The Talk….

So I’ve been putting off The Talk with my youngest.  I mean he knows way too much from life with 5 older brothers.  He hears so much nonsense .  He knows so much nonsense.  It has scared me,  you know, to have the talk.  He’s been pretty convincing that sex is a man peeing in a lady’s belly button… thanks to Tyler or Max.  He’s convinced me that this is his thought.  Well, I’m an idiot.

Over the break we had in DC, his cousin, also 10 years old and his mom, Josh and I were laying in bed… vegging out.   I’m not sure how the convo came up, but we realized that both boys had the talk… or knowledge of The Talk.  The cousin from his dad… so that was legit.  Josh… from a brother.  Anyhow… as we laid in bed, we did the whole “sex is special… and all that jazz…. and I was disturbed that one of the brothers was naughty.  I was also impressed and disturbed that Josh could play me so well.

Anyhow… Josh and I had the talk. Properly.

Today I was hanging with him… and he asked me, “Mom, what’s a virgin?”

I told him it was someone who had not had sex yet.

He so sweetly looked at me and asked, “Are you a virgin?”

I asked him if he remembered what sex was?

He nodded yes and told me that was how babies were made.

I said, “So am I a virgin?”

He nodded no.

Then Josh asked, “So you’ve had sex 6 times?”

I smiled and nodded.

Insert face laughing with tears streaming down my face.


Posted in Boys, choices, faith, Family, General, love, Marriage, moments, motherhood, Parenting, Reema Sukumaran, relationships | Leave a comment


It’s cloudy.  It’s Thursday.  It’s been a busy week.  Our church is having their annual ball hockey camp.  The older three boys are all leaders.  I’m helping with the snacks which means up early and there for the morning.  Today it was rainy.  I did my thing and headed home.  There’s laundry.  There’s cleaning and tidying.  There’s so much that has my name on it, especially with school starting in a few weeks. Add to this … I’m feeling very low.  I hate that.  I hate feeling sad.  I hate feeling overwhelmed.  I hate feeling like I need to crawl in a cocoon and just sleep.  I realize that when I felt like this I’d shop.  It was therapy and it worked but obviously was not a healthy kind of therapy.  I’ve given up my shopaholic ways so now….. I obviously need to find another vice.  Why can’t the gym be that therapy?  SMH…

We’ve returned from a wonderful vacation in DC with family.  My brother and family was there too, so I got to catch up with each of them.  Then there are the cousins…. my boys are so in heaven when with them.  And this time… we reunited with some of my side  cousins and that was great.  It’s nice to build relations without parents forcing it.  It’s nice to reminisce and see that every one had such a different outlook on the same thing.  Wow.  It’s nice knowing that family is family.  We begin with family and end with family.


 My boys were so subdued on the ride back, sad to say goodbye and leave.  I love that.  I love that they really don’t care if we do the sights as long as they are together with the family.  Am I in withdrawal? Maybe.

I am preparing for Sammy to leave again.  He’s only been home a short time.  He’s heading to Ottawa to go to school at Algonquin College.  His girlfriend, Tarah is moving here (Ottawa) from California and arrives today!!!  So craaaaazzzzyyyy, this life!  By next week they will be in Ottawa on their own… grown up.

Before blinked, three of my boys have girlfriends.  When did the cooties go away???  I am grateful I like them— the girls and wish my boys all the best with lots of love and praying for very little heart ache.

I think that the emotions I feel are confusion and sadness.  Letting go.  Letting my boys make choices— some that are not ones we’d make but as they grow, we have to let them do their thing.  We set rules and guidelines.  We have our morals and standards.  We pray that this is theirs too and yet have to be prepared to let go… when they make their own choices.  Yikes.

Confusion because parenting is so different now.  I mean, my parents told me that I was going to Andrews University after high school.  I didn’t even think otherwise.  (I am pretty   sure aside from the degree they wanted me to “find” a hubby there…. mission accomplished)!!!  My point though was I never really thought of not listening!  Now my kids have thoughts and opinions that they actually express!  Wow!  I remember maybe being bold enough to mutter under my breath but usually my thoughts stay in!!!  I love that my kids are secure in our love to be expressive.  Most of the time.  I’m saying that … and yet sometimes just miss the obedience that came with fear!!!  I guess the bottom line is that I’m confused if I’m doing it right.  I am confused by the individuals that have taken over my world… 20 years ago… that I’m not the #1 girl…. that I’m weird or embarrassing  with out even trying most times.  I’m confused by that second when I have done it right… (I’m never aware of it….) or when I get a little piece of affection.  Yah… I’m confused.  I realized that maybe I shouldn’t care so much … but I do.

Sadness… letting go.  While Sammy is physically moving out, the others have moved on .  They have girls, friends and active social lives.  It is not rare that I am often with Josh.  Alone.  Wow.  How did that happen?  And sometimes the house is busting at the seams.  And yet, its really just about the food… when I am feeding a crew.  Don’t get this wrong… I love feeding all those that come through.  And yet, as quickly as they come, they leave, to the basement or out the door.  Sadness is just the reality that my little ones are big ones, with lives.  They are successful and social and all those things that I spent so much time, energy and love shaping they into.  Yet…. I never really prepared myself for the moment… you know… when being a successful parent eventually means they are independent beings with a life.  Sadness and pride… some how mingled together.

Wow.  There’s so much about parenting that What To Expect When Your Pregnant didn’t warn me about.

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Navigating The “Years…”


Today is HOT!!!  It makes me want to behave as the thought of hell fire just sounds HOT!!! lol  I know many love the heat after our winters but me … being hot constantly (thanks to the “change”) and then add humidity… it usually brings on a migraine.  So… those people that I saw, eating on the patio at East Side… my hat’s off to you!!!  I had a nice little lunch with my favorite man.  Yes, just the 2 of us.  Josh is off to the beach with a friend (thank you, Julie), Zach is at Camp (hope you are wearing sunscreen, my brown boy), Max is at a friend’s (thanks Dorothy), Jordan is likely home now after a night at a friend (thanks Metrows) which means he’s back home, Tyler is off working on his car and Sammy is in CA, probably getting ready to head home.  All that to say… I’m alone for a few hours!!!

I’m hiding at Sanj’s office, enjoying the A/C and the noise of other humans.  We have company for supper but obviously I’m not worried about it.  I’m enjoying these summer days with my boys.  Today it was just Josh and I laying around in bed as I tickled him, watched WWE and enjoyed having a child that still likes to snuggle with me.  Josh has the greatest belly laugh!!! As I was driving him to his friend’s, I surprised him with a loud screeching Minion jibberish!  He looked so startled and then laugh SO hard.  I love the laid back ness of being 10.  No moods are fluctuating and I know that his love is just there, period.

The hormones that seems to fluctuate like a women on menopause…. Oh wait… that was Sanj’s example for me to use!!!!  Idiot!!! lol Good thing my MENopause mood-o-meter is able to laugh at that.  Ok… I’m just talking about how to cope or survive the hormones of 5 raging teens.  I mean I was the loving mama who could hug or drown in my little boys  love.  Now… I may just look at them and that may result in a deathly roll of the eyes.  Or… I could be on the receiving end of a loving touch or even a hug. Gasp!   When I do get that love pat, my heart just feels overwhelmed.  I’ve learned now that I must control my reaction, other wise I ruin it… if I give in to my natural over exuberant self.

Tips I’ve learned… Note to Self…

* I know that this is a phase.  It was very hard as Sammy hit that phase and I can admit, I cried many a tear.  I screamed many a time and honestly never thought we would live through the “years.”  My oldest is 20 and now I am used to never being right.  I’m actually quite good at having conversations in my head.  I have read and been told that we are getting  closer to the end of these “years” but I still won’t believe it till I see my Sammy return to human again… and give me proof of leaving the “years” behind.  Now as we have FIVE going through the “years” I’ve gotten much better at accepting that I do not know anything.  Yah me!

* I am never right. Never.  I mean, I am old.  I don’t get today’s kid.  I am not cool.  Period.  Oh, wait, unless I am needed for something.

*Have a life. Sammy is one of our most social children, so as he came into the “years,” he was gone, a lot.  I have to admit I missed him.  Tyler is not a very social child… oh wait, until the Girlfriend entered.  Now he is never around.  Or never alone.  Good thing I adore her.  Jordan… another social being, yet seems annoyed by family encounter!   Max… 50/50 yet the only annoying thing is he usually doesn’t know he has something planned until 5 minutes before it happens.  Zach is another Sammy for sure and as he enters high school I know he will be scarce too.

So… in the last year or so, I have learned to have a life… that revolves around us!  Yah!  Sometimes the boys will complain… that we are having the same friends over again… and my answer is… “Ummm, you don’t have to be here.  You can do your own thing!”  And you know what, having a life is kinda fun!!!

*I’m so glad that my spouse is also my best friend.  We are in this together.  We are a team.  Our children must learn early on that we stick together.  I know Sanj will back me up.  I know Sanj will beat their butts (figuratively, of course… CAS).  And vise versa.  I love these few moments that we are already finding, when we are alone.  Wow!  Dinner for two.  No one fighting for a spot in our bed.  We can talk.  Alone.  No interruptions. Well unless Sanj disappears into his introvert hole in the basement (aka the studio) or watches a scary show, then I play on my phone… Scrabble… but still we CAN be alone!

*I have to understand we are in an in-between phase of us remembering the good old days… (you know, playing outside all day till the lights went on… parents not worried.  Roller skating, biking, playing with a cardboard box- lol… we didn’t have “things”… we weren’t plugged in all the time).  Our kids… this is their generation.  The plug in generation… you know, they panick when they don’t have a charger within 5 feet of their phone dying…. Sigh. They are going to be ok.  This is life as they know it.  And we-  having that power to “unplug,” makes us powerful.  We have to use that power with care.

*Life with a goat…  I say this to say that life with a teen is big portion of head butting.  Did you know I had a “pet goat?”  For real… we never had a dog.  Ever.  Yet we had three goats (my siblings and I), 10 chickens, rabbits, parakeets, cat, gerbils, fish… none of these creatures were asked for by us.  And yet, we couldn’t have a dog. SMH.

I am a reader.  I research and seek answers usually to find hope when I am feeling desperate.  Of course we know that these “years” are the time our teens are seeking independence, finding themselves and in order to do so, start to pull away from us, their parents.  We suddenly become extremely annoying.  Maybe I should just say I become extremely annoying.  And apparently weird.  And yet other times, I know they think I’m funny though they probably hate to admit it.  I guess what I do so often when totally annoyed is try putting myself in their place.  Doing so, really do help.  At least sometimes.  Butting heads hurts.  Me.  I’m sure it hurts them too.

*Pick my battles.  Yup!  I remember Tyler and Jordan, maybe grade 6 or 7, both wanting to dye their hair.  It’s hair.  It’s dye.  It’s will wash off.  They may ask to do stupid things… like Max’s most recent foolishness of a reverse Mohawk.  Sanj was so appalled.  And yet… it’s summer, we have no wedding or events.  Max will have to deal with the repercussions of ugly hair.  Fine.  And you know what?  He seemed to truly enjoy this foolishness.  Now I wish I could say that we did not have to deal with issues such as drinking and weed but we have.  And these issues … there is no wiggle room.  Period.  It’s not acceptable in our house.  Period.  Sadly, we have had to say that certain friends are not welcome due to their habits.  I hate that.  Yet as the boys are forming their own moral code… they must respect ours.  We have to pick our battles.


Room to just be… This is a long weekend coming.  Wahoo.  As we go through the “years,”  I think we are pretty good at giving our boys room to do their thing.  This weekend we have plans … short things like overnight in TO and taking in a Blue Jays game.  This will require us to rent a vehicle… as we are in between at the moment.

I asked Tyler and Jordan if they wanted to go with us (booking a hotel usually requires 2 rooms for us…) and also wanting to give them freedom to do their own thing with their buds.  Jordan asks me what vehicle we are getting…. saying if it’s something cool, he’ll come.  lol Tyler looks at him and snickers, “Because you are so special, you’ll grace us with your presense if there is a cool car?”  Haha… with so many siblings, many a time and siblings take over and put the other in their place. lol  I’ve learned to let them have room to just be.

Ok… so this is a long post with stuff that I’ve slowly been learning as we navigate through the “years” together.  I adore my boys and am so grateful that I always have constant help from up above!!! Thank you, God, for your constant guidance, forgiveness and love.

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What’s In My Pants… Game

I can never stop saying it enough… life with boys is like being surprised with a huge cake and just as you get ready to cut into it… out pops a gorilla!  I never know what is happening with my boys even if they are right in front of me at times… it’s just a scary fact.

The fact is we all love attention.  When one of the boys does something, even if the intention wasn’t meant to be funny, you know how it goes, right?  They just ramp it up as if that was the intent.  The grosser, more shocking, the better!

Now this apparently happened a while ago… it scares me… knowing there is so much I DON’T KNOW ABOUT!!!


So yesterday we drove up to the Muskokas…. just a little piece of heaven here on earth… where the rich really do live in another planet.  Camp Frenda is there, a camp that Sanj worked at for years and is near to his heart.  He was so pleased that Zach, the only one of the boys, chose to go.  So we drove up, the  2.5 hours, dealing with the usual bickering that goes along with car rides… and we only had half the kids.  Sanj- who is not one that handles that craziness  too well as he needs, craves and needs calm and quiet especially after a week of work and stresses… did ok.  lol


We reached… checked Zach in, wandered, caught up with cousins etc and headed back on the road.  We were down to TWO Kids now.  It was Max and Josh- who usually get along really well.  This trip back they were both crazy.  I’m going to blame the very expensive ice cream we stopped for… but they were in rare form!!!


During this time, in between their crazy banter, I hear Josh giggling saying something about the “What’s In Your Pants” game… my mama brakes screeched and I said… “What’s that?”

Oh Jesus…. You have so much faith in giving me six crazy, weird, hilarious, scary boys!!!

So… Josh went to Max and Jordan and said, “Let’s play a game called “What’s In My Pants…”  Josh says his brothers said, “Sure…” but I highly doubt that was the response…more along that lines of … “Josh, YOU ARE WEIRD!!”

Any how I guess the object of the game was to guess what Josh had in his pants, besides the obvious!!! lololo


I’m guessing Jordan and Max didn’t get any answers right… so first comes out teddy bear… probably the only teddy in the house that was used on that  Teddy Bear picnic in grade one with Mrs. Wiley.  A TEDDY BEAR… not small in size, let me tell you, with a DOLLAR Bill taped to it!!!!!  (Bet you are going to WASH your HANDS after touching money!!!)

As Josh pulled out the bear with money… his brothers shrieked— “Ewwww!!! You put money IN YOUR PANTS???”  lolol

Then Josh continues…. “What’s in my pants…. what’s in my pants?”

Giving up guessing…. Josh reaches in his pants… and out he pulls Jordan’s cell phone!!!!

Now I would  given anything to  see the expression of Jordan’s face!!!!

Now I’m sure this was followed by shrieking and a full on chase and no doubt wrestling and laughing… but I am sure that initial response to Josh’s finale was just priceless.  The boys consider their phones pretty sacred!

(This story was being told in the back seat yeesterday with full on belly laughing!!!  I should have videoed but I was dying myself and Sanj’s expression was priceless!!!!!)

I am sorry if this offends anyone.  Sometimes I just have to post this kind of foolishness to share and remember so one day the boys will remember how life was with 6 sons for their mama!!!!

Posted in Boys, choices, faith, Family, General, God and I, love, Parenting, Reema Sukumaran, relationships | Leave a comment

My Redeemer Lives…

It’s technically tomorrow… but this Friday was the last day of Serve Peterborough, 2015— and while my role was to babysit a friend’s little one so she could fulfill her role this week as part of Serve… we stayed for the whole worship tonight.  I love worshipping with Youth because when they are free to worship— they do it so right.

Today, perhaps 7 years ago, I received a phone call about my dad being on his death bed in Tennessee and what a life changing event that was.  I found myself needing to ball my eyes out as I felt God’s presence fill the room we were all worshipping in.  I need Jesus to come NOW.  There is so much pain and despair and it seems overwhelming.  Maybe it is just me… but as I struggle — after 4 decades — to come to terms with a very broken earthly father… I feel the need for my heavenly father to just come.  I feel the love of the youth tonight for their Saviour and hope that they are able to carry it forward after the week they had… when life is back to the norm as they know it.  I, even as a grown adult, hate that last day of Serve, or a Youth Rally or  the end of camp.  There is something so real when all we  are focused on is Worship and Praising and Feeling God.

Today was so hard.  I yearned that God would have swooped down and grabbed us all … taking us Home with Him.  As I drove home, after midnight, the sky looked funny.  I had this thought pass… how cool it would be if TONIGHT was the night!!!second-coming-clouds-1

This is probably just babbling … since it is very late but I had to just write… My Redeemer Lives… I just can’t wait for Him to swoop us up.  I can’t wait for all the pain and hurt and brokenness to end.  I can’t wait to be reunited with ones gone too quickly … to hang with those that are so broken here and yet in Heaven will be all brand new.

I can’t wait.  Just saying….

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Taking Care Of My Yard….

It been a hard past year for me.  No secret.  I have finally been seeing a psychologist who was referred to me by a friend and I have to say that God had a hand in this!!!  She is good. She’s a Christian.  She makes me feel like I am going to tackle this BIG THING and going to come out the other side able to be me again.  Me without the BIG THING  weighing me down.

I have learned that I am emotionally too generous.  Wow.  When it was said, I felt like someone just painted a portrait of me, perfectly.  I learned that everyone has their own yard and weeds… I’m a very visual person, so this analogy is perfect for me.  I have been so busy allowing others weeds to grow into my yard.  I have set no barriers such as fence or hedges etc to protect my yard.  The reality is that my yard is a pretty big yard.  (My yard has has to accommodate my family of 6 boys and my hubby).


Sigh.  I’ve realized that there’s so much I do because I don’t want to hurt anyone.  Duty.  Obligation.  Guilt.  Oye.  I’ve got to learn to listen to my heart.  I have to learn to give myself permission to listen to me- and set boundaries.  Boundaries.  Yup!  So I feel like I’m going to school, learning how to set limits and boundaries that can only make me happier and emotionally healthier.

There are so many weeds in my garden.  They are stifling my yard and not allowing my grass to grow thick, healthy greens.  The problem is setting boundaries.  It’s one thing to hear problems of others but feeling the need to fix it or feeling their burden to heavily is not healthy.  Sigh.


I realized that sometimes weeds look to beautiful that I forget that they are weeds suffocating things of beauty that I am missing out in.

I am constantly wishing for a huge lotto win, not just to make my life easier but so many others.  This life is so hard.  This life can be so exhausting.  And yet there is so much beauty that can be missed out with all the weeds filtering in … that I missing seeing the beautiful gardens in my yard.

Sometimes I see others tending to their yard… there are not of weeds, there are just beautiful trees, bushes, gorgeous flower beds and lush green grass.  Sometimes there are pools or benches or a treehouse.  Sometimes there are a few that adjoining yards but each yard is still very distinct and weed free especially at the borders of each property.  How do people do that?  How do they keep their yards so weed free?images-2

So, I’m on a journey to begin landscaping my yard.  I hate yard work. That’s not an analogy… the reality is yard work is something I’m allergic too.  Sanj tackles it or I’d hire someone.  The irony is that now I’m seeing someone to help me weed my garden and set up nice boundaries.  The reality  of the comparison isn’t lost on me.  SMH.

I want to learn to be me… but emotionally healthy.    I want to invite friends for ice tea, well in reality, I’d prefer lemonade,  in my yard without having to pull out weeds after a visit.  I am quite eager to learn how.


Can you relate to any of this?  Or do you keep your yard nice and neat?

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Mother’s Day- 2015

This Mother’s Day has been a little different from the rest… maybe because my first child has fled the coop.  I feel his absence in a way I never thought was possible.  As long as I could remember, I couldn’t wait to be a mama.  I remember after Sanj and I got married, thinking how annoying it would be to have to wait some 2 ish years or more that most seem to wait.  I wanted a baby now!!!  Then it seemed like great minds think alike… we decided to go ahead and try and bam… we were pregnant.   I was so thrilled.  I remember how I couldn’t wait to be big enough to wear maternity clothes- and they were ugly…  not the cute stuff of today.  I loved being pregnant.  I never felt more beautiful than I did when I was pregnant.

Today Mother’s Day Weekend… I can’t celebrate me and motherhood without celebrating the beings that allow me this honour….


Samuel Peter- My little being who taught me to love like I never knew possible… I mean  he consumed my world.  I loved to just stare at him… forever and loved that he stared back, understanding that my world revolved around his little 6 and some pound being.  Sammy had and continues to have such a huge personality.  He is confident, engaging and a real people person.  He has a big heart and loves big.  He has a real gift with kids and I can easily see him being a dad of 6ix  girls!!!! loll  Sammy taught me to love that unconditional love that Jesus loves us, His children.  He has taught me  that love is letting go, love is letting him fly knowing, hoping and believing that my love for him is a boomerang — I’m letting him soar— knowing that he will always know home and mama are here open armed ready for him.


Matthew Tyler-  From a little babe, we called Tyler, our gentle giant. He was such a mama’s boy.  He was a very nervous child that loved his family and not much more.  He loved nature and was a lover of elephants and triceratops.  He was of an obsessive nature and taught me patience x 10000000.  He didn’t even understand himself.  He is a defender of his brothers.  I remember taking the boys to a community play group.  A boy kept taking toys my boys were playing.  His mom was not playing attention.  After the third time of “being polite”  Tyler stood up tall — his little 3-4 year old self and said to the boy, “My BROTHER is playing with that truck!”  Oh my goodness… I remember my mama heart puffing out so proud!!!  Despite of his anxiety of others, he stood up and defended his brothers.  Tyler has taught me to find patience that I never knew I had to deal with things that are unknown and foreign.  He was a very specific child and very picky.  He taught me to love unconditionally regardless of how crazy things got.  He taught me that my mothering was effective.  He is a defender of his family.  He is a defender of his mama.  We are so different.  And yet we have the same heart.  


Jordan Michael- Michael is a crazy name to spell… e before a or a before e… oye!  It’s the one that looks weird, Jordan told me.  Jordan is my boy that I think is the most like Sanj over me.  He is a musician, enjoys being in the “dungeon” like Sanj, alone, making music.  He was an easy going baby and a very stubborn toddler.  STUBBORN!  I wasn’t sure how to parent this little being that had more willpower than body mass!!!  I would eventually just put him in his room and tell him to have a time out till he could join the rest of us and be normal.  That was my first mistake! Normal?  My family— we just don’t do normal!!! lol  Jordan would eventually holler, “Mommy- I’m sorry,  can I come down?”  My mama conscious would freak out!!! I totally forgot he was up there, it had been a long time!!!  SMH! This boy has a confidence I am so proud of… because there’s not that ugly arrogance attached.  The boy has some serious talent…. all passed down from his dad.  He  has always been an independent one… but occasionally just needs his mama.  I remember JK… Jordan was so excited about going to his big brothers school and had no anxiety or tears the other two may have had.  I was so proud!  The first day of school ended and all the parents were congregated in the hall, chatting away.  Then we heard this horrid sound— a broken hearted child wailing.  I remember so clearly laughing to the parent beside me saying, “Someone’s not happy!”  Then seconds later, I see his teacher coming to me telling me that Jordan’s having a hard time leaving his indoor shoes at school.  Oh My! lol  My poor child totally melted down, on the mat by the door, holding his beloved Spiderman shoes he had been so excited to buy!  So precious!  With the older two in school, I forgot that I needed to break it down for this little man too.  Needless to say, Spiderman shoes came home and we were about to prep my little JK man about the indoor shoes staying at school.  Yup… sometimes he needs his mama!  Jordan has taught to see, be quiet and listen with my heart, since he is the child so different from me… and yet we speak the same language of our hearts.  His has a big heart.  He is a lover and a giver   and if I listen and watch I hear things I may have missed.

Maxwell David–  This boy has been a sweet child for 14 years.  Max has always been a quiet child that didn’t cause us grief, was always  defender of his mom and my shadow.  Then he entered high school.   Not sure where my sweet little man went but taking his place is a confident, funny, corky, weird boy to man who seems to have hair growing on his face and elsewhere.  My little boy has gone and in his place is the half man that is onto workout and decorating his room with Value Village cast offs and who has a very off sense of humour.  He is very comfortable with his own company.  He has to be careful that his weird humour is not offensive.  He has many talents though music and art are not  he’s God given gifts… but we love that he puts his heart into it!   He is kind, thoughtful and Josh best buddy as he will humour Josh like no one else came.  Though 14, if I am lucky, I get a hug or fist bump from him still, time to time.  Max has taught me to let it go and laugh.  He decorating style (a whole post will be coming on this )… nope… certainly not anywhere near my taste… or that of most sane people… but it makes him happy and so I need to accept it with a laugh and let it go.  It’s Max that is sleeping with a 10 pound bag of basmati rice hanging precariously  over his head… a concussion waiting to happen… but with that concussion will be a hilarious, tears rolling down our face story!!! SMH!!! Love this boy’s humour, as warped as it it!!!! 


Zachary Thomas– This child of mine who is sitting on that fine line between boy and teen is my most independent of child, even from a babe.  He is full of energy and loves all things physical and moving— especially yearning for a dirt bike.  He is the one that uses our land most – driving the utility vehicle like a trained pro- he will pass though for his license with flying colours!  He is my boy that is also social and loves being with people.  He is my child with very expensive taste, it often startles me!  lol  He loves shopping!  He loves his family.  He loves….  He is the one that gets picked on the most… And yet he will do anything for his brothers.  He is a hardworking boy.  He loves working along side of Sanj… putting up the rink, cleaning the garage, taking dump runs… He is a daddy’s boy.  He is a mama’s boy who hates seeing me upset.  Zachary has taught me about forgiveness… about family  and loving hard.  He loves his brothers so much.  It hurts me to see how hard he is able to love.  Loving hard is a such a beautiful character trait… one that Zach reminds me to emulate.


Joshua Daniel–  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…. Do you know my Josh?  I mean really know him?  There aren’t too many that really know my dear Josh.  I am actually stumped on what to say.  lol  This boy — this big boy is a mama’s boy.  He loves me.  Period.  He can’t stand to think that I am mad at him.  It hurts to the core to consider that his mama may be truly ticked off at him or his antics.   He loves to be by my side… if you look up Reema’s Shadow, you’ll likely see my Josh’s picture right there.  He is a home body.  He hates school.  He’d rather hang out at home- period.  He loves WWE.  Maybe a better term is obsessed with it.  He knows all the characters and lingoes and whatever else is part of that world.  I can’t believe that I actually have spent many a time watching WWE with my boy.  He is a true giant of a boy and has had to learn to be gentle with people.  I have learned so much from my youngest.  I have learned to love till it hurts from Josh.  I have learned to love despite being exhausted.  I have learned that there is still something in you to give, even when you think there isn’t.  I have learned to love … more than i thought possible … from this boy… my youngest boy.


Dear Jesus…

You have blessed me beyond.  I am totally dependent on You,  as I journey through motherhood, hoping for the best for my babies, knowing that  YOU love them more than I  am ever capable of.  I love you so much for this life … as I know.  I am grateful that You believe in me.  It is my only hope… lol most days… and a daily reminder that I must look UP or I will never make it.  Thank you for motherhood.  My boys.  My Sanj.  And Jesus… for You!!!

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Mother’s Day…

It’s Mother’s Day Weekend… see what I did there, Sanj?  I took a Day and made a Weekend out of it! :)  I am so proud, exhausted and grateful to be mama to six beautiful, energetic, crazy boys.  It is a weekend that I am celebrated but couldn’t do so with out them and…. my husband.  So, on this weekend about mothers, I am grateful that God saw fit to pair me up with my polar opposite to make babies that are bits of him and bits of me.

It’s been such a journey – the past 20 years. Baby making, diaper changing, bottle feeding, diaper changing, chicken pox, seizures, ear infections,boogers, lost child, found child, figuring out beliefs that our ours, setting up boundaries, protecting, hurting, potty training, play dough, play groups, music classes, gymnastics, swimming, JK, SK, babysitters, date nights, trust, toys, broken toys, bills, groceries, homes, mortgages, cars to huge van, graduations, teenagers, drivers license, girls, girlfriends, college, university… and we continue … and I am so blessed to be along side this journey with my best friend and occasional pain in my rump…

Thank you, Jesus for the father of my boys.  Thank you for his character that is one I pray my boys inherit.  Thank you for his heart.  It’s huge.  Thank you that this man that you have blessed with SO MANY talents uses them to glorify You.  Thank you for his work ethic – that he works so hard to provide us for all we need.  Thank you for his committed, stick to it personality.  Thank you that he is mine.

I celebrate Mother’s Day because of this amazing man.


I love you.

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Happy NO SOCKS Day!!!

It’s Friday!!! It’s the weekend!!! It’s Mother’s Day weekend!!! It’s gorgeous outside!!! And we are going SHOPPING!!! Wahoo!!!

I love Fridays!  It is my favourite day of the week.  I love knowing that it’s the end of a week and we are all going to be home or at least able to play if we choose.  My girlfriend and I planned a Mother’s Day weekend with our families to an outlet mall near Toronto, overnight in a hotel with a pool and no cooking or cleaning or guilt about not doing any of the above.  Sure, it’s just overnight but give my kids a pool and food and yes shopping, they are all happy campers.

Today is NO SOCKS day!!! OK, first who makes up this stuff?  I mean how come there isn’t a Reema Day then?  Oh right, that’s my birthday! lol  No socks!!! My feet are so happy in no socks.  I bought the cutest shoes/sandals yesterday.  They are made of yoga mat material. My are just black but… so cute!

S15-MAR-prod-3_2This is a short post… as I just wanted to post… It’s so beautiful outside!!!  I hope you have a happy weekend!!!

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Tonsil Hockey and Letting Go….

I’m sitting here, settling in to write my post when I hear Josh asking Sanj, “Dad, what’s tonsil hockey?”  My shoulders are shaking as I find myself laughing out loud knowing full well Sanj is not going to touch that with a ten foot pole!

Josh is obsessed with tonsils as of late because he has been suffering from sleep apnea.  As we journey down this road looking for answers for my poor babe, a trip to the friendly ENT to peek at his tonsils and addenoids is in order and hopefully the answer.  This child of mine has the hugest tonsils I’ve seen!  It is not uncommon to see Josh sticking out his tongue in someone’s face showing off his humungo tonsils!  (Don’t look up tonsillitis if you have a weak stomach).

So we are on day 4 of my oldest leaving the nest.  Sniff.  Sammy is 20 in a month.  He’s graduated from high school and is trying to find himself.  He is dating someone in California and decided this is where he wants to be for now… spend the summer with her and then probably head to Ottawa to school in the Fall.

Wow.  I honestly thought a hangnail hurt.  Ok, it really does.  I hate that unexpected sharp pain as the little piece of skin snags and rips through my body!!! Ow!!!!  I thought child labor hurt.  I mean the first time, my tiny body pushed out this mucky gucky being through me….  Oww!!!  I thought painful periods were painful.  Monthly.  Owww!!!  And then there was the hysterectomy… the day I thought I was healed … and went out and weeded (something I never do… ever) and pulled at this stubborn weed.  Hard.  And it gave and I fell back.  And…. Owwww…. everything inside me that was healing came undone.  Owwwww!!!!

And then Sammy  prepared to leave.  And then left.  I am not sure how parents do this and survive.  How do you love this tiny little being, watch them grow, wipe their  boogers, bums and tears,  teach him all that I could, loved him more than I thought it possible to love someone and then kiss him goodbye with an I love you?  I think my heart is actually broken.  It isn’t the kind of broken that a  cardiologist can give a pill for or even put my broken heart together again.  It’s broken like that broken that causes my breath to catch, that releases tears with no notice.  It’s broken and hurt as I think of me… here …. so far away not sure if he needs a bandaid or a joke or even for me to beat someone up.


…… Yes.  It hurts more than I was ever prepared for.  I know all about loving someone then I have to let them go… I know that this is what the past 18+ years were about… this moment.  And yet… I can’t help but wonder if  I loved him so hard and completely that he feels me with him … that he is so irritated that his mama’s love actually is haunting him.

So far now, I am taking it one day at a time.  Sometimes one hour at a time.  Sometimes I just go back to the days of holding his hand, trying to keep up with him and looking forward to the time when I got to snuggle in bed with him.  Wow.. how much I miss those days.

And yet, as I find myself praying for him almost constantly, I know Sammy will be just awesome.  He is just a lover of people.  He has a real gift… and I am eager to watch as he discovers and moves forward to becoming that great man I know he is.

Those that have done this… let go of your babes, given them room and let them soar… you are my hero.

Those of you that still have your babes… love them, hold them and enjoy this precious gift that God has blessed us with.

Sammy- I love you.  Now and forever.


Prom in Long Beach, CA with his girlfriend.

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October 15, 2014

October 15, 2014 was the last time I posted on my blog.  Oh my goodness so much as happened since then.  I miss writing immensely.  I miss the outlet it is for me … the memories and thoughts that are saved here for my boys and 1001 other reasons that blogging is part of me.  I have tried so many times to come back to it but after I start, I  stop because I get frustrated that I have such a blank between October 15th and now!

Let it go… do you know that song from Frozen?  As I type those three words the song starts… oye!  In fairness, this line, “Let It Go” has been my mantra for a very long time.  Whenever Sanj or the boys obsess over something that is irreversible or unchangeable, I am sure to chant, “JUST LET IT GO!!!” (Disney owes me)!  So I’m following my own mantra… and Letting It Go…


I will just start from this point again.  Blogging has been so therapeutic for me in so many ways.  Tomorrow I will try again to add exercise back into my list of things to try and accomplish.  I am hoping to get some Spring cleaning done as well.  The other thing I am hoping to pick back up is my Nikon.   I love picture taking … of capturing a moment that I will never get back again.  Sadly, my big camera sits in its bag and I tend to capture everything with my iPhone.  Now i can’t lie … I am so impressed with the ability my little camera that lays in my phone  takes.  I love being able to video that craziness of life in a sec … and not dig out the video cam.  Here I am… though planning on getting my camera back out and capture the beauty of my boys and all that is around me.

I’m excited about the beginning of these goals.  They will add so much back to my world.  I love looking back at past posts of the boys  or our life and it usually gives me a chuckle or an all out laugh out loud!

If you are reading and following me … again, thanks and please feel free to comment.


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Today I am actually a stay at home mom literally.  It helps that outside is grey and blah, making me want to stay home.  Laundry is getting done, dinner is marinating and I am feeling good.

Today I am trying to make Biryani, which  is a mixed rice dish from India. It is made with spices, rice and meat or vegetables.  Yum.  It can be a bit more labour intensive so often this is served for a special time.  My mom made her’s a certain way… but I am trying to replicate the  way I heard that is more traditional.  The curry in marinated in a mess of spices and yogurt.  After it has sat a while, you are to leave the meat in the bottom of the pan and add soaked basmati rice to the top.  Then the dish needs to be sealed shut so that it can cook in the stream.  In India, I saw that they used dough to make a seal on the lid.


This is supper… so I am a little apprehensive as to the outcome.  What if it doesn’t turn out?  I used quite a bit of meat so it would stink if it didn’t pan out.  Oh well…. guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

As I look at all the rooms in the house, I see that a good purge is in order.  Ugh.   It feels good when done but it’s the kind of task that can’t be interrupted  or I will lose my stream.

I can back from the doctor’s after having my sugars checked.  The good news is that it has dropped a lot from my last visit (meaning at that point it was BAD).  I am pleased with myself.  Of course it still has a little ways to go but I feel like it is doable.  I hate having diabetes.  I realize that there are a lot of things much worse … but if I can grumble for a minute… I love carbs.  Ok. I’m done.

We had the most gorgeous weather yesterday.  Indian Summer, I suppose.  I love this time of year… the leaves changing and all nature is getting ready for the arrival of Old Man Winter.

I am trying to adjust to the changes in the boys.  2/6 have girlfriends.  Oye.  I realize that it isn’t serious… and  all that jazz and it’s for fun… yet as I watched my little but not so little guy buy a silly stuffy for his girlfriend, I felt pangs.  I guess I hate the thought that they are at the point of the possibility of being hurt or worse having a broken heart.  Maybe that’s me … just being me.

I’m still not ready for the girls out there to have any part of my boys.  :(

This weekend, since we did our dinner on Sunday, Monday Sanj spent working on the rink.  I don’t think my boys have any idea of how lucky they are.  This will be Sanj’s mistress till Spring.  He will worry about the tarp hoping no animal or kid puts a hole in it.  Then the snow will come and he will obsess and worry… whether its permissible to skate on or not.  He gets great pleasure just looking at the ice- when it is perfect. Weird, eh?



Ah well…. best get back to laundry and cooking and cleaning.

Hope your day is a good one!

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God Always Comes Thru…

I have to admit, I was very whiny last week.  I am sure God was looking at me shaking His head.  I was called Jonah by Sanj.  This is the weekend of Thanksgiving.  Every year for the past at least 7-8 years, the boys school has a now Annual Thanksgiving Dinner for Seniors.  I’ve written about it many a time. It was one of my most favorite times of the year. Everyone in the school is involved in some way.1941337_754423587985153_857388972949339262_o

This year I did not want to do it.  I guess I was tired.  I wished over the years that someone would stand up and say- I’ll do it! And yet this event must happen as we now how Seniors that expect it and call without even advertising it.  Very cool!  Yet… I was tired.  I was whiny.  I was ready to just take a very long break. It had already been a long annoying week… including 2 visits to the ER.


I started the ball rolling- emails out… asking for food and volunteers.  The one thing that has changed it the amount of working moms now.  And yet I loved that so many called in their offerings of food.  I loved that so many said they would be coming on their lunch break to help.


Then there was the small dilemma  about the stuffing.  For the life of me, I couldn’t remember who or how we did all that stuffing.  So, recruiting a buddy, we spend Wednesday making a crazy amount of stuffing!!! Later, I was reminded that last year we had a girls night at the school and had a blast making stuffing.  (Of course, I can’t really remember this- I am worrying a little of Alzheimer’s – but I know it was awesome because how could it not be)?

This is around the time panic set in.  My list of helpers to help was very short.  There’s a lot that goes into a day like this.  Grade 5-6 spend time putting up tables and setting the tables with all the dinner wear.  Really plates, real cups, forks, spoons, knives…  You get my panic?  Who was going to wash all those dishes??????????????????????????????????????


This event calls for 100+ plates, 100+ juice glasses, 100+ coffee plates, 100+ coffee cups, 100+ forks, 100+knives, 100+spoons, 100+ dessert forks, 100+ dessert plates!!!  When you add serving utensils, and pots and pans and chaffing dishes… it’s over 1000 pieces of things to wash! (It reminds me so much of laundry).1395771_10153195741145828_170430622475292049_nEvery year God shows up.  Period.  Every single year.  Why was I in such a worried state?  Our school has gone down in size, significantly.  Where were the volunteers going to come from? Let me just say, in the morning, we had just the right amount of helpers to get it all done smoothly… the heating of turkey, boiling and making potatoes, the stuffing, veggies, the rolls, cranberry, and what ever was missing.  We had a traditional home made Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings.

Then as the morning ended, more and more people came.  To help.  To do dishes and clean up.


Grades 1-4 come and sing the songs that they learn with Sanj every Friday morning.  The gym was packed.  The kids sang and as I stood against the wall in the gym, I found myself so moved, my throat got thick and my eyes began to fill.  You could feel God’s presence in this place.


I’ve got goose bumps as I write this.  The seniors that come are so happy to be the guests.  They are so pleased to sit with the hosts (the grade 7-8 kids all split into groups of 2-3 and they are the hosts of their table).  You know, every year I am taken back by how these kids can step it up and put the brightest smiles on the faces of our guests.

As you can see by the pictures, we had plenty of help!!!

*** Thanks to Esther Lee for some of the photos.

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I’m feeling a little overwrought right now.  I don’t think I have ever used that word-  overwrought.  Today Sanj left for Minneapolis for some conference.  I feel bad because I know he wasn’t feeling a 100% when he left.  I guess it’s the annoying back to school germs hitting us.  One by one we seem to be getting it.  I’m overwrought because of  a banking issue.  Why do these things seem  to happen when Sanj is away?  Sigh.  Anyway this too shall pass- and ultimately I will somehow be at fault because it seems in my case, the bank is never wrong!!!

Usually when Sanj leaves, I cut myself some slack.  What this means is, most days, I really try to have a meal prepared for my men and the house somewhat tidy upon first  glance.  Sanj really appreciates walking into to a controlled environment verses chaos.  I suppose any body would.  Today, I’m vegging with Max, who’s home sick, with a pile of laundry, trying to find something decent to watch but… nothing is showing up.  I may order pizza or feed the kids a meatless meal… which for me is very easy… especially since I hate cutting meat.

Anyway, here’s the point I was wanting to make… an epiphany of sorts… I hate that our house is constantly in a state of lived-in-ness.  It’s not like some people’s houses that are perfect, show pieces.  Our family room has so many shoes.  There’s usually sweatshirts or backpacks tossed and some sort of snack wrapper stuffed in the corner.  I get tired of nagging and so after a while I stop.

Our kitchen is beautiful when it is spotless.  We recently had it done the IKEA way and I am so happy to be cooking a place that feels good.  Then within minutes of it being cleaned, it get’s that lived-in look.  The boys are pretty good about cleaning up, especially at night, as I really do get ugly, if I cleaned the kitchen and see dishes after the fact.  Yet here’s the thing… maybe I am a little OCD in some senses… despite the dishes being done, I hate that they will leave remnants in the sink.  Or some crumbs on the counter.  Or not seal the bread properly.


You know what I mean?

Today I realized after hanging up with a girlfriend, who is OCD that’s house does look like a showpiece… it’s because we DO live IN OUR HOUSE!!!  Our house is a showpiece… of lived-in-ness!!!  My kitchen is a mess because it is used all the time.  I love cooking for my men folk.  Cooking isn’t always a mess-free thing.  Snacking that happens here is 24/7 can be a mess in the prospect.  Life isn’t a mess free thing.

Maybe I am just writing this to feel better, as I hate cleaning.  Yet the epiphany is that houses that are lived in aren’t going to be perfect show rooms.  (Well, with the exception of a few people I know… but it’s ok because I do love you).

This doesn’t mean I won’t keep trying or that if I won a huge lotto… I’d have a sweet OCD housekeeping, laundry, cleaning up my kitchen person move in!!!

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It feels like I just ran a marathon!  It feels like that most mornings getting my brood out the door.  Josh is like 6 children in one.  Every morning he tells me he is sick- for real this time.  The boy just loves being home.  With me.  On the way to school earlier this week, he told me that he was uncomfortable at school.  Huh?  So this had me questioning what made him uncomfortable… I asked him at least three times and he just kept repeating that he was uncomfortable at school.  I told him he had to have a reason of what made him uncomfortable.  Josh finally said, “I’d rather just be home with you.”  Awww… ok when is he going to realize that he has lots of school ahead of him?  Actually once he’s out the door and into the school doors, he’s fine.  Yet it makes for a very exhausting morning… all that before 8 am.   It would help greatly if…. I was a morning person.  Sadly, this is not the case.

Today on the news I saw that a goldfish, named George from Australia   had successfully had a life threatening tumor removed from his head.  This is so unreal.  His owner was especially attached to him.  After the successful surgery, it was pronounced that George could easily live another 20 years.


Sometimes I am so fascinated to what extreme lengths people will go through… for something or someone they love.  I am fascinated that this is news…   I am also so curious what that would have costed his owner?

It is this curiosity that allows me to talk to anyone.  I just can’t help saying hi to you if you make eye contact.    I find it weird to sit next to someone or be in an elevator with someone and not at least say hi or make eye contact.  Maybe this is a vibe I give out because strangers have no trouble chatting with me.  I wish I had a picture of Max’s face the other day, as we were in the drive thru at Wendy’s.  The lady at the window gave me a big cheerful greeting and proceeded to talk to me like we were best friends.  lol  Over time,  she has lost over 100 lbs and was telling me that as she loses it, her husband seems to be gaining it.   I know that her hubby is a truck driver and every once in a while she will take breaks and go on road trips with him.  Seriously, Max’s reaction was so funny!  He wanted to know why I knew her like that and why she seemed to act like I was her best friend.

At the Y, where I am taking an aqua fitness class (no it’s not just a seniors class), there is this guy that seemed to want to befriend me.  He’s apparently  traveled the world and been to India a couple of times.  At first he seemed normal.  Then he started irritating me because he’d chatter the whole time and I needed to focus on what was happening.  Then he made the comment that his daughter had a real hard time in India, she’d walk around with her nose plugged.  Really???  Of course then came the questions that one is asked when someone is curious about me and India.  I told him that even though I was born there, I was raised here as much as he was and the first time I went back as an adult was two years ago.  Then he randomly asked if I was from Goa.  This is what makes this kind of person ANNOYING.  Really?  Did he just randomly pick a state in India?

I moved to another spot, trying to let my girlfriend know he was OBNOXIOUS.  Later, an obese lady was coming to work out.  He looked at me and said, “You’d better keep coming or you’ll look like her.”  I was speechless.  (Again, if you know me, that doesn’t happen too often).

Monday as we went to class, I made a huge point of being away from him… but I couldn’t be rude.  So I said hi- how are you?  Ugh…  He said, “Very Very Good.”  At first I didn’t get it… then I looked at my girlfriend to see if she heard it too.  He said ‘very very good’ in a Bollywood Indian accent with his head shaking.  REALLY?

I came home and retold the story to Sanj, not sure if I was being oversensitive or not.  Of course it was rude, Sanj assured me.  I told hinm how appalled I was that grown adults would act so rude.  He said he sees it every day.  (It’s one think if my friends are playing with an Indian accent… I really am not that sensitive- but this was a little over the top).

On the flip side, while at Princess Margaret with FIL yesterday, I was at the lab waiting for his blood work to be done.  I was reading a book… clearly giving vibes of not wanting to engage.  This little old lady beside me said, “Thats a big book!”  And this lead to a charming conversation with her.  She was 84 years old.  She had been under treatment for 2 years.  She had some melanoma that was internal and rare.  I asked if she was there alone.  She was.  She had three kids but…   This broke my heart.  I can’t imagine allowing my 84 year old mom to do this alone.

Anyways… thus the rambling of today…. hope you are having a good day.

6 more sleeps till my birthday!!!  Wonder what hubby has up his sleeve?  No pressure!!! lol

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Ruff Ruff…

It’s Friday and we all survived the first week of school!!! Every where I go, people that know I have 6 boys will laugh and say, “Bet your glad school’s back!”  Yet you know, I love summer.  I won’t lie, the boys drive me bonkers often but that happens on school days too!  I love the freedom of getting up and going… the day can hold numerous possibilities.

 As the boys grow older, they are a lot more fun, funny and more often then not, have me laughing at their craziness.  Of course some of their foolishness is funny the first time and then after continuing, it becomes obnoxious.

This is the most recent foolishness… this is Tyler that bought this home.  We are driving and he randomly barks loud and the person usually looks astonished.  The first few times he did it, I’ll admit I laughed.  Actually I was really laughing at his ability to truly have such a deep bark.  Then he dragged Josh into it.  I mean really?

The other day as we were driving to pick up Jordan from football practice, we took a side street we often take to avoid traffic.   There on the front lawn were two boys on top of each other.  Then we see the mom (assuming she was the mom) beating one of the boys with the pan.  I was sure she was just playing.  I mean, who beats their kid with a pan… and even if you do, why would you do so in public?

Upon our return, we see three police cars there… mom being “questioned” and it was such a surreal moment.  The boys were full of questions!  Oye!

One of the  boys was telling me their friend had been punished without supper for a misdemeanor.  (Disclaimer:  if you are reading this, parent of the child… I know that was his version and…) anyways the point of this story was, Max.  He said, “You couldn’t do that.”

I was annoyed with answer… and he said, “Mom, wouldn’t be able to do it.   You are too soft” ( I’m not sure if he said “soft” but something like that).  Then he looked at me and said, “That’s not an insult. I just know you that would be hard for you to do.”

Me… shaking my head… my world!

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Let’s Get Physical…

Is it a  universal thing for boys to be physically constantly?  Please tell me…  or is it just my boys?  Whenever we visit the in laws, this is the activity the entire visit.  Apparently the grandparents living area is the perfect space for rough housing.  Both brothers-  meaning Sanj and Raj (Sanj’s bro) get into in.  Lately, it to see how much pain they can take.  When I say “they” it’s usually Tyler.  One weekend early this summer, Tyler was dared to put the dog’s invisible fencing collar on and walk through the line … which means he got zapped crazy on his neck.

Wherever we are… it seems to follow:


This video is while visiting family in Maryland… listen to Max’s comment once he’s on his feet!

Josh is a big boy for his age, obviously but he’s also quite strong.  He’s brothers challenged him to put Tyler in a head lock, Tyler of course, going along with it.

Tyler was sure he could handle Josh’s strenght.

This is a video of Josh having a choke hold (not sure if that is really the term) on Tyler.  Yet earlier in the day, while at church, as we were waiting for Sanj to finish a conversation, the boys began…


This is the result of Josh’s hold on Tyler… and understand that Tyler was very proud of his battle wounds.  See the markings on Tyler’s neck?  Likely broken blood vessels- that occurred while Tyler refused to tap out.   As I was taking the shot, Tyler told me to make sure I got his chest hair!!! lololol

Craziness … and yet I am pretty sure in all that physicalness there’s love.  They’d NEVER tell each other they love the other. I’m pretty sure this is a love language for boys, well at least my boys.

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Camping 2014

I am by no means the outdoorsy kind of girl.  My idea of enjoyment would be a beautiful cottage on a lake with A/C and all the comforts of our modern world.  So, the few times I went camping in a tent there was no enjoyment for me.  Yet, the outdoors, my boys being unplugged, fishing, canoeing, swimming, hiking – all that stuff that exhausts my boys in the best of ways, is a huge blessing and great makings of memories.  This is why I camp with them.  The last few years, I’ve been blessed with a beautiful thing called a yurt!!! Yes!  So this has made camping much more bare able maybe even enjoyable.  This year the yurts were sold out.  I was prepared to forget all about camping, except I was going with a girlfriend, who encouraged me that we could do it… tent camping.


My girlfriend’s husband wanted them to take the canoe so that was strapped on their little Honda (with her husband saying he’d come up the morning we are leaving and help strap the canoe).   My truck was stuffed like a turkey on Thanksgiving!  Actually, the sleep bags and pillows took quite a bit of room but the boys piled in and were forced to sit real close to each other.

The first afternoon we set up, trying to beat the rain.  There were a whole bunch of comical errors but in the end, we had camp set up.  Our neighbors were a group camping along with the pet pig!  A big potbelly pig!  Supper was soft tacos and lots of yummy smores for the boys.  The boys and the one girl stayed up after the adults went to bed.  I heard the boys voices changing and heard them exclaim about the size and boldness of the raccoons that had come to visit.  Eventually they made way to the tents and we had survived set up and the first day.


We woke up the next day, frozen.   This crazy summer of weird weather was frustrating!  Soon the fire was crackling, breakfast was on and the day began.  We had a great time, spending it at the beach.  Josh just splashed his way into the cold lake and pretty much lived in there for the day.  The older boys took the canoes and were off fishing coming in to refuel with food and then they were off again.


Around 3 pm huge dark clouds started making their way to us.  It was amazing how quickly the beach cleared up!  We hauled the coolers up the hill to the vehicles and there driving up was Sanj!  Such a nice surprise!  The afternoon turned into evening… supper was supposed to be spaghetti but bellies filled quickly as we snacked on hotdogs, watermelon and the pizza sandwiches that are cooked in the fire.  Of course smores topped off the meal.



I’m telling all this to set up the highlight of the trip.  Up until now, it was a normal camping trip.  2 moms and their kids for a couple of night.  As the boys were eating and chatting around campfire, I heard them discussing catching a raccoon that night.  A lot of talk was what I figured… and in passing, warned them to not leave food around as there was the warning of a black bear visiting campsites.  They were busy baiting the fishing rod with a hot dog that they planned to lure the raccoon and they had one of those huge fishing nets… yes, they planned to put the net over it.


Sanj left, camp was cleaned up and the adults headed inside the tent.  The boys were disappointed that the big raccoon they were hoping to “catch” didn’t show up and off to bed they went.

The thing I really dislike about camping is not having a bathroom.  In fact I hate it.  What ends up happening is that I lose sleep worrying over what’s going to happen if I have to pee? The boys didn’t try to be discreet after the first day… they seemed to pee wherever they needed to.  In fact, when Sanj asked me where the bathroom was, I found myself asking if he had to go #1 or #2.  He gave me a very weird look.  Guess he wasn’t into going #1 in the woods.

Anyways,  I got distracted… around 2:30 am I woke up and had to pee.  URGH!!!!  So I lay there and waited.  As I lay there I hear loud breaking of branches, I mean loud.  There was no way that was a raccoon.  OMG!!!!  I lay there praying… as the boys were in their own tent.  Next thing I hear is my girlfriend  sit up and exclaim, “Holy Poo, there’s a bear out there!!!”  Ok, I was really hoping I was wrong.  There was no way I was going to pee outside.  I was kinda freaked that there was only nylon between  me and the man eating creature!!!

Fast forward to about 4:30 am, and my girlfriend said she thought the bear was gone and she had to pee.  She was bold.  She unzipped the tent and begins heading out… well, I couldn’t let her go alone… and I did have to pee.  Praying very hard, I went  out with her. Obviously I survived.

I don’t thing there was much sleep after that.

The  next day, the kids were all doubting the bear being in our campsite until of course, our neighbors stories collaborated stories.  It slowly came out that Tyler had set a can of TUNA to lure the raccoons.  Hum…  the bear probably wasn’t interested in the hot dog as much as the can of tuna, which he could no doubt smell from wherever he was holed up.  Tyler said if there was an unfortunate event, he would have kept quiet.  Since we were all fine… he fessed up that he had tried baiting the raccoon.

Can I say, I still wonder why God thought I could handle 6 boys???

You’d think the laughter was over, but nope, there’s more…

Remember that canoe that had to be mounted back on the little car?  Well, the hubby was called to a meeting out of town.  We were on our own.  Tyler and friend’s son went to see about attaching the canoe to the roof while we closed up camp.


I don’t think Ive laughed so hard in a while… as they drove up, I was so impressed with the canoe seemingly attached to the vehicle.  Upon closer inspection, we saw duck tape.  Everywhere!  Apparently not knowing how to tie proper knots, they made their own.  The twirly whirly knot.  To support the knot, they wrapped duck tape all around the knots.  Their ingeniousness was quite brilliant!  The canoe did make it home, thanks to some serious praying.


This was the end of our Camping 2014!

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A Day In the Life Of…

OMGoodness! I survived yesterday!!!  It was a crazy day – crazy because the boys were full of something. I love summer with the boys, road trips, day trips and lazy days. They are the best days and full of awesome memories.

This week the days past have not been so awesome.  There is fighting, beating each other up, more fighting and it seems to last literally the whole day.  That makes for a very exhausting day.  It means its the end of summer.  Usually summers are awesome until we hit the 2 weeks before mark.  I know it’s here even without a calendar- just by their behavior.

Tuesday, I took the boys in the afternoon to get haircuts.  Of course half of them said they didn’t need one… but lost the battle.  I want nice, neat looking heads of hair for my first day of school pictures! lol  Anyways, taking 6 of them means it takes about an hour and a bit to get all their heads done.  This usually means that I’ve been asked… “Can I have…”  about only  100 times.  It means that Josh lives in the games store besides the salon and has a list of games he must have now!  It means usually  bags of Kernals popcorn or an ice cream cone.  Josh was restless waiting, so our hair dresser- Helena (sweetest lady ever), asked Josh if he wanted to cut Tyler’s hair- he was getting a buzz.  Josh was delighted!


It was the first moment he was quiet!


Then Josh decided to do his own thing… and tried to buzz off Tyler’s eyebrows!  You can see Helena saying NOOOO! lol


Oye!  Last night though, took the cake… I was sitting on my bed in the midst of laundry when Jordan walks in.  He was holding a plastic container, with his hat over it.  Knowing my boys… I was sure there was a rodent awaiting me.  OK… I don’t do mice- they truly freak me out.  So I screamed for him to get out… but instead he wanted to show me something.


Upon closer look…


I saw his $100 bill in with the mice.  OMGoodness… its moments like these that I wonder, I mean really wonder why God thought I could handle life with 6 sons.

Early in the afternoon, I heard Max say there was a mouse in the basement.  Ugh.  Soon I see Tyler and Josh following Max down.  Then I heard one of the boys say they  caught it.  When I asked how, (as I was pretty sure none of them would touch it.. at least I hope not..) they told me they’d thrown a container over it and got rid of it.

Hummm… I should have realized that was just too easy.  What really happened is they went into Jordan’s room, took his money- which they knew he would miss… and put it in the container with the mouse and covered it with his hate.

The funny thing is the boys taped this … I guess they left their phone running in his closet and captured this reaction… except there was NO reaction.  I was impressed.  Jordan seemed to sense something was off immediately.

Yuck.  So they left the mouse as a treat for Jordan… they assumed he’d swipe it off the bed in search of his money.  Nope, calm, cool and collective was my Jordan!

The thing is I’m always shocked by their creative foolishness.  Of course I laugh and found it very funny but there is still always that shock factor.

Despite the crazy behavior of the last week and half… boy, will I miss them when they head back to the classroom!!!

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A Flaw in Chemistry …

Do you remember where you were when you heard Princess Di died? (We were at a friend’s house, spending  the night, I was sitting on the sofa by the window, when Sanj came in from a practice and told us).  Or do you remember hearing about Michael Jackson’s death?  Or 9-11?  We were in Maryland, visiting family when I first saw it mentioned that Robin Williams was dead, that he had killed himself.  At first, no one believed it, we thought it was a hoax.  As the truth was spread like a wild fire, I think there was so much shock to know that he killed himself.  How could a funny man as himself be sad?  Depression?  It seemed unreal.  Those ugly words, mental illness, seemed not as offensive when linked to someone like Robin Williams.  I read this and loved it, “Finally there is a face for mental illness.”  

I can only imagine the darkness he must have been in and the fact that there was no way out.  You know, since this story came out, there have been so many pleads that if you are feeling depressed and see no way out… call for help.  The depression hotline is given.  It is good to know that there is help out there for those able to reach for it.  The reality is that many can’t do that.  Many can’t reach … that is effort that they cannot summon the strength to do.  There are so many that can put on happy faces but yet that dark place remains, can be pushed aside temporarily to function but its a place that is alway there.  One can’t escape it.

Most people don’t want to deal with the reality that someone they love is mentally ill.  Those words seem to be so scary and negative.  Maybe it goes back to the days of visions of a mental hospital… with the iron bars on the windows.  For whatever reason, that thought of having someone mentally ill seems to be scary.  Over the past years, I have been open with my struggles of depression.  To be honest, I actually didn’t think it was depression.  I mean, I can be so happy when with my friends.  I love having people over, playing and being in fellowship.  Therefore, what I have or feel can’t be depression.  You know, depression isn’t a choice.  It is so frustrating to feel in a dark place with no idea of what takes you there or how to leave that space permanently.  After my last babies, I started to feel sad a lot of the time.  And often for no reason.  I remember going into a corner and crying my heart out.  Then, wiping my face and going back to life as I knew it.  This was the blues.  Postpartum blues.  It eventually went away.  With the last babe, it was bad.  I couldn’t shake the darkness.  It followed me.  It became my shadow.

I believe that dealing with my father’s imbedding  death, years ago, pulled me over the edge and everything felt enormous.   I’m grateful for a friend that saw something that I didn’t even know was there.  She called my doctor.  She saved me in many ways.

I have called my happy pills, my crazy pill.  It’s not that I am being condescending but rather, when I am off them,  I really feel crazy.  I know that there are meds to help.  I know that it’s ok to be in a dark place once in a while.  It’s called life.  Yet, darkness that continues is exhausting.  Darkness that continues is lonely.  Darkness that continues is scary.  There is help.  Most people may need a buddy, loved one to help them with that.  They may need reassurance that suffering from mental illness is ok.  It’s like having a peanut allergy.  You didn’t not ask for it.  It can sometimes kill you.  IF you seek help, there are ways to help you.  You can live a normal life, with help.

When I say I’m crazy- I know it cause distrubation. (I realize that’s not a real word… but I like it).  I usually hear that I have so much going on in my life, most people would be crazy.  Maybe that’s true.  Yet maybe it’s not. I do know that it seems to make others uncomfortable.  I’m sorry.  That isn’t my intent.  I’m ok with my craziness.  I am learning to deal with it.  Do I wish I didn’t have that dark space that can suffocate me?  Of course.  Yet… it’s my reality.  I am just grateful to have a doctor that hears me.

You know, from someone that a suffers from mental illness- (that doesn’t sound cool, does it…) there are things you can do to help.  If you have someone talking… really listen.  You can save someone by sometimes just listening.  Don’t be scared to suggest help.  If it’s done out of love, then that is love.

Don’t be afraid to seek help.  It doesn’t make you less than who you are.  It make actually enhance you and who you are to be.  There is so much help out there.  I’m not saying that meds is the be all end all.  There are many ways to seek light in  your life.  Be open to all of them.

Don’t be afraid to talk.  You know, so often we are so busy trying to live that perfect life that we want others to perceive that we don’t realize that with help, dreams can come true.  Life doesn’t have to be so hard, if it’s hard.  You’d be surprised to see that once you open up (to someone you trust), you aren’t the only one feeling as you do.

I think of Robin Williams and the darkness he felt in the moment he let it all go.  It haunts me.  It makes me so sad that loneliness he had in that moment.  God gives us so much.  He  felt that darkness… it’s what I imagine maybe a little of what He felt on the cross, when He said, “Father why have You forsaken me…”

I am sad that the world lost a wonderful funny man.  Robin Williams’ RV is one of the favorites  of our home.  I am glad for the attention that has come from this.  I am glad and sad that depression, mental illness, has a face.


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