What’s in a Name

I called you Grandma and you called me Joey, and it has been one whole year since I’ve heard you say my name. The last time I saw you – I got a small squeeze on my hand and one last smile on your face when I leaned in and whispered “I’m here Grandma, it’s Joey”. There are a handful of people who are allowed to call me that -Joey- and anyone else who tries to call me Joey will be informed that that specific nickname is reserved for certain people. Those people are close to my heart just like you. And I don’t know why it bothers me when I hear other people calling me that – but it just seems wrong when it isn’t someone that is on the short list. Your favourite people had nicknames – and it’s something that I find myself doing as well – giving my favourite people nicknames. And I do it whether they like it or not – just like you. They learn to love it because it is said with love. So this morning, while I drink my coffee I’ll smile as I remember you and I’ll probably cry a little because out of all the voices that call me Joey – yours is the one that meant the most and the one I miss the most. Till we meet again – love you lots – Joey

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On the Road Again….

It’s that time in our family where the meeting of winter sports meet summer sports.  Our oldest is still playing second season hockey and has started ball practices, our middle is still prepping for her karate grading  and has also started her ball practices and our youngest is just dreaming of seeding fields on the farm – oh and his ball starts this week! My husband is going over the farm machinery, checking fields and looking after all the details for spring time work and seeding on the farm. And here I am prepping my piano students for May exams, coaching Ally’s ball team and basically organizing and scheduling our crazy life for the next couple of months.  Honestly – I wouldn’t have it any other way! We are all doing what we love to do and even though we might seem like we are going in 8 different directions at once – I do enjoy some of the one-on-one time I get with the kids because we are going in different directions.

There are a couple of things I do – prep-wise – that keep us going in the right direction.  A visible weekly schedule  – I had a fancy schmancy dry erase monthly calendar but honestly it wasn’t the best. It was overwhelming to look at the whole month as opposed to just a week at a time.  SO I pulled out a piece of paper and put it in a page protector. (Ya I’m crafty like that)   I fill it out weekly with a dry erase marker – with Manitoba weather chances are ball games are going to be cancelled and rescheduled. The kids and look and see where they are going – my farmer husband can see which towns his kids are playing if he has a chance to get away from the field – and I have a visual to see what’s going on and where everyone needs to be.  It’s cheap, it’s easy and it works.

Another prep I do for the controlled chaos is pack a snack bag.  My kids get off the school bus close to 4:00 pm and we are usually on the road again (if they have a practice or a game) by 5:00pm.  That means an early supper or a supper on the go, and once their activity is done they are hungry! Scratch that – they are HANGRY! So to feed the wild beasts I have a bag of snacks that goes in the vehicle with us.  Usually filled with snacks they like and will fill them up or tie them over till we get home.  This week we have almonds, Clif Bars, fruit cups, applesauce, granola bars.  I’ll also put fresh fruit and veggies in there or any baking that I’ve done (muffins, cookies etc).  Some juice boxes and Powerade or Gatorade will be there too , as well as the kids water bottles. Along with some wet-naps, napkins and spoons.

SO hopefully this crazy, chaotic season will run smoothly and everyone will get to the places they need to be safely and well-fed.  Moms on the go – what are your go-to time saving methods you use? Let’s help each other get through the busy seasons of life!

The Move

WE ARE IN! We have officially and successfully (?) moved down the road and around the corner – literally. We had come to the point where the house we were in was too small and either we build a new house or we come to some sort of arrangement with my in-laws where they moved out and we moved into their much larger farm house.  I mean – our house was adequate fine, but for the past 6 years we had been living without a functional basement.  The flood of 2011 paired with a high water table and ALL.OF.THE.WATER in the Turtle Mountains running through our basement to Whitewater Lake every spring – it was time for an upgrade.  They boys were sharing  room, we had one bathroom for five people (pre-teen kids should count as 3 people so it felt like 11 people vying for bathroom time), our kitchen was our dining room and the living was also the playroom (due to the basement being unusable).  It physically felt like we were living in a 3 bedroom apartment – BUT- we had enough stuff to fill a house.

We originally moved into our old place in the summer of 2006 – I was very pregnant with baby #1 and it is the house where all three of our babies came home too. I remember having friends over and fitting 8 adults plus kids (only a couple because it was before we all had babies) at a table in our kitchen/dining room and asking whoever was sitting closest to the oven to move because the garlic bread had to come out.  It is in that house where our kids had a lot of their baby/childhood firsts – laughs, birthdays, meltdowns, projectile vomit, Christmas mornings – the good and the bad.  It is the home where we learned about births and deaths.  Where we grew from a young married couple to a family of 5.  In the last couple of years you could say we were cramped, squished,  cozy in the house.

Hallway Hockey

Mini-sticks upstairs #heshootshescores

 

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One of my favourite photos – When my Grandpa John came down to visit only weeks before he passed away.  Here he’s holding baby Johnny. 

 

 

One of the many birthday parties around the kitchen table 

 

This spring we were talking with my husbands parents and they knew we needed more space and that they were not ready to move to town.  So they bought a trailer to move onto our yard and so began the process of swapping yards and the move down the road and around the corner.  After months of getting everything ready and packed – it happened.  My goal was to always be moved by Christmas – we had to  – there was no room in my living room at the old house for a Christmas tree and I wasn’t about to string lights and put a star on the boxes that consumed the living space. So the first week of December  – we did it.  We moved – and the heavens opened and the angels sang.

 

The piano move 

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Moving Day! Follow that trailer! 

 

The space – I have never been so thankful for a basement and two bathrooms and a separate dining room/kitchen.  Everyone has their personal space back.  It’s wonderful.  I have a functioning dishwasher – it’s amazing – its my new bff.  Everything has a place – there is no overlap of rooms – the living room is not the playroom – the kitchen is not the dining room – our bedroom is not the farm office.  We can have people over now and we have space for them to sit in the living room (well actually we can comfortably sit 12 in living room at the moment because my husband has moved all the couches in there and we have, what I call, surround seating)

Yes, there are some renovations we would like to do – but for now – we are happy and working towards making my husbands childhood home – our home.

 

Getting settled 

Tree is up! Bring on Christmas

Literally down the road and around the corner!