Monday, March 17, 2014

New Skills of Both the Athletic and Domestic Varieties.


One would think that children who are capable of learning to ski down mountains, unassisted, would also be capable of flushing the toilet.





















Sadly, this is an erroneous assumption. 

The pee soup and poop stew was getting so vexing to this mother that I implemented a new law.  

If  poop or any pee is found in any household toilet, then all four Workman children must scrub a bathroom.  Immediately. 

Needless to say, my children have become well aquainted with the toilet scrubber in the past few weeks.  They are learning, though, and there is less and less pee soup and poop stew greeting me from the bowl.  

The children have conspired, together, as is to be reasonably expected, and determined that if they discover any left-behind treasures they will immediately flush so as not to be discovered.  Curiously, a couple of little people just can't help but announce the presence of rouge poops....Then all the other children chastise them for telling (while they are scrubbing).  

 And, of course, there is the blaming game, where children attempt to identify the perpetrator based on size, shape and color of the evidence.  The law, however, takes no care for the identity of the pooper. Any discovery of waste means that everyone scrubs.   Equal opportunity is alive and well at this house. 

I've never had cleaner bathrooms, this is for sure.  I also realize that my 35+ year-old bathrooms are just gross all the time, even freshly scrubbed.  Time to seriously consider some home improvement.  And if kid-improvement continues I may just have to sabotage the potty once in a while so that the scrubbing continues.  

I also want to make sure the skiing continues. So much fun to be outside enjoying these little people as  they become more and more independent. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Snow!

















I hope that when my children are grown and gone that I still remember to run.  
Not walk.  
Run. 
To the nearest clearing whenever there is snow.  
Bring a sled. 
Bundle up.  
Remember the Big Girl Camera 
(especially if I want to remember something lovely). 


I suppose we would have much rather seen this snow in December. 
 But, as it stands, it has been a beautiful few days.  
By Friday it will be gone.  So we enjoyed it when it came.  

Love this little nook of the world we live in. 

Love my kids.

Love cancelling appointments and lessons so we can play. 

Snow is such a good thing. 







Thursday, February 20, 2014

Funeral Notes. And a surprise.


Sadness.  
Fondness. 
Betrayal. 
Regret. 
Love.  
Happiness. 
Gratitude. 
Resignation. 
Hope. 
Frustration. 
Peace. 

These emotions ran a continuous loop cycle over the whirlwind trip to Canada for my grandmothers funeral.  


My grandfathers insistence on staying at the grave site until the coffin had been fully lowered into the group (requiring a hasty reorganization of graveyard groundskeepers and a back hoe) made me cry. It was -25C plus a nasty prairie wind chill.  But there he stood.  Waiting to make sure his Love would be safe. 



The photo display included this one of their family years ago.   I added G, for obvious reasons. 


And I was reminded of how she just belongs in that group, and then of me, and where do I belong?  

I know for a fact that I belong out on the trail, running with my heart.   I made sure to get a cold Canadian run in before the funeral which gave me just enough serotonin to make it through with dignity. 


The 90 minute Hot Hathaway Yoga class at Celeste's swanky yoga studio... Perfect for the next day.   All these years of converting to the Practice and I had never been to an actual class.  It was heaven.  






It spoke volumes about the character of my Mother that she took time off work to come to Calgary to pay respects at a funeral that I probably would have skipped if I were her.  Things went smoothly and I believe some closure was gained.  Small miracles are welcome at every step of the journey. 

Leaving Mr. Workman and the kids  was very difficult this time. My new job, Kenneth's travel, scheduling, finances, it all combined into a high stress situation.  So when I got back and had to put on a major Relief Society activity the next day I just about collapsed. I'm thankful for kind people who helped out. The Sisters of Relief did a great job assembling almost 40 freezer meals to be used when needed. Never underestimate the healing power of a cheesy Mormon casserole, that's all I have to say.  

 I have made a very conscious decision to be involved in my Faith community.  Though leaving the LDS church was a vey real possibility for a time, the thought of losing the community of people that I love to work beside, it was far to painful to consider.  The other factor being, of course, the problem with my beliefs.  You see, I can only really bring what I really believe in my heart of hearts to the LDS church. Other faiths would cry "heretic" and I would be lost, for I can't give up what I most love about LDS teachings.  However, when I go to church I often find that nothing I believe is being represented, even though it could be.  

This is from a little book I just read, "Letters to a Young Mormon" by Adam S. Miller...

"From the near side of trying it may look like you have things pretty well mapped out for you.  Just stick to the plan. Memorize your articles of faith, get your merit badges signed off, complete your personal progress, get good grades, go on a mission, go to the temple, have a family, etc.  there may be a few details here and there to handle, but nothing major.  You've got a map. You just have to follow it.  

But once you get to work you'll be unnerved at the distance between the neat map in your hand and the rough terrain at your feet. Fighting to coordinate the two, you'll be tempted to throw the whole thing over or, by way of compromise, to sit down and gossip about how great the map is.  The latter kind of admiration is often mistaken for a religious life. Perhaps it is religious, but it is no life. Even sound maps are just maps. They are no substitutes for real roads."

So. Yes. Often I feel like church is the gossip about how good the map is.  

But a whopping thirty-seven casseroles in the freezer, working together with really nice ladies to do something that will help others, chopping onions and mixing up Celestial Meatballs (sorry Pioneer Woman.  I changed the name of the balls in your book. But since you claimed that egg-in-a-pocket was your idea I figure we can let the renaming of your meatballs slide).   That was really nice. That was something I want to be a part of. 

And in closing, and entirely unrelated .... this....


I was startled when this nice gentleman sat down in the waiting room and revealed the baldness on top.  For, from the front, it looked like a perfectly healthy head of 50-year old rocker hair.  He had completed the ensemble with skinny tie, jeans, and some vintage shades.  


I snapped a picture.   For obvious reasons. To Oakley's credit (he was there with me) he was embarrassed that I took the picture.  Can you believe it?  OAKLEY... Embarrassed by ME!!??

Also I found three gray hairs.   In my own hair, not this guys.  Not sure how to feel about this. Am very suspicious about the timing of their appearance. 





Saturday, February 01, 2014

Hi Ho, Hi Ho!

                                 


For Moms first day of work, Oakely woke up at 5am and was fully ready for school when I left for the day (6:30am). Transitions are hard for this kid, so I tried not to make this major shift in our family too big of a deal.  Something tells me he can read between the lines. 


I came home from work yesterday pretty tuckered out. A throbbing sinus infection, the first day of my cycle (always painful), a calendar full of non negotiable deadlines and technology barriers that prevent me from doing what I need to do.  Kenneth's practical response, "Yep. Looks like you have a job."  

I did get to speak Spanish several times this week.  Looking at the caseload I can tell I have some unique training that will be of great help to some of the cute kiddos I will be working with.  Two days a week on I site is probably not enough to do everything that could be done, but that's what I can give for now so I'm going to make it work. 


By the way, you have any old jewelry you need to unload,  I know a place where you can get a great price. 


                      



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Five! Five! Five! Five! Five!

Dear Georgia,

A week or so before your fifth birthday you lost a tooth.  The first one.  You had been wiggling it for quite some time, and while I nodded and smiled at your demonstrations, I mostly wanted to ignore what was happening.


Sure enough, though, that little white guy on the bottom left had no other option but to pop right out of your head.  And there is was.  The last time a child of mine would ever lose their first tooth.


When a Mom at Library story time commented on this exciting milestone, I unexpectedly broke into tears, not realizing that this moment of joy in your little life was actually a sad moment for me.

I am almost certain it was just few weeks ago that the very same tooth emerged from your little baby gummers.   Wasn't' it?






It should come as no surprise, then,  that a birthday post for you is a month delayed.  Another thing I wanted to overlook I guess.  Five years is a long time, but is wasn't so long ago that you made your way into the world with no small amount of ripping and tearing on my part.









But here we are, five years into your life.

And what a live it has been!  Your spicy red hair accents your personality perfectly, with the ringlets that bounce and spring every which way, sort of like your feelings tend to do.  There is no emotion lost on you, this thing is certain.

You are strong and independent. You know what you want, and you are smart enough to figure out how to get it.  Nothing much can stand in your way, I hope you never let it.




Some of these characteristics you get from me, for better or worse.  I wonder if you will be told the things that I have heard over the years all of which can be summed up by the notion that  that these characteristics are better suited for boys than for girls.   The idea that these things aren't especially nice.

Not that I don't want you to be nice.  This is not the case at all.  And if we're being honest here (which we are, since that how I roll), I have a lot to learn still about sharing kindness and showing softness.  Being a Mom us helpful in this regard.   Being nice is important, and I see your tender caring side flourishing as you spend hours tending to your baby robotic shark and the little octopus finger puppet that has recently made its way to the top of the triage center for stuffies that is your bunk bed.

But don't mistake being weak for being kind.  Don't usher your dreams off the the side to make way for others.  You can learn to be strong and sure and kind and compassionate and thoughtful and intelligent and determined and Godly and successful and feminine all at the same time.   I think.



You can be even more than all this. The beauty of the matter is that you have many years to work it out.

I watch your 'firsts' with happiness, and though your 'lasts' also mark the end of as season for me in my Motherhood journey, I am happy to be doing this with you.  You are the perfect end to a really great bunch of kids, hodge-podged together, though we may be.



Happy (belated) Birthday, Little Red.

xoxo
Mom

ps  I also love your freckles.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Thoughts.





                                   

"Our lives are more like a canvas on which we paint than a script we need to learn, though the illusion of the latter appeals to us by its lower risk. It is easier to learn a part than create a work of art."   
T&F Givens

                        


Our foggy walk was incomplete because Eden was not with us, but there was joy to be had just the same.  Some complained at first, but when the foggy nothing of the wheat field opened up before them, it was smooth sailing.  

It's my impression that us church going folks can often get really caught up in pursuing a future abundant life in a way at at cuts us off from an abundant life right now.  I am  coming to understand that the future and the past must take a back seat to a whole hearted engagement in the present moment. The present moment as a gift.   Against such a backdrop I can paint the canvas of my life, of our life together, with clarity and peace. 















Friday, January 17, 2014

Field Trip and a Job.




We had the entire rink to ourselves for almost an hour.  The 12:30 dismissal from school today gave us enough time for a field trip to the  EWU rink  before basketball practice.  I claim the title of Field Trip Mom with pride. 

It wasn't the best of times or the word of times, it was just a slice of time that I spent with my little crew.  We came home smiling and hungry, indicating a successful day. 
.
.
.

I was offered the Speech Pathologist position I applied for, and if the numbers line up properly I will start next week.  I will work on site two days a week and work from home a third day.  This will be a big change for our family, especially considering the 90-minute commute.   

I must be patient with the process, just like everything, I suppose.  

There's a whole chunk of grey matter inside my skull that is already buzzing...it's been asleep for a while.  I'm just hoping all the dendrites are still aligned correctly.