.

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So Yesterday Wasn't as Warm as I Thought It Would Be

I was in full-on Spring mode when I got dressed yesterday. Not long after I took my outfit photos, I added leggings – too cold for bare legs! I did have a lady in Costco tell me that I had the best shoes EVER! That’s always nice to hear. I almost didn’t ever try these shoes on because they’re BROWN – shocking! I just don’t really do brown shoes – has a lot to do with the fact that brown shoes & socks were part of my high school uniform. But I love these brown shoes – they are so comfortable & I love the embroidery detail on the heel.

Probably no outfit photos today unless I go to church tonight – it’s a working in the yard day today! Not too excited about it, but I’m excited for the results. Just waiting for Colin & Jude to return from two free projects – one at Lowes & one at Home Depot. If you have kids – the free kid’s workshops there are great!

Top: Torrid
Dress: Old Navy
Shoes: Ross
Necklaces: Thrifted
Barrett: Gift from family in New Zealand


Tis the Season…

…to head outdoors & into the garden. Hard to believe since we had snow last week, but that’s Central Oregon for you. Last year I planted my garden mid-June & still lost everything & had to start over! Arg! It was an incredibly odd year for gardening even by Central Oregon standards.

For me, gardening & having children have kind of gone hand in hand. My first son, Jude, was about to turn one when, with the help of some friends, we put in our raised beds. This will be our fourth year of having a vegetable garden. The first year was wildly successful – I put it down to beginners luck. The following two years have been good & I’ve learned new things every year.

Our First Year Garden

I’ve never been as aware of the seasons as when I began gardening. I had no idea that Central Oregon had such a short growing season. I just figured that it gets quite hot here, lots of sunshine – it must be easy to grow stuff. I didn’t know about the frosts in the middle of June!

Harvesting the First Tomato of the Season

I’m also so much more aware of life seasons now that I have kids. We had a speaker at MOPS this year who said something that has stuck with me. She said, “When you’re a Mom, the days are long & the years are short.” For me, that has been true. Most days are great, but there are those days that drag on & on & we all just seem to be waiting for Daddy to come home.  At the same time, my boys are growing up so fast & I want to put it all in slow motion so I don’t forget or mess up or miss something.

So what are some others ways that having kids & having a garden are alike?

  • It’s important to have a plan! Whatever your parenting style, you really need to have an idea of what you want to achieve & how you’re going to make it happen.
  • You suddenly become part of a super cool club! When you garden & when you have kids, you find yourself relating to a new set of people – you have more in common with people than you did before.
  • You can talk about your kids or your garden for hours! With friends, with strangers in the supermarket – you’re always on the lookout for encouragement, stories, good advice. (You’ll also get lots of unwanted advice.)
  • They’re both hard work! Weeding in the heat of summer or disciplining in the midst of a tantrum, being a gardener or a parent takes time, energy & patience.
  • They both have a great payoff! It’s called fruit. When you pick that first zucchini of the season or you see your child voluntarily share with another child – it’s an amazing feeling. It’s this sense of “I did this”, but at the same time it’s “I didn’t have much to do with this at all – it’s a miracle.”

Whether you have a full vegetable garden or grow herbs on your window sill, try a bit of gardening. You’ll learn a lot & your kids will love it.

Who Can Resist a Dandelion from a Dirt-Covered Boy?

This is an article I wrote for our MOPS newsletter.


May The Fours Be With You

Today, my firstborn son is four years old. There are a few things that I have a hard time believing.

One, that I have such a thing as a firstborn son. When my husband & I got married, neither of us wanted to have children. It was eight years before we had Jude. It wasn’t an accident either – we simply changed our minds & decided we wanted to have kids. It was a very good decision for us. I have no problem with people who chose not have children, but I am glad that we changed our minds.

Two, how much I love being a Mom. I am tearing up a bit as I write that. I actually cried at my MOPS meeting when I said that to the whole group. It’s true though. It’s been a great journey. It is hard, so very hard sometimes, but it is very good.

Three, that Jude is is four years old! How did that happen? It’s hard to imagine this time four years ago – an induction, 60 hours of labour & finally a C-section & there he was, healthy & strong. There we were feeling out of our depth & happy. Now I look at him & how smart & funny & fun & sensitive he is & I am amazed. Not at anything I’ve done, but at how blessed I am.

A Week Old

Happy Birthday Young Jedi! I love you so much.

Almost Four