Tag Archive | knitting

Stretching Limits

If there is one think life has taught me it is that I really do NOT know my own limits… and surprisingly, this is in a GOOD way! Now don’t get me wrong, using hammers – not my thing, lifting heavy items – nope, reaching things off the top shelf – you must be joking, I have stools and a tall husband for a reason. BUT on the other side of that, did I ever think… all those years back… that this diminutive Canadian woman who weighs 114lbs soaking wet could be all that I am, NOPE, NO WAY! And that is AMAZING!

My newest challenge, on a long list of challenges yet to come, is for my children. One of those things I kind of wish I had gotten to try as a child was to learn the piano. Well, the boys are 12 and Zander is in love with singing and hearing his voice… I remember taking recorder in school around the age most of my kids are now and we have this house to ourselves. Add in an amazing deal on a keyboard and amp from my beloved and gorgeous friend Shandai and the time is nigh. This 37 year old mother of 5 is going to learn how to play the piano! Now I am sure I am not going for concert pianist… but… I have faith in myself, in my friends and family online as mentors and my insatiable need to figure things out. I am going to give this a go!

Two years ago I never thought I could learn how to play with yarn. Cross stitch, yes, but that is a grid and X’s… but the wild world of hooks and yarn… could I do it? Well, it turns out all I needed was a lefty in my life again. Here comes Shandai AGAIN! Such a helpful and supportive friend she is… and BAM I am a yarn addict. May I even slightly suggest the student proceeded to surpass the master??? (she is so much a knitting first girl… ooh knitting… that is on my to learn list to!).

I remember, back in the old days when I was merely a mom of THREE. (I know insane) And there was a fire of some sort in our apartment building. I managed, with the help of my next door neighbour, to bundle up THREE kids, grab my prepacked diaper bag (see organization is key), accept a ride and get to my mother’s house. To top it off I was able to call the landlord to remind him that the downstairs neighbour’s mother was often home and an older lady. This was all with Ken on his way into the city with out cell phone. I didn’t think I could do it. I wasn’t sure I could survive Ken being an hour + away for work each day. That moment, that situation showed me that I hadn’t even STARTED to stretch my wings.

Heck, at the beginning of summer I looked at the schedule at the YMCA and saw an amazing opportunity in ClubY. The kids and I did the math and checked Google Maps, we gasped at the 2 mile walk ONE WAY, we realized we had to find a way to not walk the highway the whole way (what is it with this state and its hatred of sidewalks in the suburbs???) and we pushed Daddy out the door to walk that first walk with us. It was grueling and frustrating (the boys managed to forget their bag of swim gear, Emanuel and Trinity were distracted by every shiny thing they could find) but we did it… and almost 2 months later they are chomping at the bit to walk that walk and get to their events. We hadn’t realized we could make that 30+ min walk into a family event, that we could prove to ourselves and the world that we didn’t NEED the luxury that is a car to get us going each morning and get us into the world. And with that stretching of lazy legs we doubled and tripled our work out each day. We’ve proven to ourselves that those two miles are a journey into adventure and excitement.

I think this unknown strength we have locked up inside is key to our family and its ongoing growth. Homeschool has been one big adventure of trying to stretch ourselves. There have been tears, and laughter, anger and frustration, but most of all there has been realization… we are only as far as we are willing to go, we are only as strong as we are willing to try and we are only as smart as we push ourselves to learn. The limits we see… the too hards, the impossibles, they are all just false limits. They are the points we refuse to look past. Maybe the stepping stones need to be tiny, maybe we need to take extra time (and as everyone knows who knows us, we make time for the foundations always) but we are capable of those events and so much more.

Parenting is scary that way too, only I don’t have the choice. We are now facing puberty and the teenage years. I have already had to cope with the hormones running wild with the twins (not cool, Zander goes angry and Gavin whiny/weepy). The future looks straight on uphill with the teenage years looming. But then again… so very long ago, that is how potty training TWO babies at once felt. And we managed. It may not have been graceful and I think we ALL learned things at time but we managed. I don’t know how far I can go, how many limits I will come across, and I won’t know until I get there or until I try. Who knows, we may be even more successful at it than we think we will.

So what am I truly capable of? I guess the answer is… I don’t know. But you know what? I sure can’t wait to find out! The day I started crocheting the projects I pick up now looked impossible. There are some on my to do list that are daunting even now, but I know I have yet to reach my limit.

The future is full of challenges and unknowns, and we have choices. We can sit back and fear them, we can halfheartedly try to defeat them, we can simply accept defeat and move on to something else. I think I am going to make it my mission in life to try and head out there and meet at least SOME of these challenges face on! I am going to sit down at the keyboard and give it a go, do more than give it a go I am going to PRACTICE and QUESTION and LEARN. I am going to dust off the old record skills and I am going to make MUSIC. I am going to pick up those knitting needles in the fall and figure out this fancy knit and pearl thing (and probably suck up HUGELY to Shandai on that one). I am even, one day, going to face my fear of driving head on (don’t get excited I did say ONE DAY not tomorrow). I am going to walk into the gym and face those fancy machines and (with Ken’s guidance) learn something new next month. I am going to make sure that I show my children that my limits are always changing, that my skills are always growing and that if they can make and effort and try something new, well Mom is right there with them!

Now I am sure I can tie this all back in on my depression series. I know Ken has worked hard to stretch his own limits. But you know what? I think we all need to drop our limits and stretch out wings, regardless of our situation, of our fears and of our illnesses. So maybe… just maybe… you can draw your own parallels and see what I mean without my leading you through it? And when you chose to make some leaps, think of me and my family. We are leaping with you! And if you really want a buddy on something – hey you never know, I have tried sushi, gone all the way to the top of a glass elevator, done a maid of honour speech in front of nearly all strangers, met new people way out of my comfort zone and even faced down the bad behaviour of my own kids with strength and honesty and in public no less! Perhaps not the most amazing accomplishments to everyone else… but to me! Well here I am stretching my wings, bursting through my limits and making life even more amazing!

(thanks to my “baby” cousin David on the awesome conversation which inspired this post, and piano assist… love you and thanks for the virtual pep talk! Good luck with the PhD – you got this!)IMG_20160625_203409

This entry was posted on 30/07/2016, in Uncategorized. 7 Comments

Abundant Harvest Photos

We took a bunch of pictures of  the event and I figured they needed their OWN entry! So enjoy!!!!

So many people and beautiful bags!

A little music on the side of the hill

A big of a Mardi Gra feel?

So many bags to choose from and amazing donated produce etc!

Music in comfort

The full out band

In among the shiny rocks

Choosing a bag of seeds

The belly dancers

Our chosen bags!

And our pixie who loves them

This entry was posted on 02/09/2012, in Uncategorized. 3 Comments

As the Week Progresses

After discussing our local squirrel population and putting pencil and crayon to paper to create an image of one what better is there to do than read about ANOTHER squirrel… Thanks to Karyn for the wonderful SIGNED copy of the book, Scaredy Squirrel continued our furry critter trend. A much more… neurotic squirrel we join him with his party planning and come along as he celebrates his very own birthday. I had the boys ALL draw a picture and then the twins and I went through the Who, What, Where, When and Why of the story. Emanuel opted to write the name Scaredy Squirrel all by himself and then we talked about what HE remembered from the story. So much fun and some really creative pictures! The actual book is called Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party. I need to unearth our other book in the series and maybe hunt down the cartoon Wiki talks about HERE

What with Ken’s folks on their way out of country and continent early tomorrow morning I kept it rather basic with the schooling so that we could just go with the flow… so instead of a lot of written work the boys set to work on some special Perler bead patterns… the Canadian and US flags by Zander and Gavin a lovely Hello Kitty for Trinity. You can find these patterns and more HERE. Emanuel opted to go through one of the idea books and made his very dinosaur. 


The boys came across a new tv series they seem to really enjoy – Wild Kratts. The combine animation and real life portions to create a wonderfully educational show about animals and environmentally sound behaviour. With gadgets and such to boot! This is right up there with Dino Dan. A terrific Dinosaur themed live action (and computer graphics) show. This one is created with the assistance of the Tyrell Museum (remember our Jimmie birthday??)

Even more amazing… Echo’s newest word, while she refuses to say BABA she went so far as to say BUBBLE when pointing at our ocean in a jar! She is growing up so quickly! 

Wednesday was Trinity and Emanuel’s turn to play Clue Jrwith Daddy… I think in this case it was more of an educational lesson for Daddy on keeping his temper and not getting frustrated even though he won in the end. I think they all had fun! At least they wanted to play again though we ran out of time and couldn’t do so. 

Clue Jr.

Thursday marked the start of Nana and Baba’s 3 week vacation and our day of do nothing. Well nothing but the basics… no organized schoolwork (which is hilarious as it seems like all our friends back home are STARTING this week), no massive cleaning, no errands… just sit about and enjoy the day. I actually found it harder than I thought… this doing nothing is a definite art! So of course a nap was in order… the kids just loved being inside playing, outside playing and of course watching some educational tv. 

Wearing Nana’s shoes

I did break my goal of doing nothing in the evening and with good reason! Shandai (my best friend all the way back from high school if you can believe it) is a pro at knitting and crocheting AND as an added bonus, like me SHE is left handed!! We sat at a table and chatted and caught up and worked on our projects… met some new people and were a part of the SWATCHcommunity. The bag Shandai made while we were sitting there will go toward Saturday’s installation. I am really excited that we will be able to take the kids to that!

A start!

It feels good to find a new interest… and luckily my mother in law already had the necessary supplies so I could dive right in. I need to practice for consistency in the tightness of my stitches but I am enjoying it so far! Something new to do that is portable is ALWAYS a good thing… now I just need to learn how to turn!

Today we worked hard on having fun… the kids all did a bit of workbook work as we are still working on review work… this ended with Zander FINISHING his review math! He was so proud and now I have a good idea on what ideas and concepts he needs cemented.

Sudden Workbook time


Then it was time to pull out the original spirograph! They even remember that Uncle Wayne was the one who gave it to them! I love that the things we HAVE saved in our move are so treasured. Though only ONE of the kids actually had something to show once they finished with it this time. I think I need to take advantage of the sales and get some more gel pens. 

Busy hands

A few attempts

Our weather is still absolutely brilliant. I booted the kids out in the afternoon to run and climb and burn off energy and apparently race Trinity around in a stroller with giggles following along with them!

They’re off!

I have found our fun USA book to add to our Minnesota unit and a box full of stickers now collected together. We are definitely a work in progress on the planning, but my desk is uncovered and I have high hopes of getting a chair in front of it and the laptop or netbook or both booted up on there for the kids by the end of what I am NOW remembering is a long weekend! Regardless we will start our September with our Back to School books, continuing the unfinished from our previous year and of course MINNESOTA! I got wonderful news this morning that I won a draw for our very own Wonder Box! I am sure people who check back here often know of my love of the site Education.com… well I cannot wait to receive our box and blog all about it!!!

Hug the dolly

This entry was posted on 31/08/2012, in Uncategorized. 2 Comments