Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Multiple Miracle-gasms

...a love story

On Monday January 20th around 4:20 in the afternoon, my Spirit shifted.  It was another treacherous winter drive home from work on highway 21 from Port Elgin to Kincardine, the roads were a layer of ice, thick with snowy slush and the snow was coming down.  The drive home was lots of traffic coming from both ways.  Both hands were on the wheel, slower speed and very aware, cautious driving was going on on my part.  Very present to the fact I wanted to get home safe. 

As I was making my way through Tiverton I started to accelerate a little more, I was going between 60-70km (normally 80).  My truck slowly started to fishtail, I let off the gas and tried to ease my truck straight. This did not help. In a short period of time this is what happened.  An otherwise very busy on coming traffic, miraculously had no traffic in this time frame, as my truck fishtailed into the oncoming lane 2 to 3 times, once back in my lane, the side of my truck hit the snow banks on the side of the road and my truck barrel rolled while still moving forward, then the nose end of my truck hit the snowbank hard and my truck flipped nose to tail and landed in the deep deep snow facing the opposite direction I was going.

While all of this was going on, here is what was going on in the cab of the truck:  I remained freakishly calm.  The contents of my work bag, my purse, my extra winter gear, a large coffee I didn’t touch, scattered in slow motion as I twirled and flipped upside down in my truck.  My heart beat slowed, my thoughts slowed.  The moment I was in the air flipping upside down, I remember thinking “I’m upside down in my truck, I’m okay, I’m okay.”  I slightly braced myself for the landing, and nothing, the hunk of metal and myself landed in THE DEEPEST snow (Miracle), meaning a very gentle impact.  No airbag deployed.  Just me sitting with my seat belt snug against my body.

I sat for a few moments in silence. Repeating in my mind.  “I’m okay.  I’m alive.  Oh my God. Oh my God.  Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You….A sensation of peace and warmth surrounded my body.

The passenger door opened and a lovely young redheaded fellow (Earth Angel) opened the door and by the look on his face I knew I survived something pretty amazing. (Miracle) As he opened the door my iPhone fell out and slipped under the truck, he handed me his to call Dalton.  My body had taken over and I could not physically dial the phone, my hands started to shake way beyond control.  I asked him to dial.  Although his hands shook, he was able to contact Dalton.  He stayed with me for a bit, talked with me, I assured him I was good and he should leave (he was en route with his dad for an appointment).  After he left I had an uncontrollable need to get out of my truck.  I got out and stood beside the door.  Looked to the sky, repeated over and over “Thank You”.  My body started to shake but I felt calm, elated, and very very aware of this Miracle.  Very aware of another force greater than myself or any human form.  While waiting in the cold every second felt like an hour.  A large pick up truck pulled over with a Gentle Giant (Earth Angel) at the wheel who ‘ordered’ to “Come get in the truck and get warm”.  I gratefully obliged. My body trembled, my mind now racing over the event.  He was calm, called 911.  My Cousin (Earth Angel) is passing in his van and turns around to help.  Dalton shows up with Sasha.  My cousin takes Sasha.  Dalton and I hug.  The energy between us needs no words, we know what just happened, we know.  A Neighbour (Earth Angel) pulls over.  OPP (Earth Angel) shows up.  My neighbour takes me up to the hospital.  Dalton stays with the OPP.  My neighbour was so calm, empathetic, kind, he stays at the hospital until my family (Earth Angels) shows up.  My parents and Dalton arrive.  I break down.  We know, we all know we experienced a miracle.  We are grateful.
I leave the hospital.  Embrace my children.  They will never know the power and meaning to me of that particular hug.  I am grateful to have my arms wrapped around them.  Dalton and I stand hugging in silence.  We know.

I drew myself a hot bath, with lavender.  I stayed in there for two hours.  I cried.  A.LOT. I said “Thank You” A LOT. It was probably the biggest cry I have ever had in my life.  It was a spiritual event I am sure of it.  It wasn't just a cry, it was a release of the realization I am so much more than who I think I am, it was a release of just realizing the magnitude of this Miracle to me, the release of absolute overwhelming GRATITUDE for my life and EVERY person in it.  I am not ready to leave this earth.  I have work to do.

I have extremely vivid vision of my Guardian Angels orchestrating the gentle guidance of my ‘out of control truck’ swerving all over the road and flipping through the air. Their arms linking together to protect me from this potentially tragic, fatal accident.  The others holding up the oncoming traffic so no one else gets hurt.  It consumes my thoughts sometimes. Now when I think of the happenings of this moment in my life, I experience a full body hug sensation, almost like I am being zipped into a wet suit. I am forever changed. 

There were so many Miracles that happened during that moment, one of them being to always keep my eyes, heart and mind opened to receiving them everyday.  They do not just happen during these tragic events.  They are happening every. single. day.  Some smaller than others but they are happening.  I encourage you to notice yours.

Love, Light and Rockets all the way!

If you are interested in miracles I encourage you to check out this website by Gabby Bernstein.  She really helped me realize I was in fact not going crazy. :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Recess: By a Boy for Boys

Long Live Recess
by Roland Spencer

  Basically everything at recess started getting banned around the end of September.  And by everything I mean…

Soccer:  I personally don’t play soccer but I see the soccer boys get frustrated every time the game gets banned.  Soccer is their life at school and the second thing to hockey for most of them.  When it is taken away they feel mad and sad.  They need to be given chances to cooperate, and practice team work without adults.  Getting put ‘on the wall’ every time they touch each other in the game, feels abusive (offensive and insulting) to them.  If someone is being ridiculous, pull them off, to cool down, talk, BUT let them get back to the game to play and have fun.

Manhunt (hide and seek, tag):  Manhunt is one of the only games that we like to play.
The teachers are always mad at us for getting muddy and bringing it in the school, but you don’t get it cause most of you have kids that are younger (or don’t have kids) and aren’t into this stuff yet, and boys are supposed to get a little muddy, what do you expect from an 11 year old kid? For me I feel TRUE, I feel how I should, getting a little muddy is as close to how freedom feels in the summer as we can get.  When you take Manhunt away we feel like bags of potatoes because we can’t do anything.  We feel restless and stir crazy when awesome games are taken away.

Just imagine if we kids banned coffee because you spilt it and were getting too talkative because you have too much of it.

Being boys (fighting, running and body slamming,hands on): Being a boy means that you are a daredevil, sometimes you just “do” before you think.  Most boys Do first then think.  e.g.. riding a toy dump truck off the pier.  It’s hard for boys to sit still, and not touch each other, it looks like we are being rough and sometimes aggressive but that is how boys are with each other, that hows we get along, thats how we understand each other.  Being boys is hard at school because most of you are female teacher and you can never know what it is like to be a boy, but we need you to understand that we need you to stop (what feels like) picking on us, bully us, and you are getting mad at us for bullying when we aren’t.

Bringing scooters inside:  Most scooters that we have, have nothing to lock them too.  Most scooters that are good are well over $100 and a lot of us have saved up our own money for them, so if we can’t bring them inside it feels stressful to us.  Maybe we could have a scooter corner in our class, or keep neatly tucked in at the coat room by our hook, if its not put away it goes in the office for the rest of the day, and get it at the end of the day to bring home, but you get the chance to do the right thing the next day.

Lets Make Recess Fun Again

 Let Boys be Boys - Means let them work things out for themselves sometimes.  Give them time and space to do the right thing.

Add scooter, skateboard and bike at recess.  It would really make me and a lot of kids happy and we are more likely going to pay better attention for our classes after.  My Dad and I and my buddy will volunteer and make a mini half-pipe for the yard.  And obviously we will wear helmets, if kids don’t wear helmets they don’t get to ride.  We could even teach other kids how to scooter at recess, maybe the Home and School would donate to get a few extra Razor Ultra Pros from Walmart ($400 for 4, plus helmets) to keep at school as good learner scooters.

What if we could get some Volunteer High Schooler Boys for the 2 recess times to hang with us for free play and ‘organized’ games.  Energetic, fun, cool, teenagers to look up too.

What if the recess Teachers and Monitors learnt to trust us more?  Cut us some slack?  Give us the chance to work things out in our own way?

Sometimes us kids feel so overwhelmed at school because of all the rules and every teacher has different rules on top of the school rules, we have rules at home, we have rules with all different family members and we have our own personal rules.  Wouldn’t it be nice to at least take some of the rules away.  We all know we need to play fare, we all know to be nice and we all know to not hurt each other too bad.  We also know sometimes we will get hurt and thats okay, and most parents are okay with that to…isn’t that what life is about sometimes….learning from experiences and from our mistakes.

When you see two boys bump shoulders in passing, we are just saying “hey” with our bodies.  It’s just in fun.  Your office would not be as busy if you let stuff like that go.

Boys like stupid jokes and acting goofy and being rowdy.  We can’t help it.  My mom says “its obnoxious to people but we all need to be understanding.”

I would love to talk more about this with you.  I would like to thank-you for (reading) or listening and I hope you will take some time and think about my ideas.  It would mean a lot to me.  I have copied some links to a great video, a must watch and an article my mom and I found.

Hi.  Just a quick note.  For months (and part of last school year) my son has come home sad or frustrated about recess. Recess for him is one of his only reprieve from classes that are a struggle for him.  And now recess is a struggle too.  We have talked off and on about this topic for a while now and the other week I said “Well do something about it.  Make a change.  Start a conversation about it.”  Our kids are full of insight and ideas, (even (especially) the ones that are struggling with the teaching style.)  They are (as all kids are) so worth listening too, they are begging to be heard and trusted and matter in the school that just doesn't fit them.

We brainstormed his ideas first on paper.  Broke it down into his top issues. Then went from there.  I sat at the computer and typed while he talked.  These are his words, his ideas and his frustrations  and his solutions.  We talked about who he'd like to read this essay, and what he would like to see come of it.  He mentioned sharing it on my blog.  I reminded him some or many people may read which he replied "Good". 

I also want to point out I have the utmost respect, admiration, and love for anyone that choices teaching as a profession, just like parenting it is not for the faint of heart, and just like parenting, we do or should always strive to be better at it than the day before. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Inspired By Rainbows

Our class is bursting at the seams, ready for sun, ready for a soft warm breeze on our face, ready to hear the birds chirping, ready to stretch our bodies and run like the wind.  For the last few months we have been storm stayed, snow days, cold, layers of clothing, runny noses.  The magic and wonder of the beautiful winter left our hearts a few weeks ago.  We want spring!!!!

After a little "Saint Patricks Day" celebration the children had lots of "I Wonder..." questions about rainbows, so naturally it led to lots of cool inquiry explorations and inspirations throughout the room.  It was a wonderful invitation to breath some extra colour into our room to combat all the white and lack of sunshine in our lives.  
So with this post I wish you all a very HAPPY SPRING and OODLES of Colour!

Vision/Inspiration Atelier Board

The question on our board reads 
"What colours do you like to create with?"
Lots of fun provocation with the tulips and clay, pencil crayon sculpture, drawings.  
A lesson on pastels, followed by experimentation with smudging rainbow on construction paper.  
3D Shape and finger painting, don't you just love discovering math concepts through  ART?! 
Just one of the beautiful, cool, amazing benefits of FDK.  
Paint chip shades add to the kids knowledge of colours.  
And a little Picasso lady and the mirror peeping out for inspiration.  
Tissue Paper poofs to add sculpture, texture, form and visual interest above the creating table.

Tissue Mosaic Rainbow Spray

I'd like to say that this turned out amazing...but it didn't.  The gluing mosaic style tissue on paper turned out, but once the kids squirted the water it was a little anti-climatic as the tissue paper didn't drip colour!!!  So my learning lesson here was test the tissue first!  Luckily we had a little crepe streamers that we quickly cut up and the kids glued it on.  It dripped colour and we were able to observe some colour mixing and some cool dripping.  The kids seemed to enjoy the processes and I guess that was another lesson for me that it is sometimes (most of the time) about the process and not the product at the end.  Also, interesting to add was the kids observing me when this Art project didn't work as I thought it would and seeing how it turned into a science experiment and just rolling with it, really felt good, a great moment for the kids to see that adults don't always have the answers.

Next time:  I think this would be really fun for outdoor classroom, using the proper tissue. 

Throughout these weeks I can't seem to get the lyrics from a family favourite song when I was little.  "Flowers are Red" by Harry Chapin, here's a wee snippet of the verse.  It's a beautiful, yet sad and sometimes true song.   The best parts are the parts the little boy sings.

But the little boy said
"There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every one"

No truer words are spoken about children and some adults (especially R. ECE's)

Have a beautiful Sunshiny kind of Day,
Love, Light and Rockets all the Way,

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Vive La New Years Resolutions...just kidding...I think you should delay them

Every January I start a new Journal.  I ferociously write my grand plans for the year, I write down every morsel I've eaten or drank for the day, how I feel, poems, observations, gratitude's.
And then I stop around the end of February.
Just like that,  done.
I have so many journals, with January to February entries.  Part of the Grand Plans, resolutions if you will, usually include cutting out Alcohol, gluten, dairy and coffee, watch less t.v., exercise more.  Always stems from the gluttonous November/December endless holiday celebrations and dinners, all the baking, rich meals, accompanied by glasses of wine and beer, and evening Bailey's or Harvey's Bristol Cream.

So really, half way between Christmas and New Years, I pretty much feel like a stuffed non-organic Turkey ready to hit the utility conveyor belt.  So making these New Years Resolutions just seems to make sense at that time.

This year started out very similar...resolutions set..... until about the 300th snow day in our Lake Effect Squall/Blizzard Vortex of Never Leaving this Town in Winter, Town.  I truly feel that I will never make a "New Years Resolution" again in January...again.
I needed a glass of wine or three on those long snow days, I needed a hot bowl of homemade cream of something soup and a crusty bun for dinner, every now and then, to warm my heart and belly, when the winds and snow just will not let up.
I needed t.v. during these months to numb my mind after obsessively checking the Weather Network Station, reading, researching, work, and all the things a Woman does.
Now the exercise more, is never a bad one, I am a big believer in daily exercise...just not always a great practitioner of such grandiose daily needs.  I usually 'up' my yoga practice, count sledding with the kids, walking the dog as my main movement breaks.  But sometimes a cuddle under the blanket, cup of tea and book seemed more important (to me) this time of year.

What I propose is from January to April first is your New Year "Prep" time.  Time to reflect, time to slowly detox from the mess of end of year shenanigans, time to regroup your thoughts and priorities, these are your winter months to take stock of your life and slowly implement, small, manageable positive changes.  Changes that won't overwhelm, changes that start feeling "right" and "easy".

Then April 1st, once the weather has broke and hopefully no more snow (but you never know) start kicking your plans into high gear.  Spring.  Everything is new and fresh, growing, stretching.  This is the time to implement all the amazing little things you 'prepped' for.  Time to shine. It just makes more sense in this time of year, and to be honest this phase of my life (what I like to call Early Mid Century).  April 1st is only 2 weeks away, I feel good(ish), I cut back on coffee, I've been juicing, yoga, writing more, t.v. a little less, cut back on gluten and dairy, drinking more herbal tea.

The next phase will come in September and this time will be a Winter Goal Setting Phase, I need to plan on how we will get through winter with a little more fun and a lot less S.A.D., I need to learn (and teach the kids) how to like, embrace, maybe even winter for the rest of our lives.  (I'll let you know how that one goes) For real though, I think this is the ultimate Canadian Life Skill, and I have not mastered it.

So maybe this is my giant excuse post about all my New Years Resolution short comings or maybe, just maybe, its just, I have finally evolved and this is the year I've stopped putting so much pressure on myself to be this high performing superwoman, which I've never reached and never will and plus I don't even want to be that person anyway.  Whatever the reason, it's a new season and I'm feeling grateful and positive about life.  AND,  I'm really, really, really, looking forward to getting my hands in the dirt and start gardening (which equals exercising, right?), long sunshiny days and nights, sitting on the porch, riding bikes, and in this town our most ultimate prized possession, days at the beach on our beautiful Lake Huron.

There is a lake under all that snow.

Peace, Love and Light Always,

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The trouble with procrastination.

The trouble with procrastination.
It has come to my attention I am a champion PROCRASTINATOR.  I remember first being labeled as this in high school Junior High, by a teacher, my parents and self diagnosed from articles I read in SASSY, Seventeen and Cosmo, and I have been singing its praises ever since.  I never gave it another thought that I never was not a procrastinator.  Being a procrastinator has been my sparkly crutch for so long that I really know, no other way of life.  It is what it is and what it shall be.  

Paying bills...last minute or later (Sorry Procrastinator)
Last minute reserving for...anything, hotel, plane, restaurant...just squeak by the hair on my chinny chin chin (Sorry I'm a professional Procrastinator)
Filling in the countless forms for the kids school...ugh. (procrastinating)
Planting bulbs in September...OOPS...November...(procrastinator)
Company coming, known for a month, oh I'll wait till the evening before to grocery shop, laundry, clean, change bedding until the night before...(thanks but I was busy...procrastinating)

Don't get me wrong, things do get done...eventually.

Procrastinating is how I get stuff done.  Nice and last minute.  Just enough stress and adrenaline and fear of letting someone down, to get stuff done.

Here is something that I have come to realize about procrastination, sometimes it's just a fancy word for lazy.  And dude, sometimes a lot of the times I love to be lazy.  And guess what, I like it and it's okay.  Working full-time, with awesome, energetic, bundles of spirited 4-5 year olds is not lazy work, raising a family...not lazy work, being a good daughter, sister, friend and be fully engaged in a kick ass marriage...not lazy.  So I've decided, when I have a little free time, I'm giving myself permission to sometimes be lazy and celebrate in the awesomeness of that.

However, I am also, giving myself permission to let go of my label as a Procrastinator...starting tomorrow.


Sunday, March 2, 2014


The toast I wish I could say out loud without it becoming a slobberfest.

Last night Big D and I were at a dinner party, a first in a series of “Come Dine With Us” themed dinners, where each couple takes turns hosting and making dinner.  It will help get us through the last of winters throws with our mental facilities somewhat in place.  Nothing can get you through a long, cold, isolating winter quite like laughter, good food, and wine 
and great friends. 

This toast 
Goes out to all my dear friends, 
Near and far away,
Even when we don’t see each other,
Know that you are in my heart,
But, when we are able to get together,
All gathered around this table 
On a cold, and bitter night,
I look at all your beautiful faces
And it is the most magnificent sight.
We are all pulled into so many different places, 
But tonight dear friends,
It’s just us,
This food,
This Wine,
This love,
This laughter,
This night



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This Minecraft Moment Brought to You By...

Mom and the Number 8.

My Daughter LOVES Minecraft.  She is so happy when she gets her time on her mini iPad to play Minecraft Pocket addition.  She's almost as obsessed with it as my Mom and Sister are with CandyCrush. (Sorry for "outting" you gals) The one big difference though with this obsession is my Daughter doesn't feel bad or guilty using up her time playing one game, and she's never mad at herself for even getting started on it. ha!

Even after she has played it, she is drawing pictures, creating 3D homes out of paper, crafting diamond swords and fashioning Minecraft outfits for her smaller stuffies.  And she LOVES to talk about it, she will tell me anything and everything that is going on in her Minecraft worlds...and at risk of sounding like I'm really, really, old...I have no idea what she is talking about.  When I ask her questions she looks at me like "oh you poor dear, how do you not understand what I'm talking about? I feel sorry for you."  So I just kind of play along and mirror her excitement, and I can't help but get caught up in her happy energy over this game.

She asked me last week if she could teach me how to play it.  Of coarse I said "yes".  So we sat down and she showed me.  I'm just not a gamer. at. all.  I could tell she was disappointed in my lack of Minecraft Awesomeness.  So I suggested every week, her and I snuggle for half and hour while I watch her play Minecraft and she can show and explain everything to me, hence our Minecraft Moment.  (Disclaimer: We do snuggle all the time, not just for this one half hour a week)

It's such a small amount of time, but reaps big rewards on the connection front.  Minecraft is something that is really important to her at this time in her life and she wants to share it with me.  (Can you see where this is going?)  I feel this is one of those times that I needed to wake up and hear whats really happening.  She wants to share this important thing in her life with me.  I'm hoping this mindfulness transfer over for when she is older and still wants (needs) to share her important stuff with me.  I want her to always feel validated and be confident in knowing that I make the time for all her important things. 

What's your kids Minecraft Moment?