Where we have been…

Where have you been, you might wonder?  It has been a while.  Well, let’s see.  We sold our house, bought a really old house, reno’ed the house, moved into the house, moved the chickens, reno’ed the house, tackled some of the yard work, enjoyed summer holidays, reno’ed the chicken coop, started school and currently we are finishing reno’ing the house.  And we have some more yard work to do. 🙂

chicken coop

The chickens new palace under construction.

You see, we haven’t really ever moved since we settled down in our little house once we moved back to Canada.  And there we settled, accumulated belongings, accumulated children, collected memories and collected chickens.

So moving was a big deal.  Now if you are thinking, what is the big deal?  Lots of people move.  People move all the time.  I totally agree with you.  I was with you all the way… until we moved.  I don’t think I had enough sympathy for people when they moved.  Now when I hear that people are moving, I put  my hand on their shoulder and give them the knowing nod.  And we connect on a mutual understanding of just how horrible it really is. There is something special about complaining to someone who just gets it.

And I had a hard time leaving our little house.  We loved our home, we loved our neighbours, we loved our neighbourhood.  We had brought all our babies home to that house.  It was the first house we owed, the only house we owned.  And now we were going to just pack up and leave it all behind.

come for tea

Pop over for a cup of tea.

So now here we are in our new house.  I have declared that I am never going to move out and you will have to pull me out of this house in a pine box.  But as the memories of the stress fade away, the strength of that conviction is less.  Just like after delivering a baby you swear you will never forget intensity of the curse of Eve in labour.  And yet, after a few months of baby cuddles, the memories of the agony lessens. Not saying I’m moving anytime soon though. 🙂

I have learned that a house is just a house.  The memories are in our hearts and head  (cue the violin music) and the people who we share the house with is more important than the four walls that surround us.  We like our new house.  It has more room (yay!), it has lots of character and is a little more in the country.  We have big trees, big spaces and big dreams in this place.  But I like the people I share it with; that’s what makes it so wonderful.


Best of all, it has a big kitchen!  So here is to many more fabulous meals to be made and recipes to be shared! 🙂

Decorating the Christmas tree

Tree with kids

And yet… I still decorate with them every year.  I go in with dreamy expectations of a picture perfect event and there is always a moment like this where I am tearing my hair out.  This year the boys were wrestling, not fighting granted, but wrestling in front of the tree as we are trying to decorate it.

So, why do I keep doing with them?  Because they love it.  And in the end, Christmas is about the kids.  And really, I love it too, broken ornaments and all.  It is the making of wonderful Christmas memories, even if they are not facebook worthy! 🙂

Berry Picking with Kids

Berry picking with kids

Despite the lapse between expectations and reality, I still go berry picking with my kids multiple times during berry season.  I like a good deal just as much as the next person and U-pick is always substantially cheaper than picked berries.

More than that though, I love the nostalgia of it all.  My mom took all of of us kids berry picking when we were little and one of my first jobs was berry picking with my fabulous younger sister. (I do remember more raspberry fights than cash in my pocket though!) My yobo and I have picked together with the kids every year. He is a great picker and has our buckets full in no time!  My girls have become excellent pickers as well and the boys in the comic are still in training. Soon I can just sit in the shade with some lemonade and watch them pick…. right?  🙂

Best of all, my freezer is full of fresh berries!

Sleep… aahhh!

Sleep... aahh!

My kids are notoriously bad sleepers.  As babies, they are up multiple times a night and even as toddlers (and school aged kids) they find reasons wake up and wake me up in the night whether it is an itchy back or a wet bed or a bad dream or the need for drink of water.  My baby is not such a baby anymore but it is rare for me to sleep a whole 8 hours uninterrupted!

My friend tells me it’s just because I am too nice in the night.  🙂 Do you get 8 hours a night?  If so, what’s your secret?  If not, are kids your excuse too?

* I just noticed a typo in the comic… I’ll blame it on the perpetual lack of sleep 😉

Korea & China trip – from a kids perspective

Traveling with kids

I can’t believe that it was a year ago already that we boarded the plane and headed over the Pacific Ocean to China and then Korea!

The kids were determined that they wanted to go and see their Halmoni and had brainstormed fabulous ideas for making money to pay for the tickets.  We had a garage sale, the kids collected pop cans, we brought things to the scrap metal depot and they had lemonade stands.  Kyah even wrote letters to the major airlines asking for assistance.  The kids helped raise over $2000 in the Korea fund towards the trip and that experience made the big event even more meaningful for us all!

After the trip, Kyah put together a power point presentation for her grade four class. The teacher let her share the highlights of the trip including things she thought were interesting and unusual.

If you would like to see the trip through the eyes of a 10 year old, click and enjoy!

My trip to Korea and China

and the saving continues for the next big trip! 🙂

Guest post on Speaking of China

I am so excited to be featured on Speaking of China today.  Jocelyn has a wonderful blog where she explores love, family and relationships in China. She is married to a lovely Chinese man (from all accounts on her blog) and they live in Hangzhou, China. She invited me to write about raising mixed kids.  I share our story of raising these fabulous four in a multicultural environment.


Check out my post over here!