“The magic of Christmas is not in the presents, but in His presence.”

When my children were young, I played the Santa game right until the end.  When the boys stopped believing in Santa, they  pretended to believe because they didn’t want to disappoint me.  We always had a nice Christmas and I never overspent but believing in the magic was important to me.  For a time and space all negativity and stresses are put on hold as you watch the joy on a child’s face as he or she walks toward the light and believes in pure magic.    Jesus walks with families during those moments and to me it is as if Jesus and Santa work in harmony because the magic is not in the gifts but in the joy of watching and wanting loved ones to be happy.    During my childhood there were many struggles in my family – breakups, alcohol, financial and a host of other problems.  Unfortunately, there are not a lot of happy childhood memories, but somehow the magic of Christmas and His presence touched me in those early years.  No matter what the circumstances all children should feel special at Christmas and I believe it is up to us as a community to ensure that every child feels the sheer joy and magic.

A couple of years ago I was asked to write a Christmas story for our local paper – I’m sharing it here –  “Christmas Memories of a Child”

I remember waking up and looking out the window, frustrated that I fell asleep. I was determined to stay awake all night to see Santa and his reindeers.  Every Christmas Eve I stood at my bedroom window watching the night sky until exhaustion took over from my head down to my toes.   I crawled under the covers and made sure I was facing the window continuing to stare at the night sky as I willed myself to stay awake so I could finally catch a glimpse of Santa.

One particular Christmas eve  I remember waking up and  feeling the heavy weight of disappointment  because I feared Santa wouldn’t come.   That past year had been difficult for my family, my parents had gone their separate ways and I over-heard my mother telling my sister that she wasn’t sure if Santa would make it to our house that year.    The room was still very dark and I wasn’t sure of the time but looking around, listening to the silence and watching the shadows on the wall, I was certain it was the middle of the night and I wondered if Santa had been there.  I yawned and threw my arms up in the air, stretched out my body and rolled over to look out the  doorway.  It was then that I realized there was a warm glow  illuminating my room.   I remember listening to my heart beat faster as I thought “Maybe I wasn’t too late maybe Santa was here now.”

Slowly I swung my legs over the side of my bed and quietly, while holding my breath, walked from my room down the stairs to the living room. I stood amazed by what I saw; the tree was all lit up with beautiful blue lights, which made the room look enchanting.  I gazed at the top of the tree and was fascinated by the colour of lights surrounding the angel’s wings.   Working my way down the tree eyeing  every bulb and tinsel reaching the bottom of the tree,  I realized Santa had been there.   I asked for Barbie and her camper and under the tree all set up, and ready to go, was Barbie sitting in her camper. I could barely contain myself from yelling out with excitement; instead I placed the palm of my hand over my mouth to stifle any sound because I wanted time alone under the Christmas tree that illuminated such a warm glow.  I walked over to the tree and sat on the floor to play, for what seemed like hours, before I heard any stirrings in the house. Santa came through after all,  my mother was wrong, Santa heard my wishes and made my Christmas magical.



As I was standing in the drug store with my 15 year old son looking at early pregnancy tests, I thought “how did I end up here?” I turned 50 this past November and I don’t feel depressed about my age, I don’t stress about grey hair or lines on my face, I feel really good, probably better than I felt at 20, but pregnant at 50 is definitely not something that is in the cards for me. So why was I standing in a drugstore talking to my 15 year old about the possibility of being pregnant. I was close to 24 days late, there was a romantic incident with my husband that happened when I could have been fertile, I suffered several incidents of being nauseous that past week and I was extremely tired and bitchy. All signs felt the same as when I was pregnant with both boys.

I finally told my husband of my suspicion and his answer was “that’s awesome baby, just think of all the fun we can have, it’s not like you can get more pregnant.” “Honey, I’m serious, there is a real possibility I could be pregnant, I’m not kidding.” “Either am I, we’ll work it out,” he says with a wink and a sly grin. I go a few more days wondering, not wanting to test to find out the truth, because the truth be told, there is no bloody way I want to be pregnant at this point in my life.

A couple of days later, I’m driving the boys home from school and my oldest looks like someone peed in his cornflakes. “What’s up with you, you look miserable?” I say. “Nothing mom, but I’ve been in a real bad mood the last couple of days and I’m not sure why.” “Oh really, try being me, I think I’m pregnant!” Not missing a beat Brendan lights up and leans over the front seat and says, “mom that’s awesome, a new baby, that would be great.” “Just think, I can train a baby brother and get him to the NHL.” “Brendan, why do you assume it’s a boy, could be a girl.” “Then I’ll train her to the Olympics.” “Brendan, I’m serious.” “So am I mom, a baby would be awesome.” My 13 year old’s jaw is still dropped and he looks like he’s gone into shock. “How did this happen?” “Well Matt, remember that hockey tournament in the States, Dad and I sent you and your brother off with the coaches for dinner and we stayed back, well…” “Stop right there mom, I don’t need to know any more than that, this is not good mom, we do not need a baby in the house.”

Now I know Matt’s motivation for not wanting a baby in the house is because he’ll no longer be the baby and he is not ready to give up that status. His motivation is completely self absorbed and I could not agree with him more – I don’t think we need another baby either, especially not at 50. Brendan is still going on that it would be great and I quickly remind him that at 50 I find him, at times, difficult and that I can’t imagine being 65 with a bloody 15 year old teenager, nope don’t want it. “Brendan, I don’t even want a dog never mind a baby.” “Mom, you can’t compare a dog to a baby.”

After dinner that night, Brendan and I went to the gym. Typical we get to the gym, he goes his way and I go my way. Halfway through my workout he comes over to my area and loudly announces “Don’t you just have to pee on a stick to find out if your pregnant?” “Yeah, I whisper, but I don’t need everyone here to know that!” “Do you have any money?” he says. “Yeah why?” “Because we should stop at the drugstore mom and pick up that stick.” “Brendan I’m not ready to pee on the stick.” “Come on mom I need to know.” An expression my Irish grandmother use to say pops into my head, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, give me a hand here.”

Thirty minutes later, I found myself in the drugstore looking at sticks with my 15 year old. Threw the stick in with a few other purchases and home we went. I’m not in the house five minutes and Brendan is asking me if I’ve peed on the stick yet. I tell him that I’m waiting until morning as the HCG hormone is stronger in the morning.

The next morning first thing I do is take the test and the stick shows negative. It was a little early to wake the boys, but I couldn’t resist. I go into Brendan’s room and wake him, when he opens his eyes I flash him the stick. “What does it mean mom?” It means my dear that you will not get to train your NHL star.” I go to Matt’s room and repeat the same, he says “What does it mean mom?” “It means that you are still the baby in this house.” To that he gives me a big smile and a two thumbs up. My husband who is in his office finishing up his midnight shift, “hey take a look,” as I show him the stick. “Negative he says.” “No wild freedom sex honey,” I say as I’m walking out of the room and to that my husband is shouting something as I’m walking down the hall. There are times my severe hearing loss is such a blessing and this was one of those times!


“While we try to teach our children about life, our children teach us what life is all about”  Angela Schwindt

Trying to get my youngest son away from his video and computer games is excruciating and painful.   Matt will play video games all day and night if you let him.  He starts playing a game and you can see the transformation taking place.  He is like a drug addict on crack and I tell him that all the time.  I get mad when he refuses to stop and I’ll say “you are like a crack addict getting your fix.”  He gets really mad at me and says “I am not, I can leave this game whenever I want.”  I say “then leave the game now, turn it off.”  “Let me just finish this, only five minutes left.”  “No, turn it off now Matt.”  “Let me just finish this” he says with his voice raising.  At this point I demand that he turns it off and then we get into a physical struggle while I grab the controls and he desperately tries to stop me.

Exhausting and I can see why parents just walk away and won’t deal with it because it is a challenge.  Simply put, I see my job as a parent to stop my children from doing things that are bad for them and guiding them to a better life.  Even though I don’t mind them playing video games and computers, I think there should be a limit and when the game takes over their lives to the point that they don’t even want to go outside or do anything else, I stop the game and kick them out of the house.  Matt, especially, will stand outside in the doorway and say “what am I supposed to do?”  It’s like he’s a lost puppy without the controls in his hands.  ” Go exploring, look for spiders, put on your blades and go rollerblading, ride your bike, shoot pucks, play football, lie in the grass and watch the clouds, grab some other kids and play hide-and-seek but whatever you do, do not tell me that you have nothing to do!”  I then slam the door and leave him to himself to figure it out.

Why is it I feel guilty as I walk away from the door and complete housework or whatever task I have to finish?  I hate to use the line to the boys, “when I was young I walked miles to school and back” like my mother did, but when I was young my mother never had to kick me out of the house, I ate breakfast and ran outside to find my friends, stayed out there until lunch and then after lunch I was outside until dinner and then after dinner I was outside until bed.  My feet were constantly black and I can remember being in the bath after a long day of playing and my mother complaining how dirty I was and she couldn’t tell if  she was scrubbing away dirt or my skin as I was very brown and freckled from being in the sun everyday.  I grew up in Montreal and the cold winters did not deter me either.  On weekends and after school I was outside for hours building forts and playing games.   So what have we done to our children with video games and too many conveniences?  We’ve taken the wonder out of our boys and the imagination out of our girls.   The good fight between myself and Matthew is interesting as he always fights like crazy to stay in the house in his addicted, deprived state and slams all kinds of things in anger as he leaves the house and stands outside with his shoulders hunched and his hands in a fist because he is furious with me.  When I check back on him 15 minutes later, he is smiling and happy and either blading, shooting pucks or playing with the other kids.  I then have the difficult task, as my mother did all those years ago, of getting him to come in to eat. I also like him to get out for walks and I force him to come with me and it’s the same never-ending language between us, he is always mad and won’t talk to me for at least  the first 10 minutes of our walks and then something will grab his attention and then my boy wonder comes back and he will talk my ear off asking me about anything and everything.

Once after work I was going for a walk and it was just the two of us at home that day and he was, of course, playing video games.  I said “Matt I’m going for a walk to the park and you’re coming with me.”  No I’m not, I’m staying here while you walk, I don’t want to go for a walk.”  “Nope, you won’t even own a video game if you don’t come with me because if you don’t come with me for a walk, I’ll change the game-plan and pack up all of your videos and games in a plastic garbage bag and drive everything to the nearest Salvation army and donate it all instead of going for a walk.”  He glared at for me a little while and then abruptly got up and grabbed his runners all the while slamming a few things around in a frustrated,  furious motion because he knows I’m good as my word and I would do just as I said.  We get to the park and I love walking there because the trail leads you through a forest and it feels so good to breathe in the woodsy smell and be around so much greenery.

We start out and Matt is not talking to me, walking with his shoulders hunched over looking very unhappy.  About five minutes into the forest Matt’s natural curious nature takes over and he stops at every flower to ask me what kind it is and every tree to look beyond the path and stops to pet every dog that goes by and has a little conversation with the dog owner.  I’m now trying to be patient because my walk is entirely screwed as I’m not walking at a pace consistent with working out. Finally we get to the end of our walk and I’m way ahead of Matt and he stops to look in a grove through the trees and he’s yelling, “mom come here, come here.”  “Matt, what is it, I can’t stop to look at every bloody tree, I want to get my walk in plus I’ve got to get home and cook dinner as your dad and Brendan should be home by now and I don’t want be eating dinner at 8:00 this evening.”  Impatiently, he says “mom just stop and come here now.”   I walk very quickly toward him with the demeanour of a very pissed off impatient woman and I get there and he says “look through the trees mom, do you see it?”  I look through the trees and I see trees and I say to him “no I don’t see it, we’ve got to go.”  “Mom”, he laughs, “I can’t believe you don’t see it.”  “Matt what are you talking about as I stare into the trees and all I can see is trees.”  “Mom are you serious, you really don’t see it, look closely mom and breathe while you are looking, I know you will see it.”  I stop and breathe and look again and then I saw it and I couldn’t stop seeing it.

There in the grove was this magical formation of spider webs, spider webs like I’ve never seen before. There must have been 50 spiders in the middle of every intricate web.  It was like a city scape of beautiful webs and spiders.  There must have been 10 feet of spiders and their webs and as the sun shone down the webs glistened and danced in the light.  My boy wonder saw the whole magnificent sight immediately, I walked right by it and never noticed as a matter of fact if I was walking through the woods I would have crashed right into that spider city.  Boy wonder is standing in the grove staring at the spiders and smiling.  He says “mom don’t they look beautiful in the sunlight and you missed it mom, you missed it because your mind is always far away, you need to be more here now.”

My boy wonder was essentially telling me the same thing I’ve been telling him, stop wasting your life away and notice the nows and let all past and future go and enjoy the moment because this very moment won’t happen again.  The chances of seeing a spider phenomenon like that again is unlikely, so I stood for quite a while with boy wonder while we talked about the webs of nature and how spiders and all creatures are important.  Matt taught me a lesson that day, he taught me not to underestimate my children, he also taught me to get out of my head and enjoy my surroundings all this from my video addicted boy wonder.





“The mind’s first step to self-awareness must be through the body”  George Sheehan

I happened to glance over at the line next to us, just in time to see an elderly lady’s jaw drop and then she covered her mouth.   I realized she was looking over in the boys’ direction and then I heard it – “Elf, Elf, Baby.”

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always felt that society puts way too much emphasis on the naked body.  A naked body is just that, a naked body.  I’ve never been one to be self-conscious of my body, in fact I’ve always been fairly comfortable.  I drove my mother mad because she was a cover-upper.  My mother was uncomfortable with her body  and I can remember when I was a child walking into her room while she was changing; she would quickly grab something to cover up.  I was the opposite, I couldn’t understand why I just couldn’t play outside naked.  I use to slip outdoor without a shirt on and my mother would always fly out of the house chasing me with a shirt, giving me a “talking too” for going outside naked.  Added to my confusion because I was wearing shorts, as far as I was concerned I was dressed!  Interesting how my mother was so shy and modest with her body and her daughter didn’t give nakedness a second thought.  When I think back I took after my father because I can still  hear my mother telling him to close the door while he showered, not to walk around the house in his underwear  “for God’s sake,  the curtains are open.”   He wore boxer style underwear and he looked dressed to me.   As time moves on history repeats itself because my husband is far more reserved than I am, always telling me to close doors and window blinds.  After my children were born I was determined to teach them to be comfortable with their bodies.  I never made a big deal out of nakedness and I never used fake words like wiener to describe their penis; identifying their body parts by proper names.

Once while visiting a friend with the boys, a naked lady suddenly appeared  on the tv.  The scene wasn’t sexual, just a naked woman walking through a room.  The boys were toddlers and my friend grabbed the remote and changed the channel, apologizing over and over that the boys saw a naked woman.  I told him it wasn’t a big deal as I was more comfortable with the boys seeing a naked woman than watching a show full of violence.  A girlfriend introduced me to a computer game called “Elf Bowling.”   The premise of the  game  was that the elves were  the bowling pins and Santa was taking revenge on the elves by bowling against them.  When Santa messed up, the elves would turn around and pull their pants down, moon Santa and yell “elf, elf, baby”.  The boys were about four and six at the time and they both thought it was so funny.  My husband warned me, “you might not want the boys to play this.”  “oh come on, it’s just bums” I said to him.

Never really thinking much of what I said until one day I took the boys to a grocery store to pick up a few things.  The boys were particularly rambunctious that day and when we got to the cash it was lined up.  As we were waiting in the line-up the boys were being fairly loud and driving me crazy.    To distract myself  I scanned the headlines of the gossip magazines, located by the cashier, to keep my sanity.   I happened to glance over at the line next to us, just in time to see an elderly lady’s jaw drop and then she covered her mouth.  I realized she was looking over in the boys’ direction and then I heard it – “Elf, Elf, Baby.”  I looked in the direction of the boys and they were bent over with their pants around their ankles mooning their bare asses toward the lineup behind me.  As they chanted “Elf, Elf, Baby” my oldest took his hand and slapped his butt while moving in a dance motion.  I was stunned and it was a rare moment where I considered walking out of the store and pretending I didn’t know them.  I looked back at the lady in the neighbouring lineup and she still had her hand over her mouth. Instead of making a big deal out of the situation I casually said to the boys, “hey guys pull your pants up, nobody needs to see that.”  Giggling like madmen, they pulled up their pants but continued to chant “Elf, Elf, Baby at the top of their lungs.

Wanting to crawl under the nearest rock, I acted cool as a cucumber taking on the “don’t let them see you sweat” motto.    Finally I made it to the cashier, paid for my goods and walked out of the store with my head held high.    The woman in the next lineup was still staring at me in disbelief, so I flashed her  a huge smile.  I was met with a judgmental look and then she shook her head from side to side.  She didn’t say it but her body language was saying “tsk-tsk shame on you mom.”  After I got the car packed and the boys buckled in I told them that we needed to have  a little talk.  I said ” you can’t go around showing your bums in public places,”  My oldest pops up laughing and says “why not mommy, it’s just bums.”  He said it, the exact same thing I said to his father.   Wouldn’t be the first time something I said came back to nip me in the butt.

Ironically, as time goes on I have one child who is very comfortable with his body  and the other one is a cover-upper!  Both brought up the same and both have different attitudes toward their bodies.  A couple of years ago we were all heading to the beach and I came out of my room ready to go wearing my bathing suit.  I was wearing boxer style bottoms with a halter style top.  The halter top had risen a little and I was showing a bit of skin.  My oldest son didn’t even notice what I was wearing.  My youngest stops in his tracks and says “is that what you’re wearing mom?”  “Yeah, why?”  He walks over and pulls my top down covering my midriff and says “you might want to start wearing a one-piece bathing suit.”  For the very first time in my life, I felt self-conscious of my body!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAn article I read on the internet prompted this post.  It was Jada Pinkett Smith speaking out about a controversial picture of her daughter Willow(fully clothed) lying in bed with a shirtless Moises Arias.  The picture did not depict sex, however what makes it controversial is the fact that Smith’s daughter is only 13 and Arias is 20.  What is she doing hanging out with a shirtless guy on his bed by herself!  Smith essentially was saying that the media was making it out to be something it’s not  and I’m sure that is true but lady your daughter is 13  – she should not be hanging out with 20 year old men.  Further along in the article there is an earlier comment from Will saying that he and Jada Pinkett don’t believe in discipline – they don’t send their children to their room and they don’t take luxuries away for punishment.  As a matter of fact his fifteen year old son said he wanted his own house and Will said that he is a big believer of letting his children make their own decisions.  I can’t agree with him more, I do believe that  eventually you have to give your children the freedom to make their own choices and support them, however, you really need to offer them guidance and direction.  You can’t just say “oh – ok so you want to live on your own now at 15, let me go buy you a house.”  “oh you want a car, let me go buy you that car.”   Children need to learn how to be responsible and that means they have to learn that things don’t come easy.  We are building characters, not robots.

When our family first moved to this neighbourhood I found it a little too cozy for me.  We live in a double cul-de-sac and it seemed like the neighbours just opened their doors and let the children run.  The problem with that is young children need direction when things go wrong.  Yes they need to squabble, yes they need to solve their problems and figure out how to get along, but there is a time when parents have to step in.  When we first moved here my children were five and three years old.   Way too young to be out on the street by themselves, but so many parents did just that.  Consequently, I was outside watching all the time and it didn’t take long for problems to arise.  Once the boys were a little older I wasn’t out watching them as much and I remember one time when my oldest was around eleven years old,  I was dusting the front room when I heard an argument between my son and a boy in the neighbourhood.   I don’t know what the argument was about but I looked up in time to see the boy from down the street take a run at my son and kick him right in the crotch.  My son then grabbed the boy and threw him to the ground.  The boy got up and ran home crying and then  my son came in crying and was worried he would be in trouble.  I said “you’re not in trouble, you defended yourself and quite frankly I’m very proud of you, with your temper, I’m surprised you only threw him to the ground.” He told me he wanted to beat him up but restrained himself from doing so and ended up just pushing him to the ground.

Within minutes the boy’s mother shows up at my door screaming that my son pushed her son to the ground.  I approached her calmly and told her that both of our sons had an argument and her son chose to attack my son by kicking him in the crotch and I reminded her that this was not the first time her son had struck out at my son.   What happened next astounded me, she said, “yes I know my son told me what he did, but your son should have taken it and backed off.”  Wow,  my son should have taken her son’s abuse and backed off!   I was floored and I said to her “I don’t know what planet you live on, but here in my world when someone kicks someone else in the crotch, they are looking for trouble and they better expect some reaction.”  She then calls my son a bully because he threw her son to the ground.  I repeated the fact that her son kicked my son in the crotch as hard as he could and that I witnessed the event.    She then says to me  “it doesn’t matter, your son should have backed away.”  To top things off  she said ” I also question your parenting ability as you let  your children play hockey.”  “You must question most of this town’s parenting abilities because a lot of kids play hockey,”  I said.  My son has a bad temper and there have been quite a few times when he was younger I asked him to go to his room, not so much as punishment, more so as a cooling off period during some of the struggles he and I have endured as he is a very stubborn and determined child who doesn’t always want to listen or do what his parents ask him to do.  During those episodes there has been yelling and doors slamming due to the height of his anger and frustration coupled by the fact that I won’t put up with crap from my children.  Let’s just say where this neighbour’s house is located, she most surely has heard some of our family squabbles.  I don’t really care and I’m not about to change the way I do things because she’s a nosy neighbour.

During the argument about her son kicking my son in the crotch and in her opinion my son should have lied down and taken it, she brings up the fact that she has heard our squabbles and then says “we don’t believe in disciplining our children.”  I said , “good luck with that honey, tell me in ten years where that gets you.”  She then went on to make more comments about our squabbles and I abruptly stopped her and told her that it was none of her business how my husband and I choose to raise our children.  She then had the nerve to say “that since we call ourselves Christian she thought that I would teach my children to walk away.”   Exasperated I blurted out ” I don’t see what your son kicking my son in the balls has to do with my religion and furthermore, our religion teaches us to forgive your son’s actions not take it.”   Finally I ended the conversation by saying  “that since this wasn’t the first time her son attacked my son (the first time my son didn’t defend himself) that for now on when he comes onto my property and he touches one of my boys, my boys have my permission to defend themselves and if you or your son has a problem with that then keep your son the hell away from my property.”  She took her son and walked away but eventually  she did what cowardly people with no discipline do, she spread lies about me and my children around the neighbourhood.  I really couldn’t have cared less because I’m not really interested in people who stand around and talk about other people all day and besides I’ve got enough friends, I don’t need more. The situation worked itself out, her son moved on and so did mine.  We are different people with different lives and I accept that we are not all the same.  Interesting as I don’t make any judgments on how she raises her children with no discipline or direction but she is judgmental of how I raise my children.

God has a way of revealing things to me and his revelations always come when I least expect them and in the most spontaneous way,  yet they speak volumes in making me understand that there is a greater purpose in life and not everything is as it seems.    A year after that incident, I was picking up my recycling bins after the recycling truck had gone and as I was walking toward the house to put the bins back in the garage, an envelope flew out of one of the bins, literally up in the air in front of my face and fell  to the concrete in front of my feet.  I bent over to pick up the envelope and as I turned the envelope over, I realized it was addressed to my neighbour. The envelope was empty, but the return address listed on the left hand side of the envelope clearly  told me that not all was well in that woman’s house.  I’m not saying our family life is perfect nor do my husband and I always make the right decisions as parents, but we don’t pretend to be perfect and we know that we don’t have it all worked out.  Clearly trouble in paradise – only her family doesn’t yell or scream and slam doors.


easter bunny collage

Thought this would be appropriate with Easter arriving soon.  I took these pictures a couple of years ago at our family cabin.   I arrived there with the boys late one Friday night to meet a friend and his children for a work bee weekend.  Both our spouses were working so we decided to go ahead with a planned work weekend.  When I arrived at the cabin that night my friend, Lou,  asked me to come  and take a look in a box he had sitting out on the deck.  Inside the box were these four little adorable bunnies.  Turns out he was mowing the lawn and didn’t realize there was a bunny nesting  place in the area and he ran over them  – yikes!  Thank God the blade was above the bunnies and not a scratch to the little cuties.  He told me that he spooked the mom so he decided to leave them in the box overnight outside on the deck in the hope that mom would come back and save her babies.  “Are you crazy” I said “the owls will get them for sure.”  “The best chance they have is for their mom to come and get them” he said.  We stood and argued for a bit and I grabbed the bunnies and brought them inside.  Lou was so frustrated with me he called me an idiot.  The children were pretty excited and we kept the bunnies  inside overnight.  The next day I started researching through the internet what I was supposed to do with these abandoned  bunnies and it turned out Lou was right on every count.   You can’t just give them milk because they would get sick and most likely die, you could get a special formula sold through specialty stores and feed them that but we were hundreds of miles from any kind of store that would sell a product like this,  so in absence of the specialty formula the best chance these babies had was for their mother to return and the best time to leave the babies out for her hopeful arrival was – yep you guessed it – at night.   Lou not being a told you so man, kept saying to me  “so, what did you find out, so what are you going to do, so how are you going to handle this, so, so, so – he was really annoying me.  I had to admit I was wrong and he was right – killed me to do it but I wanted the bunnies to live.     Mom rabbit was seen earlier in the day and we were pretty sure she was hiding out underneath the shed.  We brought the little bunnies out and left them in the box but I insisted that the box was upright and pushed right up against the shed to shield them from harm.  Of course we argued about that but I won – the box was upright against the shed covering them from danger.   The next morning I was up before the children and went straight down the stairs, out the front door only to run into Mr. big tough Lou man bent over the box to see if our cuties were gone.  They were gone and I was praying a big old nasty owl, bear or coyote didn’t get to them.  A little later that day I was walking through the grass when I spotted one of the babies.  Mom rabbit had scattered them all through the property laying each baby about 5 – 12 feet apart and she hid them so well you could barely see them.  I’m not sure why she did that but the next day when I checked the area where I found them the day before – all the babies were gone.  Lou said “coyote got them” and I said “no momma got them.”



In light of Russia walking in and taking over the Ukraine and all the other places in the world where war is constant, we here in North America take for granted that our children can go to bed in peace and walk the streets without  fear of bombs,violence and bloodshed.  This blog is dedicated to moments that make me smile but I, as a mother, can’t be ignorant of what so many children in the world go through and pretend that because my children  are presently safe that this is okay.  Watch and share because it’s important that all children of this world live in peace.


War is brewing in our house  –  on one side my husband and I stand and on the other side stands our two children.  At one time Drew was on the  side of  the children, but my guess is he likes our bed too much and has since joined me!  Seriously the war is about all the work that has to be done in this house.  I’ve always been a hard worker and I apply that hard work ethic at work and at home.   The hard work thing hasn’t paid off because at times my children sit while I do all the work.  It’s getting better because I’ve decided no more as I’m exhausted and  burnt out.  My husband gets how exhausted I am and in fairness to him he works permanent grave yard shift so I do understand why he’s exhausted all the time too.   We no longer let our children get out of work, putting their clothes away or cleaning up their room – we make them complete their chores even if means standing over the top of them.  Yes, we yell and scream and get into ridiculous arguments but come on this is our future generation they have to know how to take care of themselves and the environment around them – isn’t this generation that’s going to save the world?  Drew and I have noticed that the boys have their backs up about picking up or doing anything that either doesn’t belong to them or they didn’t make the mess to begin with.  Here’s an example of a conversation with one of my boys while tidying up and organizing their room.  “Matthew, pick up those dirty socks and put them in the laundry basket”.  “No mom, those aren’t my socks.”   “Matthew, the laundry basket is two feet away from you, pick up the socks and put them away.”  No mom, I refuse to pick up anything that belongs to Brendan, I’m not doing it.”  “Matthew, pick up those bloody socks before I come over there, if I come over there and pick up those  socks you are going to be banned from everything you enjoy.”   Shaking his head, “mmm, no mom, I’m not picking up his socks.”  I take a step toward him and he quickly  bends down and picks up the socks and angrily throws them into the washing basket.   Blows my mind, I spend my whole life picking up what other people drop, or cleaning up other people’s messes and my child can’t pick up a pair of socks off the ground because the socks belong to his brother.

So the other night my son, Brendan, goes upstairs to shower and I remind him to dry down the walls of the shower and hang up all the towels.   I took a quick run up there to make sure all the work was completed before he headed to bed because if he didn’t dry the walls he was coming back to finish the job properly.  He did a good job cleaning up the bathroom until I looked over at the toilet; it wasn’t flushed and  full of crap!  Brendan was brushing his teeth at the sink and I said to him, “Brendan you forgot to flush the toilet.”  He stops brushing his teeth and says “not mine, that was Matthew.”    I said  “I don’t care who took a crap in this toilet, flush the toilet.”  “No, it’s not mine.”   “What is it with the two of you with the not mine line, I spent several years wiping both of your asses and not once did I say it’s not my ass.”  “I have flushed and wiped my fair share of shit and guess what, it wasn’t mine but I did it regardless – so buddy flush that toilet and don’t let me hear you say not mine again.”  He stared at me for a few seconds and I saw the look in his eyes, just a flash but something registered like maybe I got through  to that teenager brain of his for just a second.  The very next day I asked Brendan to pick up a dish off of the table and he said “not mine.”  So much for our future generation cleaning up our environment and saving the world.  The word of the next generation, “not mine.” My question is, then whose world is it?


boy and his gun

A vintage picture of my brother as a boy and like so many boys, yesterday and today, they like to play with guns.  Thought the picture was appropriate because  this Friday’s phlog is posted just before Rememembrance Day, November 11th.  When I look at this photo I see a little boy, but I also see a boy, like my own boys, who thinks that war is fun; fun to hide behind trees and jump out and attack your friends.  I sincerely wish that war was about make-believe.  Speak to our fathers or grandfathers and we know by their harrowing experiences that war is not fun.  So many times you hear people say ” we won the war” when talking about world-wars – I’ve just got to wonder about the guys who didn’t make it, all the honourable men who were slaughtered, I wonder if they feel like they won the war.

The World’s Most Famous WAR MEMORIAL POEM
By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

Lieutenant Colonel John McCraeIn Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915
during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium


My favourite picture with the boys – oh my where has the time gone!  Can’t forget grandmothers,  after all that’s where it all started.  Below two very different woman but both have been a huge influence in all of our lives and helped shaped us into the type of people that we are today.  Same goes for the boys, I could not teach my children in a lifetime what their Grandmothers have taught them.    Happy Mother’s day to all mothers and grandmothers – enjoy your precious gems!


I hate making lunches – really hate it!  I would love to tell you that I am this super organized person who has all the lunches packed, prepared the night before.  Not only am I prepared, the lunches are amazing and my kids gobble everything up, come home and tell me what a great mom I am and thank me for the delicious lunch!  Just pinched myself because I was sleeping at the desk here.   Reality is I’m too tired at night and even if I wasn’t tired, I just don’t want one more bloody chore to do at night.  Dinner, laundry, lacrosse games or practices is enough.    So here I was first thing Monday morning before work and I had no idea what to give my kids for lunch.   They never eat anything I give them anyway and I’m seriously thinking maybe if I didn’t pack lunch it wouldn’t matter.  Then again I tried that a couple of months ago, I did give them some food but it consisted of a few things rather than my usual packed lunches.  Figured it would save me the time of going through their lunches and yelling about what they didn’t eat.  When I got home from work that night, they complained I didn’t pack enough food!  So here I am Monday morning and no clue.  Opened up the fridge found some turkey kolbassa sausage, cheese,pizza pretzels, apples, a few chips, chocolate brownie and chocolate milk.  Made them pack all their lunch and off they went.   They love everything I gave them so surely I would have an empty lunch bag upon their return.  They didn’t eat the chips, what kid does not eat chips –  apparently mine!  Back to the wooden board tomorrow and I think it’s time they make their own lunches – the night before!