I dropped off this sweet boy at preschool this afternoon.


He’s been so excited since we started talking about it back in November. He was thrilled to be going…….all the way up to the moment that we turned around, after putting on his inside shoes and hanging up his coat and backpack.

The next step was circle time on the carpet with all the other kids……..and he was all of the sudden not so sure about the whole situation.

But, he was desperate to play with a magnifying glass that he saw in a box and I told him he couldn’t, unless he did circle time first.


I’m positive that he will do fine and I know that he will LOVE the 2+ hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He loves going to “class” at church and this will be just as fun, if not even more.

IMG_4540I skiffed outta there and now I’m sitting in Starbucks waiting to go and pick him up.

I pick him up in just a little bit, but he’s with his cousin and the two of them should stir up some fabulous excitement for the teachers. They can be quite the monkeys, if they want to…..or maybe I should say seagulls???? Ha Ha!

It’s a bit weird. Dropping him off. It’s been such a crazy few years and I don’t really feel like I’ve had too many moments to catch my breath, but hopefully, this New Year and this New Season will have a few of those moments in them.

It’s nice when the quiet moments are available and it’s not that you have to force them into being.

Is there anything new happening for you in this new year or is there a new season starting in your life? I’d love to hear about it.

Another Beginning

So, I guess I took the summer off, eh?

Wasn’t planning on it, but it just turned out that way. Life has been so busy and it doesn’t really show signs of slowing down any time soon.

Today was our first day back at school for all 4 of the bigger kids. Geli’s in Grade 10. Xani’s in Grade 9. Jeremy started Grade 7 and Josiah started Kindergarten. Judah doesn’t want to get left out of anything and so….well, he just joined right in with us. (Forgot to get the girls pics….will have to do it when they get home today….oooops!)


Siah wasn’t exactly thrilled to have his “first day of Kindergarten” picture taken. Just keeping it real, people. Just keeping it real!


Once I let him go back inside and get his DSi…..which is what he wanted. I was able to grab this shot where at least, he is looking in the general direction of the camera and sort of smiling.


As far as first day’s go…..I think today was a pretty good one.

Jeremy did a great job reviewing some of his last years stuff and we ploughed through a ton of stuff with Josiah. I can’t wait for a few months to be able to see how far he’s come. We’ve got a fairly hefty reward incentive thingy with stickers and a goody box and all that jazz going on……in an effort to convince him to “stay focused on the actual activity at hand”, and I’m really hoping that soon we will be able to phase that out or mostly out.

Not surprisingly, Jeremy is quite nervous about what he may or may not remember and so I’m planning on doing a bit of review this week to “prove to him” that he is actually as smart and competent as I say he is.

We did manage to get out for a “Recess” and took a walk along the trails by our house. We picked a(nother) full tray of blackberries to freeze. (Jeremy will eat frozen berries like they are candy and so I’m saving up as many as I can get my hands on.)

We made it to lunch time, made it through lunch and now that the baby is sleeping, we are about to start a section of Arts and Crafts…..I think we are gonna do some leaf rubbings. Jeremy picked some up on our walk……We’ll talk about seasons and the leaves changing colors and falling….and it will all tie into Josiah’s Science Lesson for the day.


I am hoping that I’ll be able to carve out a little more time for myself now that we are back into a “routine”. I am really throwing that word around lightly here, but I’m confident that we will get there…..right? Positive thoughts! Positive thoughts!

How was YOUR summer? I’ll get to mine in the next few posts or so…

How has your September started off? Busy? Regular? Quiet? Slow?

How I wish mine was quiet and slow……how I wish!!!!

Laughing Instead of Crying

I’m laughing right now, because the other option is crying and well………I just need to laugh instead.

This is SO ridiculous. Like you wouldn’t even believe it…..I mean, maybe you might, but seriously….I almost can’t even believe it and I’m living it.

Judah had diarrhea for most of the day yesterday and yesterday evening, I went to change yet another diaper and……..found a worm.

No, I don’t mean one of those squishy, squirmy earthworms….I mean a PARASITE!

And it was still moving. *let me throw up a little in my mouth here*

So I freaked, I panicked and then I pulled out my Google medical degree and got to work because it was after hours…..of course it was after hours….you think this would actually happen WHILE my doctor was in the office…, of course not.

I don’t even know where to go from here – storywise, I mean….

I read. I read a MILLION articles. Determined that these little wrigglers living in my son’s gut and diaper were pinworms or threadworms…..same thing. and that they are extremely common……like 4 out of 10 kids have ’em. YUCK!!!!!

Changed another few diapers (I already mentioned diarrhea, eh?) and found a few more worms…….DOUBLE YUCK!!!!

Judah’s been sleeping really poorly the last few nights and waking up crying and saying ouch and squirming around fussing at his butt and more than a few of the articles talked about “your normally angelica child becoming irritable and fussy for no apparent reason” while I wouldn’t give him angelic, he’s definitely been WAY fussier in the last few days than normal. Coupled with the lack of sleeping, appetite that’s been off, and lets not forget about the ACTUAL WORMS!!!!!! TRIPLE YUCK! It’s pretty safe to say that he (and by extension, there is a good chance that at least the majority of the rest of us) has worms.


While I would have much rather talked with my Naturopath and gotten some natural parasite killer….would ou belive that her offices are closed on Wednesday….ya when did we find the worms….ya that’s right…on TUESDAY EVENING…after her offices were closed too. Unreal. So rather than waiting for a few more days…..Jon went to Shopper’s Drug Mart and talked to the pharmacist. She showed us this medicine – Combantrin

One dose will kill the worms currently living inside of you. And then you need to take another dose in two weeks to kill any more worms that grew from the eggs that you still had or that you picked up from within the house…

Apparently the home protocol is very similar to the home lice protocol and in fact, apparently, these little guys are WAY easier to eradicate than lice are. Which I guess, if I’m looking for silver linings….I guess that I’m glad we have pinworms and not lice…..if I can even wrap my head around such a statement.

And so, the de-worming has already begun…..meds have been taken and I am currently on a rampage against the little wormies…..that just sounded wrong. Almost cute and in my mind, this is anything but a cute situation.

Please reassure me that you or someone you know has gone through this and that I’m not the only one. Supposedly this is not an indication of poor hygiene, just like lice are not a reflection on poor hygiene. I can read that and know in my head that it supposed to be true, but BOY OH BOY… I ever struggling. …

I didn’t need this right now. Not that anyone ever needs this….but seriously…..this is not exactly reducing the stress load in my life.

So, what say you…….say something…please (yes, I’m begging)

The Craft/Small Business Fair

Well, I did it and I survived.

Saturday morning, I was up bright and early after about 3 hours of sleep. Geli and I got ready and then took off for the school.

Putting labels on
Putting Labels on the Night Before

We got there just after 8:30am and it was scheduled to start at 9:30am.

We found our table and got everything set up.

I was so nervous and ended up texting Jon that I felt like I was going to be sick. I know that it was ridiculous, but… is what it is.

The Craft Fair opened its doors and people started to come in.

Ready to sell

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but people came……some walked by and some stopped and bought and some didn’t……..and it’s all okay!

It was AMAZING to have a few of you come up and introduce yourselves. It was SO nice to put names to faces.

Probably my favorite moments of the day were when I had people come up and mention that they had problems with their skin and then they tried some of the Simple Beauty Products. To have them mention how amazing the products felt or how they didn’t hurt or burn their skin like some other creams and lotions have, and how they noticed that they felt “better” even after just a few minutes……that was my favorite part. It felt wonderful to be able to have these products that could help other people. I know how they have helped in our family; and to be able to share that…….AMAZING!

If you are interested in checking out what products there are, just click here on the link, and it will take you straight there.

Simple Beauty

To all who came by the table this past weekend….

I am so thankful for your support and encouragement.
It means so much!

A New Day

Jon started his new job today. He left the house at 7:30 this morning because he has no idea how long it’s going to take him to get there in rush hour traffic and he has to be there at 9am.

This is a HUGE change for us and while a part of me thinks that I’m a lot more ready for something like this to happen in our family (as opposed to a year or even 6 months ago), there another part of me that has no idea how this is going to work.

Obviously we will do what we have to do in order to make it through, but this is the first time in a very long time (approximately 8 years) that Jon will be rocking the “daily grind”,3 outside of the house, on a Monday to Friday, 9-5 kinda deal with an hour of commuting on either side of the day.

This past year has really taken a toll of me and while I used to believe that I could do anything and everything….I now feel like I have no choice in the matter and somehow I just have to survive. I often hope that in the very act of “surviving” that I will be able to heal enough to the point where I feel strong again. At the same time, I wonder if that’s even a possibility. You know how if you break your leg and get it set properly, put a cast on it, rest and let it heal; it will heal better and faster (and almost as good as before) than if you just carry on limping and walking on your broken leg, doing what you’ve got to do. Sure it might heal eventually, but it may heal crookedly or you may not get full strength and/or mobility out of it, but the intensity of the pain might not be as severe as it was as first….

I kinda feel like that second scenario is playing out in my life. I feel a bit broken and tired and like there is no option to re-set, rest and heal and I’m just hoping and praying it will all be okay eventually. I DO feel stronger than before, but I’m so acutely aware of my fragility, compared to the strength that I feel I used to have and that’s……well, that’s tough!

I’m sure that the kids and I will fall into a routine of sorts, and I know that families do this all the time, but right now it feels a bit daunting.

culley (3 of 211)

I’m so THANKFUL that Jon was able to get work. In faith, I’m confident that it will work out and that we will be okay. According to feelings, I’m not so sure.

Day 4 – Grand Caymans

We were headed to the Cayman Islands and expected to be able to get off the ship sometime mid morning.

Before the trip even started we had signed up for the Port Adventure to the Beach. I figured that as much fun as some of the other adventures might be…..the kids really wanted to just swim, and swim and swim and swim and SWIM. And, taking the different ages of the kids into account and Angelica’s fitness level….the beach just seemed like the best place to be for our family.

The day started out much like the night before had ended off….grey and muggy with some showers off and on.

In order to get off the boat, we needed to board a smaller boat which then taxied us to the docks. The Cayman Islands did not have the capability for the cruise ship to dock. And so around 11am, we lined up at the bottom of the cruise ship to start the “tendering” process. As we pulled away from the cruise ship, it started to POUR. The air was still warm, but it was definitely wet.

It took about 10 minutes for us to get to the dock and as we stepped off the boat, it was still raining. We were a bit early to meet up with our Port Adventure Group and so we walked around the shops on the dock of the Grand Caymans….and while we were popping in and out of the little shops looking at souvenirs the rain stopped.

Finally it was time to head to the beach, and we, along with approx 100 others, got onto the buses and headed out. The bus driver was a fabulous tour guide. He talked non-stop for the 15 minutes it took to drive down to the beach that we were going to. He had a lot of interesting facts and stories about the Cayman Islands and the scenery was incredible.

We finally showed up at the beach and again, it was raining….we all huddled under the beach’s small covered area and listened to the beach host explain a few things and then…….then they released us and we headed out to claim our very own little patch of heaven on the beach.

The weather couldn’t seem to make up it’s mind and it alternated between raining and not raining. In fact, the Cruise people came by to let everyone know that the buses would be available to take us back early if we wanted because of the bad weather.

I’d say that more than half of the people returned to the ship, but seeing as we had come to the beach with the point of getting wet…..we weren’t planning on going ANYWHERE.

The water was warm, and the air was warm, and we had umbrellas to cover our stuff; and so we just swam and played in the sand. It was SO. MUCH. FUN.


The baby fell asleep after about an hour of playing in the water, crawling on the beach and throwing the sand; and so we wrapped him up in a damp towel, put him on a beach chair under an umbrella and he slept for about an hour. On most of our Port days, he had a good hour nap….I think he was just so worn out from the excitement of it all.


It was so much fun to swim in the warm, BLUE ocean water, when all we are used to is a slightly grey/brown freezing cold ocean experience.

Jon rented a jet-ski and took the three older kids out for turns. We also rented some snorkel gear and the kids had a blast just swimming around, trying to find different fish and shells.


Jeremy LOVED snorkeling. He snorkeled for the entire time that we were at the beach (3 hours). He collected some very cool looking little shells. This was pretty much what he looked like for almost all of the time that we were at the beach.

Josiah LOVED the beach and figured out that he could actually swim while we were at this beach. I think that the combination of the waves lifting him helped and for whatever reason he was very confident and was SO excited to actually be out swimming. He didn’t go very far away from the shore, and stayed very close to us but he was actually swimming, on his own!


Starting to swim in the Cayman Islands is a pretty cool life experience.

The rain had eased up a bit and the weather was actually pretty nice. It was warm, but we were not being fried to a crisp by the broiling sun. I was actually pretty happy that it was a bit cloudy because then I wasn’t stressing about sunscreen and making the kids wear shirts and hats and trying to avoid sunstroke.

They could just play without being nagged at. It was a win/win for all of us.

About an hour before we were scheduled to leave, the rain started up again and then…..


Can you see in that picture? Click on the photo to make it bigger…..

Yes, Lightening. We had Thunder and Lightening and it was kinda of cool. It was far enough away but still….it was interesting.

The bus returned for us around 3:30pm and we headed back. The last call for boats to the cruise ship was at 4:30pm and there was a HUGE line up. So instead of looking around a bit, we just got in the line up and headed back to the ship.

It had been a WONDERFUL DAY and we had so much fun. The rain didn’t dampen our spirits, in fact, we were SO looking forward to being at COZUMEL the next day and heading to the beach AGAIN!

If you are interested in looking at all the photos from the Grand Caymans, click here!

I didn’t take too many photos because I was concerned about getting water and sand in my camera.

I’ve gotten a few questions and I’ll be answering them when I talk about the next sea day (which is day 6) so if you had any questions about our trip or wondered about something, let me know and I’ll be sure to do my best answer them.

Orlando and Day 1 of the Disney Cruise

We woke up on Saturday morning and sometime in the night we had played musical beds…

Well, actually just Geli and Jon switched rooms because apparently Jeremy was breathing heavy and it was bothering Angelica.


As it was the beginning of one of her chemo cycles, she was on the steroid Prednisone for 5 days and it makes sleeping difficult…so little annoyances become HUGE annoyances. Anyway, she crawled into bed with me and Judah; and Jon went and slept in the other room with Jer.


We got everyone up and repacked all our stuff because we had to have it ready for pick up at 8:30am as that is when it was being picked up to be sent to the boat. We grabbed a quick breakfast and then headed out to where the shuttle would take us to the ship.


It was about an hour’s bus ride from the airport to Port Canaveral and when we got there we got in touch with my cousin who lives in Florida. She lives about 2-3 hours away from Port Canaveral but Charlene and Jeff and all 4 of their kids had piled into their van early that morning and drove up to see us. We snapped a quick picture while we were waiting to connect with them…


It was SO HOT! So much hotter and WAY MORE HUMID than we were used to, but it was WONDERFUL at the same time. We were LOVING the heat and the sun. This next picture has nothing really to do with the story, but my little dude is just so cute so I had to throw it in….


Charlene picked us up and we drove to the closest Mcdonalds as we figured that would be the easiest and most comfortable place for all “9” of our kids to hang out and burn off some energy while we (the adults) got a chance to connect and chat.



It was SO AWESOME to be able to connect and hang out and see them and chat and…..well, I could just go on and on. It was such a HUGE bonus to this already wonderful trip and I am so grateful and thankful that we got the opportunity and that Charlene and Jeff went so out of their way. You guys are amazing!


We managed to get a few pictures of both Char and I and of all 8 million of our children…


We even got some nice stranger to take one with the Jon and Jeff included….


I so wish that we lived closer to each other. It would be so fun to be able to get together more often. Jeff and Charlene are amazing people and their kids are such cool little people!

They took us back to the Port because the kids were starting to freak out about “getting on the boat” and so very reluctantly we said good bye.

It took a while to get signed in and registered and our pictures taken and all of the other stuff required to get us on the boat and the kids were thankful for the couches and movies playing all over the Disney Terminal.


Finally, FINALLY…it was time. All the papers were signed and the kids were registered and we could go onto the boat….You walk through that Mickey and into the walkway that takes you right into the boat.


And with that, our Cruise…..Angelica’s Wish Trip officially started. It was SO exciting. We went up to the Promenade to be apart of the big Kick off Party….


There was music and dancing and shiny metallic streamers to shake and…….. well, it was pretty emotional to just be there.


Right in the middle of all of all the excitement and partying, Judah just couldn’t take it any more and he just fell straight asleep. My sweet boy, he’d done so well with all the travel and the different planes and bus ride and hotel and he just couldn’t take it one moment longer.


To say that we were excited is such an understatement. It was AMAZING to just be there. We sat up on the deck while the party carried on and watched the boat push off from the dock. It was a bit surreal to realize that we were finally here after months of thinking and dreaming.


It had been a pretty exhausting 2 days of travel and so we just sat for a moment and relaxed….


Then it was time to go and get dressed for dinner. They require you to dress up a little for dinners and I loved it….it made the dinners just a little bit extra special to have to get dressed nice and then the kids were on their best behavior because it felt extra special…We were seated at table 28 and it was RIGHT BY THE WINDOW. Just after we sat down to eat, we were treated to an AMAZING sun set..


That first day is a bit of a blur because we were so tired, but we basically walked around the ship a bit after dinner and then we headed back to our rooms and finally with much effort (because they were a little buzzed on the excitement of it all) got the kids into bed. The next day we were going to be getting off the boat at Key West and we couldn’t wait to go and see what Key West was like….

If you’re interested in seeing the rest of the pictures from that day, click here!

We’re Baaaaa-aaaack!

Well, it’s Wednesday night around 5:30pm and I think that aside from sleeping…this is the first time I’ve sat down since we’ve gotten home.

Yah, things have been a bit busy, a little insane and to top it all off, we’ve been EXTREMELY exhausted!

Fun Times!

We had an AMAZING trip – a HUGE THANKS to Children’s Wish – without them, Angelica’s Wish Trip would have not been a possibility. We are so blown away by the generosity we have been shown.

I think that I’m gonna break the trip up into a few posts because there is just WAY TOO MUCH to share and it would be the worlds longest post if I tried to combine it all into just one.

It seems like forever ago that we were trying to get everything ready to go….

I climbed into bed just after midnight and tried to get my brain to settle down but it didn’t work very well. I’d been going, going, going for the past 3 days and had a horrible time to settle. I fell asleep shorty after 1:00am and woke up at….

Wake Up

It was a miracle….the baby slept through the night….well, he slept all the way from when we put him to bed until we picked him up and put him in the carseat to drive to the airport.

Still Sleeping

Here she is….the “Wish Girl”. Awake and ready for her trip….well, mostly awake but Oh! So! Excited!


We finally were all in the car and ready to go….

Excited, Much?

All I’ve got is camera phone pictures and so the quality is not that amazing!

We made it to the Airport perfectly on time and got checked in. There was an issue with us checking in…..a boarding pass for Judah never printed off….and there was quite a kufuffle as they tried to get one printed for him. Finally they printed an extra one of ours and crossed out our name and write his name on instead.

By this point, the kids were hungry and we had about an hour until our plane boarded….Jon went looking for something that would be gluten-free so that Judah and I could eat it as well…

Waiting to Board

….at this point last night, I had to take Angelica to physio and then it was a whirlwind of bedtime activities and now it’s 8am on Thursday morning….and sometimes I just wish my life would slow down for a while…

Jon eventually found something that was safe for us to eat and soon after we boarded. The whole concept of flying in an airplane was almost as exciting as the Cruise…..the kids were enthralled with the “tv’s” in the back of each chair…

On the Airplane

We finally settled in for the 4.5 hour flight to Houston. The early morning excitement (and the Gravol that I fed them) took it’s toll and a few of the kids slept.

Feeling Tired

The baby woke up midway through the flight and of all the kids, he was the most difficult to entertain and even then, he did SO good!

Playing Around

We had enough time in The Houston Airport to find some food and pick up a souvenir or two and then we headed to our gate and waited there for a while. Trying to find gluten-free food on the go and in unfamiliar places is not the easiest, but fortunately there are enough places to choose from and we were able to find food every time we needed it.

Houston Souvenir

Josiah was so excited about the idea of the airplane and he just watched out the window at all the activity as the airplane taxied up to the tunnel and unloaded and loaded up all the luggage….

Watching for the Airplane

We finally boarded the second flight to Orlando and although the kids were doing so well, we were all getting tired. We ended up traveling for 10 hours that day and we were all tired out by the end of the day….add in a 3 hour time change and there is a recipe for a disaster, but it all went so well. I have some pretty amazing kids, if I do say so myself.

On the Plane Again

We showed up in the Orlando Airport and spent some time trying to figure out where our luggage was and where we were supposed to go and finally we got checked into the Hyatt and found our luggage and went to grab a quick bit to eat…..this was probably the worst part of the day.


We asked for a gluten-free meal and the chef even came out to talk to me about it and then when the meal came, I ate a bite and then looked closer and was sure that there was barley in the rice mixture….I asked about it yes, they had given me the regular portion….I was pretty thankful that Judah had refused a bite when I had offered it to him but was pretty upset that they had messed up like that. I left and went back up to the room while the rest of the family finished up their food. The restaurant was so apologetic, and did give me a gluten-free dinner after that, but it really set me up to feel very stressed about food for the rest of the trip…..

Having said that, if that was the worst part of the whole trip that day….then the day went pretty well, considering that we woke up at 3am and traveled ALL DAY and didn’t get to sleep until after 10pm Florida time.

Siah & Mickey

We finally got everyone to sleep, even though they were SO excited about heading out on the cruise the next day.

If you’re interested in seeing any more photo’s from our first day, click here!

Life Skills

It was high time that Judah learned the fine art of dipping.

Dipping cookies, that is……

On Tuesday before Jon and Geli came home, Siah and I sat down to have an extrememly healthy lunch of……..wait for it…………

Chocolate Chip Cookies.

(I was tired, lets just gimme a pass for this lunch, okay?!?)

We got a glass of milk to dip them into and sat down at the table.

Judah was crawling around on the floor and indicated that he wanted to be picked up and once he was picked up, he reached out onto the table and grabbed a cookie. He started to eat it, but after watching Siah and I dip our cookies into a glass of milk, he reached over and plunked his cookie into the glass.

He left it in a little longer than was proper, but i just figured that the softer the cookie the better it was for him…he’s only a year old anyway!

He crammed the milk soaked cookie into his mouth and stopped…..he seemed a bit surprised that there was milk in it and then he started sucking the milk out of the cookie and that was it…..he was hooked.

He went for a second dip and well….lets just say that his dipping skills need a little work, but what can you expect from a one year old….and it was only his first time ever.

I’m pretty sure that he’ll do better next time.

First Hair Cut

Judah is 11 months old.

He will turn one year old on June 24th. It’s kind of hard to believe that almost a year has gone by since he was born. It’s been a busy year, that’s for sure! I haven’t been able to just enjoy each and every moment of Judah’s first year in the way that I wish I could have, but it’s okay…..Angelica is alive and that statement right there, kind of puts it all into perspective.

Enough with the deep and serious talk, let talk about something a bit lighter, shall we?

I love little baby hair. It’s so cute and soft and fuzzy. Judah has a cowlick in the back of his head and it makes his hair stand straight up. It’s so SO cute. Up until now, there’s been no need or reason to cut Judah’s hair, and I like to leave my babies hair alone because usually as soon as you cut it, they end up looking like little boys and I already have two little boys…I still want my baby!!!!!

So Happy

But……it was getting so goofy looking and I just wasn’t sure what to do.

I thought about shaving his head, like the rest of us were doing, but I really wasn’t sure that’s what I wanted to do. I mulled the idea around inside my head over the weekend and by Monday night I decided to go for it.

Cheeky Little Monkey

We had just finished dinner and Judah needed a bath. He is not the tidiest eater. Typically we take him directly from the dinner table and put him straight into the bath…and he has food EVERYWHERE!

Monday night, I figured that I could buzz his head before we bathed him.

So Cute

Man, this kids is SO cute! (At least I think so!)

He did so good. I’ll admit that I was nervous about how he would handle the clippers and whether he would sit still enough for me to actually buzz his head, but he wasn’t scared of the noise. He didn’t fuss or squirm too much, just played with a few random things that we gave him and in minutes it was all done. Here he is freshly buzzed, just before his bath.

All Gone

I managed to snap this shot of him on Tuesday morning. I sure love this little boy. I think that in some ways the hair cut makes him look more like a baby….which I’m not exactly upset about. Mind you, he looks like a freaking HUGE baby! You should see him in a pair of footy pyjamas……so SO cute!

Okay, enough of the cuteness talk….here he is!

My Baby