Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Monday with Heidi

I'm thankful for…each & every one of the 65 kids who came through the church doors this week…and each & every one of the 58+ people who helped make it happen!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Lord for a wonderful week of VBS!!!

I'm listening to…not too much…

What's for supper tonight…taco salad.

Highlights from last week…Well, you may or may not have noticed that I didn’t do a blog last week. That’s because I was spending basically every waking moment doing VBS!!! I didn’t have too much to right about anywaysJ…spent nearly that whole week getting ready for VBS. The kids enjoyed their first reading club meeting at the library.

Last week was much more excitingJ. On Monday we did Moses & the burning bush: True heroes know God is with them! Tuesday was Gideon defeating the Midianites: God can make ME a hero! Wednesday brought Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego: True heroes do the right thing! On Thursday we took to the water with Peter reaching out to Jesus: True heroes reach out to Jesus! Friday brought some stormy weather with Paul’s shipwreck: True heroes share God’s love! All the kids learned Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ because He gives me strength.” It was a lot of work, but soooo worth it!

We were at the church each day just after 8. The kids went over to hang out at Pastor Kent’s house & play with their kids. That allowed us leaders about 45 minutes to do last minute prep before kids started arriving. Once all the kids were gone for the day (just after noon) then we would work on setting everything up for the next day. All but one day I was at the church till 3 or 4 o’clock getting ready. There were so many details…and it was exhausting…but it went so smoothly, thanks to many prayers…and it was a LOT of fun!

I think my favorite part of the week was the opportunity we had to make some connections with non-Christian families…and kids who had never been in a church before! Now we will pray that the seed that was planted will growJ.

On Saturday we got to sleep in…which was a huge treat after a week of early mornings & late, late nights. After lunch we headed to Olds for our nephew, Carver’s 2nd birthday party! It was really hot, but fun to see family & hang out.

I got 1 ¼ hours of sleep on Saturday night…Sunday morning we had a big VBS presentation. I’d been working on a power point presentation since Friday afternoon & thought it wouldn’t take too much longer…but it took a lot longer than I expected! Oh well, I survived (& Ben tooJ) & the kids did an amazing job! They recapped what they had learned during the week & sang some of their songs. The stage was still all decorated too…it was fun to show everyone what we’d been up to all week! After church we had to “put the church back together” which went amazingly quickly with a lot of people helping. By the time we got home, ate lunch & got the kids in their rooms for quiet times it was about 2:30…I was sleeping on the couch by about 3:05…woke up briefly at 4:30…and then slept till 7! I was still tired, but it felt good!

What's happening this week…This week is some catch up from the weeks that I’ve been busy with VBS…laundry & cleaning house, & some more laundry & cleaning house…with some bookwork on topJ. The kids also have reading club at the library which they’re excited about…they were sad to miss it last week. Other than that…I’m going swimming with Cheri & Max which will be fun…and we’re having company over who I haven’t seen in 16 years!!! They are friends of ours from when we lived in Africa! It’ll be fun to catch up. Thursday night & Friday I’ll get ready to go so that we can leave for BC whenever Ben can swing it to leave work. We’re going to stay with my grandparents in Kelowna…although I need to talk to them & make sure they’re still OK with it, with all the fires there. On Saturday the kids are staying with them while Ben & I go to a Steven Curtis Chapman/Michael W. Smith concert!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve wanted to go to an SCC concert since I was in high school, but he’s rarely in Canada & we just never made it happen. Ben’s taking me as an early birthday present. I’m soooooooooo excitedJ. Ben will fly home on Monday & I’ll stay with the kids till mid weekish. I’ll try to blog while I’m there, but we’ll see how it goesJ.

I am missing…can’t think of anything right now…

I am praying for…my aunt & uncle who have been evacuated because of the fires in Kelowna area. At one point the fire was within 3 blocks of their house. Praying for a peace that passes all understanding for them & their 3 kids (very close in age to ours). Praying that their house would be spared & that fire fighters would be able to get it under control soon so they can go home! Also praying for Ben’s cousin & his family as they live in the same area.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Monday with Heidi

I'm thankful for…leaders for VBS!!! I finally have enough leaders…with one week to spareJ. I’m also thankful to have my vacuum cleaner back!!!

I'm listening to…the hum of the computer.

What's for supper tonight…taco salad…a family favorite.

Highlights from last week…lots of VBS prep for the first 2 days & then I hardly touched it the rest of the week…by Saturday I was behind & had a lot to do before Sunday morning. On Wednesday I purposefully set aside VBS stuff to have fun with the kids. We headed to the museum for the Canada Day festivities in town. Although waiting in line for face painting for an hour & a half wasn’t very fun, the kids loved the results! Thursday I spent nearly all morning & early afternoon doing bookwork. With all the VBS stuff that’s been getting behind. The best part of Thursday was being able to go on a date with Cheri! It’s been fun to hang out since she’s been back in Canada, but we haven’t done nearly enough & it bugged me because I know I’m the one who’s too busy! We had a blast getting pedicures together, going out for supper at Red Lobster & then just doing a little lazy shopping. It was wonderful just to hang out & be able to talk.

Ben was pouring a pad that day, which usually means a long day for him by the time it’s all finished. He was hopeful though that this one would go fairly quickly. Well…I got back with Cheri just before 10:30 & called him to see where he was at. I was surprised to find that he didn’t answer the phone at home or on his cell…and the kids hadn’t been picked up yet. We hadn’t talked since about 3:30 because he was busy & I was with Cheri, but I had been thinking he’d probably call me if he wasn’t done yet. I loaded up the kids to head home & called my dad to see if he’d heard from Ben. I didn’t know if Jonny was still with Ben or if he was by himself. To make a long story short, I finally got through to Ben. The pad had been within 2 trowellings of being done at 6:00…& then they got rained on. My dad was on his way home from Calgary (the job was between here & Calgary) so he stopped to see if there was anything he could do. Thank you Papa…that meant a lot to BenJ. By this time it’s about midnight.

Meanwhile I was at home stressing because I was overtired & I had to get up early the next morning…but I still had a lot to get ready. I was taking the kids to the Calgary Stampede parade. My sister Jodi was on the West Jet float with part of the percussion ensemble she’s with. I’d only ever been to the parade once…when I was about 15. I had no clue how to get there, where to park, etc. I discovered online that the best was going to be to take the C-train. Having never done that before either I spent over an hour trying to figure out schedules & whatnot so the kids & I could make it to the parade on time & not get lost. They sure don’t make it simple to figure out! After having a badly needed shower, I crawled into bed at 2:40am…Ben still wasn’t home. My alarm went off at 5:50…Ben had only gotten in bed about 10 minutes before. I was worried I was going to fall apart…being so overtired, plus having the stress of not knowing where I was going…plus having overtired kids… All in all it went fairly well. I woke the kids up at 6:30 & quickly fed & dressed them. I had been hoping to leave by 7…I think we pulled away by 7:15, which is actually pretty good if you know meJ. The whole C-train thing ended up being a lot simpler than it appears online. I was worried about having to transfer to a bus part way through (because that’s what it showed online), but it turned out we didn’t need to. The kids loved the train, probably more than the paradeJ. You have to understand…this parade starts at 8:55…but the “pre” parade starts at 7:30 for people who come early to find a good spot! Well, we got there at about 8:53…it was packed! We finally found a little spot where the kids could stand, but I knew they weren’t going to last 2 hours standing! Then a kind lady who was sitting in some nearby bleachers said we could use a chair she had brought. The kids took turns sitting & standing. I was thankful that Jodi was about a third to half way through so we got to see her. We stayed a bit more after that, but the kids had had enough so we headed back to the van. It was very nice to beat the rush back to the C-train. The ride back was a little trickier as there was only room for 2 of the kids to sit. Benjamin & I had to stand (25 min. ride). I knew I’d be fine (although by this time I was exhausted), but Benjamin was falling apart. About halfway through someone got off & he was able to sit down. It was a long morning & we were all worn out, but it was fun to see such a big parade…so much more extravagant than ours here…and especially fun to see JodiJ.

On the way home I told the kids they all had to have a nap…thankfully they did…I only wished I could join them! If that had been the end of my day I would have gone home & had a nap…but as soon as I got home I had to get stuff ready for Ben & Benjamin to go to camp! There is a camp here that is geared specifically for boys. For the younger ages (5-7) they do a father/son camp for only $60(for both of them)!!! Ben did it with Benjamin for the first time last year. Next year Benjamin will go on his own & Ben will take Kirby. Anyways…I managed to get them off to camp. Then Manda, Kirby & I went for a bike ride (the first time out on the road since they’re without training wheels!) before heading home & putting them to bed. I knew I needed to go to bed, but I sat down on the couch & couldn’t get the energy to get back up. I ended up falling asleep at about 10:15…and woke up at 1:30 to drag myself off to bed. It was very nice to be able to sleep in a bit on Saturday while the kids played.

I spent most of Saturday afternoon at the church. Manda & Kirby played & I organized supplies & such for VBS. It took longer than I expected & by the time we were done it was nearly suppertime. I decided to take the kids out for supper as a treat. We enjoyed watching the downpour while we waited for our foodJ. Once I got them to bed I sat down to finish all the VBS stuff I had to get sorted out before church. This was the last week for me to enlist help so I had a lot to get done. It ended up taking me a lot longer than I anticipated & resulted in another late night.
I managed to get the kids to church early to set up VBS stuff…and even got the last leader I needed which felt great! Ben & Benjamin were home by the time we got home. Benjamin had a great time! Ben was exhausted after his all-nighter on Thursday & then 2 late camp nights. He managed to get a quick nap in before we headed out to a surprise 30th birthday party. Although we work pretty hard to not over book ourselves like this, we felt like we needed to be at this party…and were definitely glad we went.

Phew…I’m tired just writing about last week!

What's happening this week…I’ll be doing a LOT of VBS this week…last week of prep!! The kids are also going to a book club at the library which should be fun. Other than that…there’ll be a long trip to the city I’m sure…for groceries & VBS stuff. I’m hoping to get Manda’s special night done this week if Ben gets home early enough one night. Seems like it’ll be a slow week…but I know it’s going to be crazy!

I am missing…sleep! Too many late nights!

I am praying for…God to prepare kids hearts to hear about Him & that we could touch families through the kids who come to VBS!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Wednesday with Heidi

I'm thankful for…WORK!!! We’re waiting to hear about one or two more jobs, but if they go it looks like we’ll be able to bring Ben’s brothers back to work!

I'm listening to…Ben talking on the phone…otherwise, it’s quiet…kids are sleeping.

What's for supper tonight…English muffin pizzas…kids love making their own & it was a fun supper to have for Canada Day.

Highlights from last week…Last swimming lessons…VBS, VBS, VBS…I feel like that’s all I did all week! On Monday we enjoyed hanging out with Ben’s family for our nephew Max’s first birthday! Cheri bakes AMAZING cakes…even when they’re supposedly “simple”J, so that makes it worthwhile to go no matter what! J It’s been a few months since we were all together so it was good to connect again. I did manage to get Benjamin’s special night done, which I blogged about separately…but not the other 2. Benjamin enjoyed his last soccer practice with a game against the parents. He loves any chance he gets to play against BenJ. On Friday I donned the pirate costume again & headed to the Farmer’s Market. Had numerous kids registered…Cheri came & visited me & sat with me for a bit…and even got to have a chat with Mr. Myron Thompson (was our MP for many years…Christian guy…he was thrilled with VBSJ). I was thinking after he left about how much it meant to me when I was in grade 8 (or 9, can’t quite remember) and he came & talked to our youth group. At the time I really had no clue about how government worked (we had just gotten back from Africa), but the fact that someone so important would talk to young people like us was pretty cool! On Sunday I wore the pirate outfit to church…did my announcement & talked to people afterward…it was fun to make it fun anywaysJ. I already wrote about riding bikes on Saturday…well, on Sunday Ben went to help Jonny (our employee & friend) at his dad’s farm, so after quiet times, I took the kids outside to ride bikes some more. Kirby wanted me to make his bike have 2 wheels again, but I knew I could only help one of them at a time & he didn’t want to have to wait, so he agreed to keep 4 for nowJ. I only worked with Manda for 5-10 minutes before she had it down pat. She loves to go fast…in the process making me cringe! I took Kirby’s training wheels off then & worked with him for a bit before we headed inside. He was getting really close, but was still a bit shaky on the corners. I’ll let you in on a secret though…since I’m writing this lateJ…by Monday, he had it figured out too…so we have no more training wheels!! J The rest of the week is kind of a blur…I know I did tons of VBS stuff…took the kids to the library one day & worked on VBS while they played…sat outside & watched the kids ride bikes while I worked on VBS…

What's happening this week…More VBS, VBS, & VBSJ…Monday, Tuesday will be lots of VBS…fun stuff Wednesday for Canada Day with the kids…Thursday Cheri & I are going on a “date”J…Friday we’re leaving VERY early in the morning (7:00!) to go & watch Jodi in the Calgary Stampede parade! Then we’ll come home & get Benjamin ready to go to camp! Ben & Benjamin are going to the father/son camp at Camp Teepee Pole for the second year…last chance for Benjamin as next year he’ll go on his own & Ben will go with Kirby. Check out this link for pictures from last year that are on their website: http://www.campteepeepole.org/Camp_Teepee_Pole/Gallery/Pages/Tree_Climbers_2008.html ...one of Ben & Benjamin even made it into the brochure for this yearJ. Anyway, they’ll be gone Friday evening till early afternoon on Sunday, so I’ll be on my own with the younger 2. Not sure what we’ll do yet, but I’m sure we’ll have fun! Later Sunday afternoon we’re going to a surprise 30th birthday partyJ.

I am missing…My vacuum cleaner…it hasn’t been working for nearly 3 weeks now. The store where I bought it thought I needed to replace the power cord…which costs $150! I talked to a vacuum cleaner repair man though & he thought it could be something a lot simpler. I’m supposed to pick it up Friday…praying he could fix it for really cheap…the floors are getting nasty! Just got a phone call as I’m writing this that he was able to fix it…it’ll cost $100, but that’s still cheaper! I can pick it up Friday…yaaayJ.

I am praying for…people to step forward to help with VBS. It’s only 1 ½ weeks away & I’m feeling the crunch…trying not to stress.