Tuesday, December 15, 2009

You have worth!

A friend sent this to me via email back in November when I was really struggling. She had no idea how much I needed this encouragement that day…but God knew! Thank you Helen for listening to His leading & sending it!

I pray that it can be an encouragement to you too! God created you…He knows you…He loves you. You are a precious jewel to Him…You have worth!!!

One Flaw In Women
Women have strengths that amaze men...
They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness, love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy
and laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in...
They stand up to injustice.
They don't take "no" for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.
They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend..
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel
and cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear about
a birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member,
yet they are strong when they
think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss
can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you
to show how much they care about you.
The heart of a woman is what
makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and ideas.
They give moral support to their
family and friends.
Women have vital things to say
and everything to give.

A Monday with Heidi

I'm thankful for…2 snow/cold days in 8 days! Last Monday it was super cold & the buses were cancelled…we were thrilled to have Benjamin home for a dayJ. It gave us a chance to really get Christmas baking & just hang out together without any pressure of anything planned for the weekend. I really miss having Benjamin at home…but he misses it just as much & talks about it often. He needs to have days when we just stay home & we all really enjoyed Monday. I was doubly thrilled to find out this morning that the buses were once again cancelled. As crazy as it is to hear it’s -42 outside…-56 with the wind chill…I don’t mind at all when it means Benj can stay homeJ. We had a blast decorating gingerbread cookies together…and Benjamin was thrilled to finish all his Christmas crafts & get them wrapped! God knew that I was disappointed to have no Fridays off in December so He gave me 2 Mondays insteadJ. Thank you Lord…it does my heart good to be reminded that You care about the little things in life!

I'm listening to…Christmas musicJ.

What’s happening with the kids? Let’s just say I’m still getting used to having 2 boys & how different they are from girlsJ. Growing up with only one brother who is much younger than me, I never really experienced what boys are like growing up. When we first had Benjamin I remember Ben talking about how boys play so differently & that it’s completely normal. I thought he was crazyJ. I know it sounds stupid…yes, I knew/know how different boys & girls are…but am I really supposed to let them wrestle like that?? Well some days it seems that’s all Benjamin & Kirby do. It’s almost all in fun…but can still get rough. Everything is bugging, poking, prodding, pushing…egging each other on. Sometimes I wonder how different life would be if we only had one of the boys…not that I would wish that in a million years…they just feed off each other so much. I think of Drew being the only boy…and other only boys I know…they seem so different! I know it has a lot to do with personality…but there is something about having more than one of them to feed off each other. Can someone please tell me I’m not crazy or imagining things? I’m not the only one dealing with this right? Anyway…wasn’t meaning to go on about thatJ. So what about Manda? She is loving more & more following me anywhere & everywhere…just chatting…helping…imitating. It’s rather daunting to know you’re always being watched…and knowing that I’m not being anywhere near a perfect example. Thank goodness that God can use me in Manda’s life despite my many imperfections! All that being said, I really have been enjoying this stage of life with the kids. They’re all old enough that we can do so much together and carry on conversations…although sometimes it’s those exact things (especially the second) that can drive me crazyJ.

What’s new with Ben & I? It’s been an interesting few weeks. About 3 weeks ago Ben mentioned to me that he thought one of his ribs was out. He was super busy that week & put off going to the chiropractor till the following week. The next week the chiro here told him just to wait till the muscles relaxed & the ribs would go in on their own. The next week it wasn’t getting better so he went to his chiro in Didsbury. She put the ribs back in & he went & played shinny hockey. 2 days later he could barely move. His back was spasming horribly & he was in a lot of pain. He’s been to the chiropractor 8 times now in the last 3 weeks…which really adds up (especially since Alberta Health no longer subsidizes it)…but we’re very thankful that he is on the mend. We know that we’re better off to deal with it properly now rather than having it continue plaguing him! Ben has missed 3 hockey games already & will miss at least 2 more this week, if not 3. That’s super hard for a man who doesn’t like to even miss one game in a year! He has his mobility back now & it is healing, but he has to be super careful not to reinjure it before it has a chance to completely heal. With Ben hurt, I’m kept super busy around home. I’ve also been working at doing Christmas baking & crafts with the kids.

What’s happening around the house? Lots of baking & crafts. About 4 years ago now I think, I started doing something each Christmas with the kids. That first year it was just Benjamin, but now each of them does a “bulk” craft that they can give. It allows them to participate in Christmas & give without having to buy something. This year I really wanted to find crafts that were simple enough for them to do, but allowed them to express themselves at the same time. I’m thrilled with how they’ve turned out…although Kirby’s doesn’t allow him to express himself as I’d like…but there’s always next year & he still had fun doing itJ. Stay tuned after Christmas & I’ll let you know what they are…I can’t give away the surprise now! The kids & I also love baking together. It’s so much more fun now that they can all be involved. I didn’t know how it would work this year with Benjamin at school, but having the 2 snow days allowed us time to do it so that’s been wonderful.

What's happening in my kitchen? Peppernuts, frosty date balls, no bakes, & gingerbread cookies. More to come…

I am missing…my sister Jodi. She’s the one in our family that I’ve seen the least of lately. We’ve always been close & I miss our talks. I’m looking forward to seeing her SOON!!

I am praying for…our kids. Although I’m thoroughly enjoying this stage with the kids, it has become very real to me in the last year, what a challenge it is to raise kids! Up until now it hasn’t seemed all that hard. Oh, it’s a lot of work, but the discipline & consequences are fairly simple…time out, say you’re sorry…extra chores…lost privilege…you get the idea. In the last 6 months that has suddenly changed. I have realized how much more aware they are of all the ins & outs. It’s not just a matter of telling them anymore…they want to know why…but what about this & that…and still stamp their foot. It’s scary. Lord give us wisdom. Help our kids to grow up to love You with all their hearts despite the fact that we are such imperfect parents! Thank you that your grace is sufficient to cover all of that!

What’s God been doing in my heart? I have been learning something about myself in the last year or so of our marriage...nothing amazing or life changing…just the simple art of being aware of what is making me feel a certain way. One specific time I notice this is after Ben has been sick or hurt. Almost without fail in the first few days after he starts to feel better, I get frustrated with life…and usually take it out on him. Sure enough…Ben’s ribs started to heal & I felt like I was being cheated. I had faithfully taken care of him…and now it was my turn…I wanted to be taken care of! Yikes Lord…am I really that selfish? I didn’t take care of him expecting anything in return…so why does my sinful nature pop up now? I am thankful that I am finally aware of this feeling so I can learn how to kick it out before it gets bad…and how to choose my responses carefully. Hun…I’m sorry. I thrive on being able to take care of you & the kids…I’m sorry for not always having a good attitude about it. I think I finally get it though. I know I still won’t always respond the right way…but I’m working on it. I love you so much.

Well, it’s technically Tuesday now, but oh well…I still started this on MondayJ. One last thought to leave you with. My sister Jenni posted something last week that really hit a chord. I feel like she was speaking from my heart. I just wanted to share (I hope you don’t mind Jen…I love you…and thank you for sharing your heart!)…http://riceandpeanutbutter.blogspot.com/2009/12/junkyard-art.html

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Weekend Away...

For our first anniversary my parents gave us a weekend away in Canmore. It was wonderful to get away…especially because Benjamin would be born a very short while later. It very quickly became a tradition that I don’t ever intend to changeJ. When the kids were little we would just go for one night, but now we go for 2 nights. Most times we go well after our anniversary because of work…but we always make it happen. So…even though our 9th anniversary was in September, we went away this last weekend to celebrate…with the way so many marriages fall apart nowadays every year is worth celebratingJ!

The majority of years we’ve stayed at one place…The Georgetown Inn…which I would highly recommend! This year, because money is so tight, we decided to try somewhere new. It was a beautiful inn & we had a wonderfully relaxing weekend! One thing we really enjoyed about the new place we went to was the steam room they had downstairs…so nice to sit in there in the evening! Ben also enjoyed beating me at ping pong in their game room…but make no mistake…I was closeJ!!

We arrived a bit later than we had hoped on Saturday, but got checked into the inn & headed out for supper. We went really fancy & headed to Boston PizzaJ. I guess it’s partly a tradition…partly we just like the food…and partly we go out so little that when we do, we’re excited about our favourites instead of trying something new. Other than some time in the steam room, the rest of the evening was spent relaxing in our room…reading, games…soak in the tub. The room was really neat…when you walk in it’s like a mini living room…couch, little fireplace, TV…the bedroom is upstairs in the loft with a huge skylight. It was really cool to lay in bed & see the stars.

On Sunday we slept through breakfast…that’s what holidays are for right? I had gotten into a book the night before & read while Ben slept some more…I probably should have joined him…J After grabbing a bite to eat we headed to Banff. We did a little walking downtown before heading up to the hot springs for our massage. We went to the spa at the Banff Upper Hot Springs…hoping to go for a soak before and/or after the massage. Unfortunately, they were closed for renovations…but we enjoyed the steam room at the spa & the massage! After our massage we headed to Tony Roma’s for supper (our all time favourite treatJ). After another steam…a game…and some reading, we watched the movie Fireproof. I’ve been wanting to see it since it came out…what a great movie!

We made it to breakfast Monday morning…kind of needed to…we were the only ones left at the inn by thenJ. After wandering through downtown Canmore, we decided to try somewhere new for lunch! The place we went to was gorgeous…the building & the view and the staff was great. We were a little disappointed with the food though…it wasn’t bad…just nothing really great or special about it. The one thing we both REALLY enjoyed though…which will come as a shock to any of you who know me very well…was the calamari. Ben loves anything seafood & in our married life has gotten me to try some of it…none of which I really enjoy. He had gotten calamari once earlier this year somewhere else & had me try it…it was OK, but not something I’d want to have more of. Well…his calamari came & as soon as I smelled it my mouth was watering! I couldn’t believe my own ears when I asked him if I could have a piece. Usually he has to majorly convince me to even try a bite. Not this time…I thoroughly enjoyed it! I know I wouldn’t enjoy calamari just anywhere…but at The Iron Goat they knew how to cook it right!! To end off our weekend we went for a very chilly walk along Cougar Creek & then headed home along Hwy 1A. After enjoying a sighting of some mountain sheep including a big ram & some little lambs (?), we were off.

For all you married couples out there (ESPECIALLY if you have kids) I have some advice…go away together with no kids at least once a year!!! Even if all you can do at first is one night in a hotel room in the town where you live…DO IT!!! It’s so important for our marriages to have that time to reconnect with no kids. To start you off, here’s my list of most important things to bring:

- CD player & CDs (music in the room does so much to create a mood…even if you’re just in a hotel room!

- Massage oil (give each other massages…way cheaperJ)

- Candles (and don’t forget some candle holders & matches or a lighter)

- Books (I like to bring separate books for each of us & something we might read together)

- Games for 2 (our favourites are battleship & boggle)

- Snacks/treats (we like to have sparkling juice & treats)

OK, that’s all I can think of for now…but you have a good start…so go do itJ!

Ben, thanks for taking me on these memory making weekends. I love you so much! Happy 9th Anniversary!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The kids & I drove to Lethbridge on Saturday to go to my sister Jodi’s grad recital. After getting stuck on Deerfoot in Calgary for over ½ an hour because of a fender bender, I was relieved to be on the way. Just before we got to Nanton we came to a bad accident. There weren’t very many other vehicles there & I figured it was fairly new. We only waited about 10 minutes before we were able to get by. (It turns out we passed about 3 hours after it happened.) What I saw when we went by really shook me up. A smashed car with a tarp over it…and people around another area holding up tarps. My heart sank. I knew what that most likely meant. Right away I felt burdened to pray for the people in the accident & their families. I talked about it a little with the kids (Benjamin especially has a vivid imagination & it’s important to talk about it.).

I looked it up online when we got home on Sunday night…4 women killed…only survivor was a 6 month old baby girl. I found out this evening that one of the girls was a family friend of one of my sisters’ friends. Another reminder of how close to home it is. I can’t imagine the pain these families are going through. Jesus thank you for the hope that at least one of the families has in You. Use this to bring people to You Lord. Give them peace…peace that only You can give Lord Jesus. Comfort them, wrap Your arms around them & give them peace.


A Monday (or Tuesday) with Heidi

I'm thankful for…the time I got to spend with my family this weekend. It was the first time in a long time that we’ve all been together. The only one missing was BenL. I’m also super thankful that James, Cheri & Max will be here for Christmas!!! It wasn’t the same without them last year & it will be so nice to be altogether this year!!! Cheri & Max got here on Saturday & James will come closer to Christmas. I can’t wait to catch up!

What’s happening with the kids? The homeschool teacher comes tomorrow. I’m half dreading it (because I know I should have done more with Manda), half relaxed…so glad I didn’t go blended & that I don’t need to feel like Manda has to be in a certain place. She’s been doing more & more writing…and picking up more & more words in her reading. It’s so fun to see her be excited about reading. Last week was Manda’s last gymnastics before Christmas…and we were allowed to watch. Ben’s parents were there, as well as my mom & Kirby…and Benjamin got to come for a bit during his recess. It was so fun to watch her. She was just glowing & having so much fun!! Benjamin is still up & down about school. He’s come to a place where he realizes the pros of each…but he still really wishes he was at home. He sure has grown up a lot in the last few months. Benjamin is still loving hockey. Lately he’s been learning to stop…and he’s doing great! Kirby is still Kirby…he loves to pester & bug whenever possible…yet he can play nicely for hours on any given dayJ. He is still loving hockey. He is mastering his skating & figuring out how to hit the puck without fallingJ.

What’s new with Ben & I? Ben still has work for which we’re very thankful. We’re praying we can keep on cribbing till Christmas. After that we should be able to do a couple of insurance jobs from the hail storm in August. With all our resources spent getting through last winter…we are thankful for anything & everything right now! I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster the last couple of weeks. Not sure I can even pinpoint exactly why…just a lot going on…in life & in my head. I’m really looking forward to this weekend…Ben & I are going on our annual date weekend for our anniversary. We haven’t gotten away enough this year & it will be wonderful to have the time with no kids or work taking our attention.

What’s happening around the house? Not nearly enough. I’ve revamped the kid’s chores to include bathrooms, which has helped a lot, but there are still a few things getting left. For the most part I live with it…I am very much of the opinion that a clean house isn’t important enough to stress about. But at the same time…I feel better & get more done when it is at least generally clean. I’ve been doing a lot of sorting & moving things to & from the shed so I feel like my piles around the house are never ending. Ah well…it’s definitely gotten easier as the kids are able to do more. I’m really looking forward to starting some baking SOON!

What's happening in my kitchen? I’ve been gone so much that the cooking in our house has been pretty sad. Lots of last minute meals thrown together. I’ve noticed it…and that means Ben has really noticed itJ. So tonight I made sure to cook a real meal. We had mini meatloaves & baked potatoes. We all really enjoy this meal & it’s so, so simple.

I am missing…Sheri. Sheri is one of the few people who can help me even out these emotional rollercoasters I get in. It’s been 11 months since I saw her…as thankful as I am for email & Skype…it’s just not the same. I love you my friend!! I’m thankful for the memories we have from last Christmas…turkey dinner & our own mini ChristmasJ.

I am praying for…peace. There’s been a lot going on in my head & heart lately…Lord please help me to see clearly what You are trying to teach me. Give me Your peace that passes all understanding.

What’s God been doing in my heart? Learning to seek Him continuously…just keep giving it all back to Him!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Self centered vs self care

You may have noticed that I’ve caught up on a bunch of blogs this weekend...well, it’s because I’ve been at a ladies retreat...all by myselfJ. This isn’t the kind of retreat with speakers & worship times & whatnot, although I enjoy those too. Most ladies bring scrapbooking & sewing, but the whole point is that you can do whatever you want. I came last year for the first time & it was soooooo good for me. I became a hermit & sat in my room nearly the whole weekend...but that was exactly what I needed. I’m back this year & have spent a bit more time with the other ladies, but still plenty of time alone. I have some thoughts about that if you’re interested...

A little while back I asked a question in one of my posts...about selfishness vs self care. http://bhwerdalfamily.blogspot.com/2009/10/wednesday-with-heidi.html I appreciated all your comments...thanks!! When I asked the question I was thinking about a marriage retreat we were at 4 years ago...but I couldn’t remember the details. Well, last night I pulled out my notes from the retreat. I’m still struggling with how to apply this to my life, but here are my thoughts.

To me, self care means valuing who I am to the point of taking care of myself. It’s not natural to care for ourselves. We are taught to always think of others first...it’s selfish to think of ourselves. I’m not saying we shouldn’t think of others, but we do need to take care of ourselves. Another reason it’s not natural is that when we get married we often “give” our hearts to our spouse...thinking that they are meant to take care of our hearts. This is not the case. My heart is my deal. I need to stop thinking that I married the person who would take care of my heart. It’s my job to take care of my heart. The last reason that it’s not natural...and right now this is where I’m struggling...is that we don’t know how to take care of ourselves. It’s very natural for me to give, give, give without thinking about where I’m at...and then all of a sudden I start to feel resentful because no one is giving back in the same way.

Mark 12:30 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” God said that we are to love Him with all of our being: our heart (emotional), soul (spiritual), mind (mental) & strength (physical). Jesus modelled this in Luke 2:52, “And Jesus grew in wisdom & stature, and in favour with God & men.” He grew in wisdom (mental), stature (physical), favour with God (spiritual) & favour with men (emotional).

God said it.
Jesus modelled it.
The Holy Spirit empowered it.
So I am going to do it.

OK, so I need to take care of my whole being...physical, mental, emotional, & spiritual. How do I do that in the midst of a very busy life? Well, I’m coming to realize that this ladies retreat is one way I can achieve that. Now, once a year is not enough to take care of myself, but it’s a start. Here’s what I mean. Some of the things that renew me mentally are reading & hobbies...I’ve done both of those this weekend. It really helps me emotionally if I have time alone or or am able to listen to music...I’ve done both of those too. Getting enough sleep is one way to take care of myself physically...and I’ve been able to get some extra sleep this weekend. Lastly...spiritually...well, right now I’m sitting here pondering these things & what it means to me...I’ve also been listening to music as I do this. So you see, with one weekend away, I’m taking care of every aspect of me. Knowing that helps me not to feel guilty for asking Ben to stay home with the kids so I could come.

I know that by doing this, I will go home a better wife & mom. You see, the reason we need to “fill” ourselves is so that we can distribute it to the people around us. Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy & peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” When I take care of myself I am much more able to be the wife that Ben needs & the mom that the kids need. If I neglect myself, I get frustrated more easily & it ends up getting taken out on them.

My challenge (to myself as much as anyone) is to find things...little things...that renew me. Yes, this weekend away is great, but what about the rest of the year? I need to look at each area of my life...mental, spiritual, emotional, & physical...and find little things I can do on a daily or weekly basis to take care of myself...and not feel guilty about it!!! I have a bit of a list going, now I just need to figure out how to apply it. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Benjamin's birthday party

Benjamin’s birthday was the opposite of Manda’s...it was a lot of work! It was so worth it though!!! Two things brought us to the party we had for Benjamin. For 2 years now I’ve thought about doing a science party for him because he loves doing science experiments so much. Last year he really wanted something else though so I waited. I knew this was the year. He’s old enough now to really enjoy it, plus, with him able to invite a few friends from school now, it would be fun to do with them. There’s a family who lives around here that we’ve been friends with since Benjamin was a baby. We met them shortly after he was born & have always had a neat connection. We were married exactly a week apart (but didn’t know each other yet then) & Benjamin & their oldest were born exactly a week apart. We met them when Austin (their oldest) & Benjamin were about 6 months old or so. Ever since their first birthday parties we have talked about the possibility of doing a party together, but it’s never happened. Well, they just had their 4th boy, so Jodi (my friend) has her hands full. We decided this was the year to combine! Although I’m very glad we did it, it was a lot of work planning for so many people! Jodi took care of the food end of things & came up with some really neat ideas to make it “scientific”. There was a lime green chocolate fountain, a bowl of fish crackers in water (blue jello) among other things. She asked if I would do the cake & activities. Well, I’ve always enjoyed making a fun cake for the kids’ birthdays so I started searching online. I decided a volcano cake was the best idea to make it scientific so started looking at all kinds of volcano cakes. Most of them were decorated to look like volcanoes with red icing for lava, etc...with a few using dry ice to make it “smoke”. I was disappointed though...none looked very realistic. I loved the dry ice idea, but I wanted the actual cake to look good too. Finally I came across a site that had the answer. It was soooo easy (easiest cake I’ve ever made!) & sooooooo cool!!! I don’t know how to upload from our video camera onto here, but if you go here: http://balloonguyentertainment.com/blog/?p=637 ...that’s where I got the idea & they have a video of it & instructions of how to make it. Ours was virtually identical. The only other thing I did was sprinkle some oreo crumbs in the “crevices” to make it look more real. To clarify one thing...when you mix the jello...mix according to package instructions, but only add the boiling water, not the cold water. The video is worth watching!!

When I started looking for science experiments I was overwhelmed. There were so many fun ones, how would I ever choose? I finally decided on 6 experiments that were all with different materials...to give some variety. The one downside to this party was that I was so busy directing that I couldn’t take very many pictures. Ben & my brother Andrew took some for me though which I’m thankful for. We made slime (white glue, water, borax), quicksand goo (cornstarch, water), rockets (film canister, water, alka-seltzer), balloon blast (pop bottle, vinegar, baking soda, balloon), geyser (diet coke, mentos) & lava lamps (pop bottle, water, oil, salt). There were a couple of them that could have been done with different materials, but then I would have had multiple experiments with the same materials (ie/ vinegar & baking soda) so I opted to use variations. If you’re interested in how to do any of these, let me know...I typed up all the instructions to put in the kids’ party bags so I could easily email it to you.

Anyways...to me the best part wasn’t the actual experiments (although that was a lot of funJ), it was making it really seem like a science lab. I printed a bunch of signs from a site online such as “Caution: Testing in Progress”. As the kids entered the church they came to a sign that said “Authorized Personnel Only”. I asked if they could show me their badges. Obviously they didn’t have one...so I gave them each a badge that said Professor (their name) Benjamin Werdal. They had barcodes on the bottom to make them more realistic. Next they came to 2 signs... “Notice: Goggles & gloves must be warn beyond this point”, “Warning: Do not Enter when Red Light Flashing”. I had found a flashing red light at Dollarama and of course it was turned onJ. Everyone was then given a party bag that had a disposable apron, latex gloves, & safety glasses. They then kept these bags & after each experiment they put their supplies in it to take home. They had to put on their apron & safety glasses & then I turned the red light off so they could go in. They thought this was all a blast!

As we rotated through the experiments there were a couple of things I realized...for if I ever do it again. Andrew & Trina had agreed to help me with the experiments & I couldn’t have done it without them, but with 20 kids, it wasn’t enough. I would definitely enlist more people to help next time. With Ben & some of the parents helping we made it through, but it was a bit chaotic at times. The other thing is cleanup. I didn’t think about the fact that I would need time between each experiment to clear off the tables & set up for the next one. Luckily we had lots of balloons blown up so the kids played with those. I had also found some really cool “scientific” bubbles that don’t pop when you catch them. Andrew blew those between a few experiments & the kids thought they were really cool. Other than that, it was a blast.

At the very end we did the cake. It was a HUGE hit!! The kids oohed & ahhed. It was so fun to see their reactions. The one thing I didn’t think about...candles. I had put a ring of candles around the cup at the top of the cake. I had put 16 candles in...8 for Benjamin & 8 for Austin...we lit them all. Then as I got ready to carry the cake out, I dropped the first piece of dry ice in...instantly all the candles went out. Oops...forgot that dry ice is carbon dioxide...no oxygen to burn the candlesJ. Ah well...I thought we’d light them after we finished with the dry ice. Well, that would have worked except that the candles (& wicks) were covered in gelatine so they wouldn’t light! Oh well...the cake was well worth it & Austin & Benjamin didn’t care that they didn’t have candles to blow out.

The boys opened presents.

Then, when the parents were already there, we headed outside for the last experiment...the geysers. Everyone enjoyed that & it was a great wrap up to the party. Andrew had the camera this time as I dropped the mentos into the coke. Unfortunately for me (fortunately for youJ), he caught me jumping back to avoid being sprayed by the coke.

It was a lot of fun to do a party with Benjamin & Austin together. Although we haven’t always been able to get together a lot, they’ve always been buddies. When we first decided to do it (at Amanda’s birthday party 2 weeks before), I went home & was looking through some old pictures & got this idea. I wanted to see how many pictures I could find with the 2 of them together. I found all the pictures & then Jodi & her mom put it all together for me at the last minute. It brings back memoriesJ.

Happy 8th birthday Benjamin!!!

Amanda's 6th birthday

Well, it’s taken a few weeks, but I’m finally going to write about Manda’s birthday party! With Manda & Benjamin’s birthdays only a few weeks apart, life can be kind of hectic in between.
We started a new tradition this year for the kids’ birthdays. Ben bought Manda a single carnation on her birthday. She was sooooo excitedJ.

In September when Amanda had her re-evaluation with her ND the 2 of us drove down to Okotoks together. It was so fun to have just her. She opened up & talked like crazy! One of the things I asked her was what she’d like to do for her birthday. Her immediate response was “a shopping birthday”. I thought that could be kind of fun...what kid doesn’t like to play store? Then as we talked some more I realized she was talking about what gift she wanted for her birthday (she’d been eyeing a cash register at the homeschool store). Oh well...I thought I could do that for her gift & base the party around it.

Fast forward to middle of October...I still haven’t planned her party & it’s only a few weeks away. I start brainstorming for ideas. The “playing store” was a good idea, but how was I going to turn it into a party? Well, to spare you the thought process & details, here’s how it turned outJ.

Since the church was already booked (we usually do our parties there because our house is too small), my parents graciously let us use their house. As guests arrived, they were greeted at the front door with balloons & a sign welcoming them to “Amanda’s Razzle-dazzle Wondermart”. Yes it sounds like a goofy name...but I thought it would be fun to have it match her initials (Amanda Ruth Werdal)...besides, goofy is fun for a 6 year oldJ.

As they entered guests could take a mall brochure which included a list of stores & what they contained along with a map. It also listed the mall hours (party time) & location, as well as mall history:

About this mall: Amanda’s Razzle-dazzle Wondermart has been operating for 6 years. Owner Amanda Ruth Werdal loves to shop & works hard to provide you with a pleasant shopping experience. Come & check out our selection of stores. We look forward to serving you!

First the kids came to “Build-A-Bag” where I had plain brown gift bags that they decorated. Amanda had written her initials on all the butterflies & I wrote in the name. Each of the kids got a butterfly & stickers to decorate with.

Once their gift bags were decorated we started shopping. First I took the little kids (2 & 3 year olds) to “Little Tykes”, a store especially for toddlers. They each got to pick a notebook, crayons & a book. They headed downstairs to play while I took the rest of the kids shopping (age 4-9). At “The Write Shop” they picked out a pen, stickers, a notebook & an activity book. “My Favorite Things” was a toy store where they got a ball & another toy (don’t know what it’s calledJ). “Trinket Town” was the jewlery store where they picked a bracelet (glow ones for the boys). Finally we headed to “Cheese Please”, the photography studio where they received a free gift (blistex) when they had their picture taken.

After they were done shopping the kids headed downstairs to play while I got ready for cake. I had made the cake look as much as I could like the cash register that we bought Manda (other than colorJ).

She was thrilled. We did cake & presents & that was it.

Numerous people have said how much work I went to, but it was really a very simple party. The hardest part was just going to the dollar store & deciding what to buy for each store & what to name the stores. Other than that it was the easiest party I’ve done! I’m just thrilled that Manda had so much funJ.

Since most of our family is boys, they usually dominate our birthday parties...Manda was very happy to have a few girls to share her special day!

Goofy girl saying goodbye to her guests wearing Andrews soccer shoes. (She wears kid's size 13, he wears a men's 13!)

Happy 6th birthday Manda!!!

Dear Benjamin,

If you’ve just started reading my blog...this entry explains why I post letters to my kids: http://bhwerdalfamily.blogspot.com/2009/10/my-dearest-manda.html

Benjamin Caleb,

Wow, are you really 8 years old? Somehow that seems like a big jump from being 7. Seven was still just a little boy...eight seems like you’re on your way to being a young man & I can hardly believe it. You have grown up so much in the last year. We’ve had a lot of ups & downs & I’m so proud of how well you’ve handled it all.

On your last birthday we were homeschooling. You were at home with me all the time & although you drove me crazy sometimes with your chatterJ...I loved having you there. When Daddy & I decided that you were going to go to the public school this year we weren’t sure how you would react. I was worried that you’d be totally against it (you were when I had mentioned it casually months before). We knew that’s where God was leading us though, so we prayed about it & then took you on a “date” to tell you. Well, God had worked in your heart because you actually got excited about it. I think that was April. All summer you kept saying you couldn’t wait for the summer to be done so you could go. I told you to enjoy the free time while you had itJ!

The first 2 weeks of school you loved it. It was all new & special & you had so much fun. At that point you made a comment to me that you wished you were still homeschooling because you missed being at home. That just about broke my heart. I was struggling as it was, but it helped to know that you were enjoying it. We had a long talk about persevering (something we’ve talked a lot about since we learned about Gladys Alyward last year) and you seemed to do ok. In the last month though you’ve brought it up numerous times, how you miss being at home. I’ve been so proud of you though for the way you’ve talked about it. You recognize the things you miss about homeschooling, but you see the positives of school too. I’m not sure what we’ll do for school next year...I’m waiting for God to make that clear...but I pray that you will be able to learn something from this year.

I’ve also really enjoyed watching you interact with Manda & Kirby. So often I find you teaching Manda & Kirby...not always big things...just little tidbits about life. It means so much more to them coming from you than if I was to tell them & it’s so much fun for me to see!

One of my favourite moments with you this year was when we went for a bike ride for your special night this summer. We rode to JOKO’s & then found a spot down by the creek to sit. You asked such amazing questions about God & we just had such a good talk! I look forward to many more talks like that!

We love you so much Benjamin. Our prayer is that as you go through this next year that you would grow closer to Jesus & learn more about how to follow Him in everything you do.

Love from,

Mommy & Daddy

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lessons in love

I wanted to share something that God taught me a couple of weeks ago. This was just over 2 weeks ago after a grade nine girl in town committed suicide. It hit the town hard. There was a lot of talk going around. A friend of mine made a comment on facebook about the idea of suicide being a selfish act. I knew right away that she didn’t mean it badly…she is known for making deep, thought provoking comments. Not everyone took it that way however & there was one in particular who replied very harshly…berating her for saying such a thing & accusing that a true Christian doesn’t judge. I felt very strongly that I needed to reply to this but I really didn’t know how. I knew what my friend meant about suicide being selfish, but I also understood how it could be misunderstood & make people upset. It made me angry that someone would reply so hypocritically…telling her not to judge, yet judging by saying so.

I put my fingers on the keyboard…searching for words…asking the Lord for wisdom about what to write. It took 15 or 20 minutes to write a few short sentences. I typed…then erased half of it…tried again & erased again. I felt very strongly that I needed to defend my friend, but that I had to be very careful not to judge in the same way, by doing so. A couple of times while I was writing I had the “urge” (ie: Satan whispering in my ear) to plug in a line about being careful not to accuse someone of something you’re doing too. Each time that came to mind though, God reminded me that I needed to respond in love. “But God…she needs to understand how hypocritical her response was.” “That’s my job, not yours.” When I finally felt good about what I wrote I prayed one more time…asking God to use my words. It wasn’t very many minutes later that I received a message from the girl who had responded to my friends comment. (If you don’t know about facebook…people can comment back & forth on each other’s status’, but messages are only between the sender & receiver.) I do not know this girl. I only know that she responded harshly to my friend’s status.

This was the message I received: “Just wanted to say that your words concerning the death of **** were eloquent and had the absolute essence of the situation. I removed myself from the comments because I think your words explained it all. I mean no disrespect to any parties. Only hoping all understand how comments can be misjudged.“

Wow Lord! I sure didn’t do that…it was all you!! It felt so good to receive that message. I had listened to what God was telling me…respond in love, not anger…and He allowed me to see the benefits of that. I feel like I’m not doing the story justice here. It was very surreal to me. That message brought tears to my eyes & a feeling in my heart that this was something pretty special that I was experiencing. I wasn’t at all expecting that kind of response. I was fully expecting her to lash back, but instead my words (God’s words!) got through. Thank you Lord for allowing me to see first hand that it is worth it to listen to your prompting & to respond in love! Even though I knew that in theory before…it became so much more real to have it happen. I pray that I won’t soon forget that lesson!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Wednesday with Heidi

I'm thankful for…this date 6 years ago. Unexpected trip to Red Deer, high blood pressure, nasty gas & all…I’m so grateful for the safe arrival of our Amanda Ruth Werdal. I’m also thankful for my mom on this day…Manda shares a birthday with her. Rather appropriate I think…after all, Manda wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my momJ. It’s fun to see the special bond the 2 of them have developed!

I'm listening to…quiet…

What’s happening with the kids? Well, after a nasty week & a half, I think they’re all on the way to being healthy. Manda’s still loving gymnastics. Benjamin had PT interviews on Monday & “passed” with flying colors. It was fun to see the interaction between him & his teachers…and also for Ben to be able to be there. Kirby is just Kirby…the endearing troublemaker…makes me pull my hair out one minute & makes me laugh the next. The boys started hockey on Friday. Kirby was giddy with excitement for 2 days (from the moment he found out)…until he stepped on the ice. Then I think he realized that it was going to be no easy task learning to skate. He still had fun, but it was a bit of a struggle. He has a practice on Saturday that Ben will take him to & go on the ice with him, so hopefully that’ll give him a boost. Benjamin fit right back in doing great. He’s enjoying knowing a few more of the kids from school.

What’s new with Ben & I? Ben is healthy again after a rather crazy couple of days. He’s also going absolutely crazy with work right now. Of course we’re very thankful for the work…but we’re down to Ben & 2 guys…with enough work for about 6 guys…so it’s rather stressful.

I ended up having 6 nights in a row with only 3 or 4 hours of sleep…was brutal…but I made it through…although I’m still coughing a bit now. The first full night of sleep I got after all that…I woke up & was trying to figure out who had woken me up…which kid was in bed…who was crying…if Ben had a fever again…then I looked at the clock & it was morning! A very pleasant surprise indeedJ. I’m swamped right now. Homeschooling while having Benjamin in school is not going so well. Everything revolves around Benjamin’s schedule & it’s really hard. I have 3 sets of pictures to try & get edited…plus the school ones I took of the kids. Plus bookwork is behind & there are always the tasks on the to do list that just never even get thought of. Someday…(will it ever come?)

What’s happening around the house? Trina came & cleaned floors with me today!!! Feels amazing…they were driving me crazy! I also cooked a pumpkin today so I’ll be able to make pumpkin pie, muffins…to my hearts contentJ. It cost me $3 to get a huge pumpkin that’ll make oodles of pies & muffins…whereas buying canned pumpkin would have cost $4 just for 2 dozen muffins or 2 pies…I love getting deals!

What's happening in my kitchen? The birthday girl/boy always gets to pick supper in our house…Manda’s choice for tonight was broccoli cheese soup, whole wheat biscuits, & pineapple, cantaloupe & strawberries for dessert…girl after my heartJ.

I am missing…my dad. I know…again it seems strange. I had a chance to catch up with my mom, Drew & Trina some this week which was really nice. On Saturday the kids & I went to the Lacombe corn maze with them & also to watch Drew run in provincials for cross country. My dad was there too…I just didn’t get much chance to talk to him. I’ve seen him a couple of times in the last week actually…but I guess what I love doing with him…hanging out, playing games, watching movies, chatting…I haven’t gotten to do.

We had a blast on Saturday though. Andrew placed 58th in Alberta (senior boys)…pretty darn good if you ask me!!! Plus our school brought home the 2A provincial banner which was super cool. The kids loved had fun going through the corn maze even though it was starting to get dark. Then my mom took the younger 2 to the play area while the rest of us had a race through the other phases of the maze. We had done phase 1 altogether. Two years ago when we did it, my dad & Trina beat Drew & I for both phases 2 & 3. This time Benjamin wanted to come with us all. My dad & Trina won phase 3, but Drew & I kicked their butts on phase 2. Benjamin had a hoot. When we were still altogether in phase 1 he made a comment that “This is so much fun Mommy…the only thing that would make it funner is if it got harder & harder!” Well, our races in the dark were harderJ. We ended the evening going out for supper at Wendy’s. The kids slept well on the way homeJ.

OK so after writing that I think I’m out to lunch…I had lots of time to spend with my dad on Saturday…I guess it’s just the talk time I’m missing…or maybe I’m just still catching up from not seeing him for so long…anyways…all it really says is that I like to spend time with my dad (& all my family) & I miss him…that’s not bad right? So Papa…if you read this…we need to plan a game night soon!! I love youJ.

I am praying for…wisdom. I’m so swamped right now…but I don’t know if there’s something I can drop or should drop. I went through this last fall too & was able to get rid of a bunch of little things I was doing which helped, but now I feel like I’m at bare bones, yet I’m doing too much. Lord please give me wisdom in knowing how to be the wife & mom you want me to be…and if there’s anything I’m doing that I need to let go. Help me to balance all the aspects of life wisely & say no to things I need to let go.

What’s God been doing in my heart? Selfishness vs. self care. I’ve been pondering & I’m curious to know what you think the difference is between selfishness & taking care of yourself. I know we need to think about others before ourselves, but at the same time we need to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, spiritually, & emotionally. So where’s the line? Any verses to back it up? Like I said, I’m pondering & I’d love to hear your thoughts.

My dearest Manda...

I have tried since the kids were born to write them a letter every year on or around their birthday…talking about how they’ve changed in the last year & letting them know how much we love them. I’ve missed a number of years already, but I thought it would be really neat for them to be able to read them 15 years from now, so I will do them when I canJ. Anyways…since I’ve started the blog, I thought I’d write it on here so you can snoopJ.

My dearest Manda,

6 years old…I can’t believe it. For some reason I don’t remember it hitting me this hard when Benjamin turned 6…maybe my memory is just failing me. You’ve become so grown up!! My favorite right now is to listen to you sing along with “green Veggie Tales”…and to hear you talk on the phone with Grandma B. It’s so fun to hear you express yourself. God made you so special!!!

Last spring you played soccer…it was the natural thing to do…you wanted to because Benji was. You didn’t enjoy it very much though & for the last 6 months or so I’ve been on a mission to find something that can be just yours…where you don’t have to be compared to the boys…you can just be yourself. Well, I think we’ve found it! You’ve been doing gymnastics for 6 weeks now & you’re LOVING it! It’s been amazing to see you come out of your shell & do things on your own. The first week you were really nervous about me leaving even 10 minutes into the class. The second week I could leave only once the teacher came to take you in. After that is history…you’ve relaxed more & more & look forward to it so much…not even looking back when I leave. I can’t wait till the middle of November when I can stay & watch you!!

Your favorite thing right now is babies…real ones…Kaitlyn, who’s not so much of a baby anymore…your new cousin Bowie…Austin’s little brother Wyatt…any baby you come across…and if you can’t see one of those, then you’ll play with your babies…Kaitlyn & Pinky. It makes me a little sad sometimes. It would be so fun to have a new baby right now when you could help & love them to bits. At the same time…I’m thoroughly enjoying having all 3 of you be old enough that we can go do more things together…so we’ll have to be content with cuddling & helping with other people’s babiesJ. You’re going to be an amazing mom one day!

It’s taken me a while to figure it out…but you love to help me with laundry, help in the kitchen, or even cleaning. For a long time I would brush you off because I thought by allowing you to do that I was making you do extra chores the boys weren’t doing. I finally clued in & figured out that you LOVE helping…so I’m working at finding jobs for you to do more often. I love the way your face lights up when you can help meJ.

No matter what anyone tells you Manda, always remember how much God loves you! He has made you for such a special purpose…I can’t wait to see what He does in your life!

We love you so, so much!!!

Love, Mommy & Daddy

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I received this in my inbox a few days ago...I needed the reminder…

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven's door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.
But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp--
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash.
There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.
Herb, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,

Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, 'What's the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How'd all these sinners get up here?
God must've made a mistake.
'And why's everyone so quiet,
So somber - give me a clue.'
'Hush, child,' He said, 'they're all in shock.

No one thought they'd be seeing you.'

Remember...Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car ..

Every saint has a PAST... Every sinner has a FUTURE! Now it's your turn... Share this

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Moms...on call 24/7

When I got pregnant with Benjamin I was excited. I thought I would slip very easily into the mothering role…after all, I helped raise my younger brother & sister. I did diaper changes, rocked them to sleep, & read stories…this would be easy! I remember within the first week of being home from the hospital realizing how wrong I was. As much as I thought I did at the time with Drew & Trina…it was nothing compared to being a mom. I really struggled with that for a while after Benjamin was born. I was on call 24/7…I couldn’t just change the diaper & hand him off to Mommy…I was Mommy! Well, I soon came to grips with the loss of my freedom…knowing that no matter what I did I had to consider him & what he needed (even if I had a night off!). It was definitely nice to have had the “baby experience” with Andrew & Trina…just not the same.

The last week has been a reminder of all of that. Benjamin has been sick a lot since school started…off & on with a cough…a runny nose… It all kind of came to a head on Wednesday night last week…he got a fever & was up a bunch that night. No worries…I kept him home from school…he got some extra sleep Thursday (& so did I)…and he started to get better. I can deal with that.

Friday night we went to the orchestra…on the way there Manda & Kirby started coughing & having runny noses…bad time to get sick! OK, well we made it through the performance with lots of cuddles. Saturday…everyone sleeps in…ahhhh. M&K still have cold symptoms, but otherwise fine. Saturday night…Kirby wakes up with a fever…not feeling good at all…up half the night with him.

Stayed home with the kids from church on Sunday…didn’t want to pass this on. By noon they were back to just cold symptoms…wonderful mother-in-law agrees to keep them so we can go on a date…even though they’re sick. They both had fevers that night. On the way home from our date Sunday night my throat started to feel a little sore…uh oh…hope I can sleep it off. Got to sleep in Monday morning (holiday) before picking up the kids…still woke up with a sore throat though. Nothing else really wrong…just a sore throat that turned into a cough through the day Monday.

Monday night I got the chills…shaking uncontrollably…not fun. Got to bed on time. No sooner cuddled up to Ben & started getting warm than Manda comes in. I don’t remember all the details after that. Manda & Kirby were each up at least twice…taking turns. Cuddle with Ben, start to get warm…kid awake…shiver my way to their room, crawl in their bed to cuddle them, just start to get warm, head back to my bed…and the cycle would start again. It was 2am before they were both sleeping & I finally got to go to sleep…at which point my fever broke I think…I started sweating like crazy.

Considering the night, Tuesday was rather uneventful. I felt good as long as I could avoid coughing…that hurt like crazy. Otherwise I was fine & it seemed the same for the kids. Ben had started coughing, but otherwise felt fine. He had his first hockey game of the season last night. It was an early game & I planned to stay up till he got home…talk to him for a few minutes & then head to bed. Well, he got home a bit later than expected…with the chills…same as I had the night before…shaking uncontrollably. He had a bath to try & warm up, then fed him supper (he doesn’t eat supper before hockey games), & had him comfortable on the couch…took his temp…fever. He was hurting too bad to go to bed right away so I just sat with him a while…got some advil. Eventually we headed to bed…1:45. Sure enough, just as I got comfortable & started to doze, Kirby woke up. Ugh…Lord I don’t have the strength for any more! By the time I got him back to bed it was 2:30…then I laid awake till 3:30 as Ben tossed & turned. Eventually his fever broke & he fell asleep (so did I)…only to have the alarm go at 6:30…have to get Benjamin to school! I heard the first alarm & slept through the rest…poor Benjamin was late for school.

I feel worse today than I did yesterday…it’s no surprise I guess. Sleep helps you get better…lack of sleep does the opposite. Yet, I will continue on…this is my job…I’m a mom…24/7. God knows…He’ll help me through it. For now, I’m heading to the school to walk a lap with Benjamin…because I love him & I know it matters to him!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Tuesday with Heidi

I'm thankful for…being able to finally meet my new nephew on Sunday & that he’s home from the hospital! Also that Ben & I got to go on a date…and that I have a mother-in-law who was willing to take the kids even when they were sick because she knew I needed to get away. Thanks Mom!

What’s happening with the kids? Sick, sick, sick. Benjamin has been sick nearly constantly since school started which has not been fun. It got a bit worse last week & I kept him home one day to get some rest. Since then he seems to be improving. Manda & Kirby were fine until Friday. Now they have the bug too. On Friday we went to see the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra perform “Bugs Bunny on Broadway”. It was a bit of a stretch for Manda & Kirby because they had just gotten sick…it was late…and long…but overall they enjoyed it. It was a fun way to introduce them to the orchestra. Benjamin absolutely loved it & thought it was so cool that the orchestra could play the exact music that he hears every time he watches Bugs Bunny (this fact was kind of lost on M&K).

What’s new with Ben & I? We got to go on a date! It was wonderful to get away on Sunday…been way too long! Ben has lots of work right now…and one less guy to do it with, so he’ll be busy. He also plays his first hockey game tonight which he’s super excited aboutJ. As far as me…well, when we got home from our date on Sunday night I started to feel a bit of a sore throat coming on…it got worse & worse through the day yesterday. This is the first time I’ve been sick in a long time…which I’m thankful for…but it’s still not fun…especially while trying to take care of 2 sick kids! Other than that it’s pretty much just the normal…mom, wife, Kid’s Rock, bookkeeper…

What’s happening around the house? The chaos is driving me crazy. I just get one project done…clothes taken out to the shed…and another shows up…I now have 3 hockey bags to trip over. I wish I could have a weekend with the house to myself to get caught up on all the things that I never get time to do because they’re not top priority.

What's happening in my kitchen? Well, I was going to write this blog yesterday & totally forgot…so I’ll write yesterday’s supper…it was more interestingJ. We’ll be doing Thanksgiving with Ben’s family in a couple of weeks, but I wanted to cook something a little bit special to make it at least feel like Thanksgiving. We had farmer sausage & applesauce, mashed potatoes & gravy, sweet potatoes, creamed corn, & pumpkin pie with whipping cream. Mmmmm…it was good! I’ve been thoroughly enjoying being able to bake again. We now have apple crisp in the fridge & a pumpkin pie…I never make dessert this much! Sometime this week I plan to start making some muffins & cookies.

I am missing…Alexis, Jemma & Noah…friends for the kids. We have never connected with a family the same as we did with the Elliott’s last summer. Our kids miss their kid’s so much. We’ll be driving down the road & completely out of the blue Manda will say, “Mommy I want to see Lexis, Jemma & Noah again!” Manda & Kirby just don’t understand the whole thing with how far away they are & how long they’re goneL. In the last couple weeks I’ve been starting to plan Manda & Benjamin’s birthdays…and I so wish that I could invite Alexis, Jemma, & Noah…it won’t be the same without them! Love you guys!!

I am praying for…all of us to be healthy soon…especially Benjamin as he’s trying to learn despite constantly feeling under the weather..

What’s God been doing in my heart? Well, I had to stay home from church with sick kids this week. I HATE staying home from church. Sunday mornings are my restart time. I leave all the junk behind from the week before & start fresh. I love singing as a body of believers & being encouraged by Pastor Kent’s sermons. Often when I have to stay home I’ll get quite down & depressed by the time Ben gets home from church…I was able to avoid that this week. I still didn’t want to be at home, but I enjoyed the time I had with the kids. We played a game together, listened to music, & read stories. Thanks Lord for changing my attitude Sunday. Please help the rest of the week to go smoothly even though I didn’t get that “reset”.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Homeschool vs. Public

“Mommy, I’m starting to wish I was still homeschooling.”

Those words rocked my world last week. I’ve been struggling enough with this transition, but have always been thankful that at least Benjamin is enjoying school. Now how do I make it through this year? I know there are pros & cons to both homeschooling & public school. I know them…not just from hearing, but by experience. I have experienced the pros…of homeschooling…the freedom, the flexibility, the joy of seeing my kids play together…versus public…the relief of having one less to teach this year, the joy of seeing him get along with his peers & bring home new ideas. I’ve also experienced the cons…of homeschooling…the stress of planning & never getting a break…versus public…a tired child, always being rushed, no more spontenaity, the ache when he says how much he misses playing with Manda & Kirby & missing the day to day life lessons.

It’s been a struggle for me since day 1, but I firmly believe that God has us here for a reason this year. As far as next year…I have no idea. For now though, I will help Benjamin see the positives & remind myself of them often. We will get through this year…and be better for it…with God’s help. Thank you Lord that I can trust that you guided us in this school decision…and that you will be with us through it. Please help us all…the kids included…to know your peace about this even though it hasn’t been the easiest thing. Help us to be open to learn what it is you have to teach us through this. Help Benjamin to be a light for you to his classmates, his teachers & all the others he comes in contact with. Give us wisdom when the time comes to make decisions about next year.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Monday with Heidi...finally:)

Well, I haven’t been very good about blogging this fall, but I’m trying to get back into it. I came across a blog format online that I really like because it breaks things down a little. I like the format I’m using, I just can’t seem to give short answers…so it takes a while to blog…therefore I avoid it because I don’t have time. So…I’m going to combine the 2 & we’ll see what happens…more headings, but less in each oneJ.

I'm thankful for…a house for Trevor & Beckie!! Last time I wrote I said I was praying for them. In about than 2 weeks (if I’m remembering right…) they were able to buy a home & be moving in! God is good!!! I’m also so thankful for the safe arrival of our new baby nephew, Bowie Orion Werdal. He was born at 34 weeks, weighing 4 lbs. 8 oz.

I'm listening to…Manda & Kirby playing together. It’s been hard lately to hear just the 2 of them…Benjamin misses playing with them so much!

What’s happening with the kids? Manda has had 3 gymnastics practices now & is LOVING it!!! It’s been so fun to see her come out of her shell & enjoy something that’s just hers…no comparison to the boys…doesn’t matter how anyone else is doing…she just glows every time I pick her upJ. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying going to the school every day at lunch to do the kilometer club with Benjamin. We get to help him earn popsicle sticks for his class (we usually do 2 km x 3 of us, gives him 6 extra sticks toward their class total)…it creates a structure for Manda to walk (one thing on her program)…but most of all, to be able to see Benjamin in the middle of the day. It means an extra trip in the middle of the day, but it’s so worth it to be able to hang out with him for half an hour. Kirby has always had a temper & it’s something we work on all the time. Ben & I talked about it a little while back though & made a game plan. It’s been amazing to see the difference in him in just a month or so. He still has a temper, but he’s learning how to respond & it’s really neat to see!

What’s new with Ben & I? Ben’s been busy working which we’re very thankful for. Winter is coming much too quickly for our liking…we only just got working & haven’t caught up from last winter yet. I’ve been busy planning Kid’s Rock (the kid’s program at our church), homeschooling, driving Benjamin back & forth, doing bookwork, & lately, taking pictures. I hadn’t taken pictures in a long time & now in the last few weeks have done 2 sets of baby pictures, family pictures, school pictures, & have another set of family ones to do…plus our own family! It’s been fun to take them again…but the editing time is always hard to find.

Right now we’re working on planning a date. Ben & I made a plan a while back to go on a date once a month to help keep us sane. With Ben suddenly working so much, Benjamin starting school, me starting homeschool & Kid’s Rock…it all happened at once & we went from having lots of time together to very little. Well it’s been at least 2 ½ months…neither of us can remember when the last one was. I’m working at planning a date, but am finding it tough. With Benjamin in school we’re limited to Friday or Saturday nights…Friday nights are family night…Saturdays we don’t like being out late (tired for church in the morning). Hmmm…we’ll figure something out…and soonJ!

What’s happening around the house? Cleanliness & chaos!! I have so many things to catch up which is more & more discouraging…but extremely encouraging has been the kids’ chore routine. They each have 2 chores to do each day…and 2 additional ones for the weekend. As long as we’re home & they get those done…my bathrooms stay clean all the time…the dishwasher is unloaded & loaded…garbages are done…toys are picked up & the dining room is vacuumed! The only thing I have to figure out still is how to work washing floors into the systemJ.

What's happening in my kitchen? Some kind of chicken for supper tonight…but I’m especially excited to get my oven fixed today!! It’s been about 9 months since I’ve had a working oven & I can’t wait to bake again! I just hope he shows up…he had originally told me the part would be in weeks ago…so I’ll believe it when he shows upJ.

I am missing…my family. Seems strange…they only live 5 minutes away, but my dad has been working in Lethbridge for the majority of the time since about June…so my mom & Drew & Trina have spent a lot of time going back & forth with him too. They’re home now for a bit so I’m hoping we can get together soon & catch up!

I am praying for…Byron, Kyla, Braydon, & Bowie. Praying for strength for the family as Kyla is staying in the city & Byron is working here with Ben. Praying that Bowie can go home soon!

What’s God been doing in my heart? Pastor Kent’s sermon yesterday about Christ in us really hit home. Now I need to apply it. God isn’t just supposed to be number 1 in my priorities, but a part of each of my priorities. In my relationship with Ben, God is #1; in my relationship with the kids, God is #1; in my relationships with family, God is #1. Jesus help me not to push you out of certain areas of my life. Help me to make you #1 in every area of my life!