Thursday, November 20, 2008

My hiatus....

from blogging is over! Not that it was a pre-meditated hiatus. We have just been so busy here, and I have felt very overwhelmed with the things I need to do on a daily basis, nevermind having time to blog.

So, a quick update! Things are going VERY well! Helmut's back has healed remarkably well, he is off of all of his pain meds, but now he can't sleep. He hasn't slept (again) for the last 2 nights, and he is EXHAUSTED. Even the sleeping pills his doctor prescribed aren't working. But other than that, there is no residual pain or anything at all from the surgery.

Kelsey has moved in with us full time. We LOVE having her around all the time, it's been great!

Justin just finished out his volleyball season on Monday, and basketball tryouts started yesterday! Talk about no break! He did AMAZINGLY well this year and was named captain of his team. This is Justin's senior year, and he is trying harder than I have ever seen him try. He's involved, he's getting good grades, he's playing sports, working and has a girlfriend...who said high school doesn't teach you time management!!! We are so proud of him...he's doing really well.

Brett is back into hockey full swing. We don't have the opportunity to go to very many of his games, which I know really bothers him, so we're trying to be able to make it to a few more. He's also doing really really well in school this year and is learning to do his homework even when we aren't around. We are also very proud of him! He has also got a speaking part in this years Christmas play at school. We are looking forward to going to that!

Khai is loving preschool. He is doing very very well, and we just love seeing him learn. It's been great. Also, I'm not sure I mentioned, but Khai's adoption went through on September 8th. He is OFFICIALLY Helmut's, and it's great.

Declan is still active as anything! He is always crawling around, and has now started taking a few steps by himself at a time. It's so cute. I can't believe he will be one in a couple weeks. Crazy.

Speaking of Declan being one, our daycare gave away our spots, so I don't know how or if I'm going to be able to go back to work. We are looking for an alternative daycare, but finding one in the next couple weeks could be difficult. We'll see how that turns out!

I have been keeping busy doing everything under the sun it seems. I'm making the majority of our Christmas presents this year, and my goal is to be done them by November 30th. A lofty goal, but one I THINK I can achieve. Even if I still have a few things to do in December, I want to spend most of my time with the kids, enjoying the season.

I've been working on some new projects to do with the kids, and some that just bring me joy. Maybe a little later on, I'll post some of the things I've done!

Have a great Thursday everyone!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

August 28th...

Again...I'm playing catch up!!
Today was Helmut's surgery. We dropped off the kids at Grandma's house and went to the hospital. We were pretty emotional, as I was nervous already, and I think it was starting to hit Helmut, that this really was SURGERY!
We got into an OR prep room right away, got him hooked up to an IV and chatted while we waited for him to go in. They told me he should be up in his room at about 3:30 pm. So, tearfully, I said goodbye, and went to the cafeteria. I sat there attempting to organize things, called Shannon and chatted, hoping to take my mind off of things, and finally I went up to the floor they told me to go to. Sat in the "day room" until 3:30. Wanted to ask where he was, but didn't want to be "one of those wives" whom everyone thinks is a pain in the neck (Emily Gilmore for example), so I waited until 3:45. (I know...such restraint!) So, they said he was out of surgery and should be up soon....10 minutes later, I hear a voice over the intercom paging the doctor who had done the surgery. Yeah. That wasn't a good feeling. All I could think was that there was some complication, that he had been paged to Helmut's side in recovery...I was FREAKED OUT. I just kept praying for him to be okay, and telling myself that we were both in the Lord's hands. So, instead, I parked myself on two VERY uncomfortable chairs outside the room they'd assigned him to, and waited. He came up at 4:45. I was so happy to see him.
More later...I'm TIRED!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

August 25th...

I've got so much to catch up on!!!

Well, in addition to this day being my sister's birthday...Happy Birthday my Kelsey got her wisdom teeth taken out!
When we got there, we were under the impression that I would get to stay in the room with her, at least until she was under. They told us I wasn't going to get to go in...and Kelsey started tearing up a bit, so I pushed a little, and they told me I could go in until she was almost out.

So, in we went, they hooked her up to an iv, and made her lie down, and take her glasses she couldn't see anything.

They gave her a little bit of the meds, and she faded into la la land. At first she said (or should I say SLURRED) "The room went gray." And then,"I feel intoxicated!" Both statements I was only able to understand after she repeated them several times!

I told her I loved her, and I left. I sat in the waiting room for over an hour while they removed her wisdom teeth. I finally got to go into the "recovery" area, and this is what I saw...

The poor girl! She was not happy! Though I must add, it was HER idea to take the pictures, I had left my camera at home, so that I wouldn't embarrass her...

She asked to have her teeth, and they were able to dig out her top ones out of the garbage, but her bottom ones were in too many pieces.

She was in quite a bit of pain for several days after the surgery, but things are better now for the most part!

Oh, and on a side note, she doesn't remember saying anything about the room being gray or being intoxicated! But she does remember the anesthetist and her chatting! TOO FUNNY!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Mrs. Nicole Schuster

Yesterday, at 7:00 p.m., Helmut and I, joined only by our immediate families, said "I do".

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Do you ever...

get into a funk? Feel like the whole world has swallowed you whole, chewed you up and spit you back out? That's how I feel today. It's 12:16 am and I can't sleep. I keep thinking about things, too many things.

I just really wish I could sleep.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I was reading a friends blog this morning, and I saw wonderful family pictures of them on vacation out west, and it made me long for last summer! This summer, Helmut's back has been so sore, that we haven't been able to do any of the things we'd planned to do with the kids. No camping, or road trips, or really anything out of the city. While we have gone many places that we've enjoyed, Helmut really hasn't been able to join us; it's been mostly me taking the kids.
It makes me sad because this is the only year I'll be off on mat leave, and all the kids will still be at home.
However, we are counting down the days until his surgery, and then a month later, he and I are off to the Kansas Motor Speedway for a Nascar race!

11 days to go...

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I suck at this whole blogging thing! At least I suck at doing it consistently. It has been a VERY busy month and a bit for us! We've been out and about doing so many fun things with the kids.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures...

And those are just a few!
I was given a new Sony Alpha 200 camera for my birthday this month, and I have been taking every picture I possibly can! I love it! Helmut certainly knows how to buy me gifts =)
I also got a wonderful patio set from the kids. I had an awesome birthday.
I started working on my Christmas gifts today. I want to make things for everyone in my family as part of their gift, and I know it will take me forever, so I decided to start today. It's hard to think "Christmas" though, when it's hardly back to school!
Well, I'm really tired...we've been trying to get ahead of the game around here, as Helmut's surgery is now in less than two weeks, so I'm off to wind down, and hopefully get to bed at a half decent time!!
Hope to be back here in LESS than a month!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Well, it's been exactly one month since I last posted, and I must say, it's been a month of great frustrations and great joys! While I won't go into the frustrations here, I will share with you some of our joy, in the hopes that it may brighten your day, as it did ours!
I got this great idea from an online class through My Scrap Shoppe, for a summer journal. The idea came from a mother who wanted her kids to continue writing (and thinking) over the summer, so she made them each a journal to record their days. Well, I thought it was a great idea, and made one for myself. Then I got the kids (Brett and Khai) to pick patterned paper themselves, and we sat down one Sunday afternoon to make them. I had materials ready for Justin, because I wasn't sure if he wanted to do it or not, but I wanted to be prepared in case he did. We sat down to make them, and asked him if he wanted to or not, and he said yes!! I couldn't believe it, my almost 17 year old sat for 2 and a half hours to make a summer journal, and he has actually been using it! Kelsey was away camping that day, so I made one for her, and I am now making one for Declan as well as my nieces and nephew. Once I'm hooked on a minibook, I'm hooked!
Anyway, here are some pictures of our books...


And those are just 4 of them!

A great project to do together, plus we spend some time together every day writing in them...well Khai and Brett and I do...Kelsey and Justin pretty much do their own =) We also went to the Winkler Aquatic Centre this past week! I have NEVER had so much fun with the kids! We had such a great time, it was incredible.

There were also two family birthdays, Brett who turned 11, and Khai who turned 4. Like I said, there were some great joys this past month!

More later this week...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I forget which three...

Today, I must air a frustration. Yesterday I was at the hairdressers with Kelsey, and my haircut was finished much more quickly than hers was, so I was standing and chatting with her and her hairdresser. As we chatted, the subject of how many kids we had came up, and I said I had five kids. Now, people often look at me a little weirdly when I say that, because I am only 27, and I must admit, I look young for my age, so they do not think it's physically possible. So, I explain, after the look, that I have three step kids, and two that I pushed out myself. Then the inevitable question of "well how old are they?" and I tell them...18, 16, 10, 3 and 6 months. Most people make some kind of remark about how at least my step kids are older and I don't actually have to "mother" them, or some such nonsense. Can I just say how much this bothers me? I am completely aware that I did NOT give birth to my stepkids, and that I have missed out on many years of their lives, but let me assure you, that this makes me nothing but sad. However, I am a huge part of their lives now, I spend at least 5 of 7 days every week with them, and I miss them SO much when they are gone. Why do people have to make it sound like I should be relieved that I don't HAVE to be a part of their lives? When they cry, my heart aches with them, when they laugh, so do I. Why do people have to minimize my role in their lives or my relationship with them? I have a close bond with each of them, and I treasure that just as much as I do with the two that grew inside me. Why do people need to distinguish that I have step kids and biological ones? We are one family in this house. Period.
So, the next time someone asks me how many kids I have, I am going to respond the same way I always do, I have five. If they push it, I will borrow a line I recently read and say yes, I have three step kids...but I forget which three.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Granny and Pops

My grandparents have been in town for the last three weeks. We were able to spend some time with them, and it was WONDERFUL. They were yet to meet Declan, Brett, Justin and Kelsey, so it was nice to finally get them together.
They are two of my favorite people in the world, so I'm glad my kids are all getting to know them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

So, it's been awhile....

but tonight, I can't sleep. So I've decided to come and write on my blog, which incidentally, I've been neglecting. Life has been busier than usual around here, and for once, I actually feel like I'm doing something important. I know that being a mother is ALWAYS an important job, but lately, I really feel as though I've made some extra special connections with the kids.

A couple weekends ago, I took the kids to the WonderShows carnival, which my generous sister got us free tickets to.

This is a picture of the kids on the tilt-a-whirl...and may I add, that whoever thought it would be fun to create this ride, may have been insane!
And here are Brett and Khai enjoying bumper cars. May I just say that my heart swells with pride when I see this picture! Brett let Khai sit in the drivers seat and helped him steer. He is such an awesome big brother!

These are from way up in the sky, on the ferris wheel! That was probably my favorite, especially when we were stopped halfway down, and Khai says ,"Now, how are we going to get down from THIS?" I almost peed myself laughing =)

It's been so wonderful just being a mom! Getting to know my kids as they change each day, is truly an awesome experience. I feel so honored to be a part of each of their lives. Seeing them everyday, makes my days better, even when they are fighting with each other, with us, or even with themselves, they are each a gift from God, and I love each of them dearly.

On another note, we just found out that Helmut has to have surgery on his back. It's very scary for me, even though I won't tell him that...he would only worry more, knowing that I am worried. I've read all about the surgery on the Mayo Clinic's web site...very helpful stuff I might add...but there are sometimes when having more information, simply doesn't relieve the anxiety. So, I come again, as I do so often, to the feet of my Lord, and I ask for Him to take these burdens, because only He can.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Zippered it up myself

The words of an almost-four-year-old who did up his own zipper for the first time.."I zippered it up myself Mummy!!!"

A flushed almost-eleven-year-old after his first basketball game of the season!! He played SO hard...we're SO proud...

The most beautiful smile in the world...even from behind a soother....
Pure bliss IS within reach. Just look in your kids'll see it too.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Soccer Boy

Tuesday night was a WONDERFUL night! Khai had his very first soccer game. He was so excited...he told everyone who would listen and a few who wouldn't, that he had soccer after supper. It was ADORABLE. He actually scored a goal too...on his own team. Now he tells everyone, "I got a goal against my own net!" He's still very proud of it, and we're proud of him!

Monday, April 28, 2008

On the mend

I am pleased to announce that our home *appears* to be sickness free! I'm feeling a thousand times better, and other than being up too late everyday for the last several days, things are pretty great around here. Helmut and I were able to go out for dinner last night, which was really nice...good food...good company...good everything, except we both really missed home. We are both homebodies, and neither of us really NEED time away. Not saying we don't occasionally like to go out...we do, but when we do, we always end up missing home. And it's not just the kids, though that is a large part of it, we also just love being together, comfortably, in our own home.
Home. It's such a wonderful word. It's not something I've really had since I was at home with my parents. I, of course, made a home for myself and Khai, but it was never really complete. With Helmut and the kids, everything feels whole.
Home. Love. Thank the Lord for our home.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

...and it has run rampant through our house!

We're officially sick! Justin was home from school today, throwing up, Khai has the sniffles and a cough, Declan is starting to get sniffly as well, and I have a full blown head cold! Ick.
I'll write more when I feel better...right now, I'm off to get some tea.
Sweet dreams all!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

To Love Like I've Never Loved Before

On Saturday night, enveloped in a sea of candles, roses and rose petals, the love of my life asked me to marry him.

I said yes.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Can you say MIGRAINE?

My head has just been aching these past few days, but today was the worst of all. I spent most of the day wishing for my head to just explode already. Unfortunately it didn't, and to top it all off, I was supposed to be getting ready for my all day scrapbooking on Saturday. I'm not sure than non-scrappers can full appreciate the labour intensive packing that happens when you go away to a crop for a day. In any case, I still have done very little packing, and am ready for bed.
My grandma is in town from Thunder Bay, so we headed over to my uncle's to visit her this evening. This is the first time she has met Declan, so it was nice for her to finally get to meet him.
In any case, I am glad this day is almost over for me, and I am heading off to bed. Sweet dreams all!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Kids say the Darndest things!!!

Khai, Declan and I have been walking to the "cookie store" every day, as I said yesterday, and today was no different. Kelsey was at home today, so she joined us as we walked. Yesterday, Khai had some stones in his shoes, so he stopped to get them out, and as he dumped them out of his shoes, he said ,"I don't like the crumbs in my shoes Mummy." I asked him what crumbs he was talking about, and he pointed to the little dirt, pebbly sediment that accumulates at this time of year and said, "Those are crumbs Mummy, did you know that?" That is his new favorite saying, "Did you know that?" As though every single thing he says could be new information to the rest of the world.

Today, as we were finishing at Sobeys, the little basket under the stroller proved to be too small for all our groceries, and Khai asked to carry the Shreddies box. As we were walking out of the parking lot, he said, "My legs are too tired!" and proceeded to sit (rather pathetically) on the curb with his cereal box...

We also did some finger painting, and he really seemed to enjoy that! My earlier hopes of getting Declan involved were dashed as he decided to sleep! I will get his hand and footprints for my scrapbook one of these days!

This evening, Kelsey, Brett and I went to the mall. We got blizzards, mine had chocolate covered peanuts and brownie BITS, of course when Kels asked what was in it, she thought I said brownie PITS, and you can imagine the jokes for the rest of the evening!

It was an amazing day.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Swimming Lessons

Have you ever looked at any of your kids and seen pure joy in their eyes? This morning was Khai's first day of swimming lessons, and I saw that joy! It was so much fun! We had a wonderful time, and what a surprise that there was a friend of ours in our class!

He wanted to jump in the pool before lessons even started. It was a wonderful day.

He and I have started walking to what he calls the "cookie store" everyday. It's actually the Sobeys that's just down the street from us, but they give him a free cookie each time, and that's what he remembers...

It's nice to be able to get out into the sunshine every day and finally not feel lethargic!

I love spring!

For the first time today, Declan laughed out loud! Apparently he is ticklish! How sweet! It is a wonderful little laugh...take a look!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Happy 43rd Birthday Helmut!!

Well, it has been a long time since I posted, mostly because of lack energy, not lack of inspiration! This past Friday was Helmut's birthday. It turned out to be a WONDERFUL day. The secret gift I'd been hiding for 2 months, I was finally able to give him, and he loved it. The kids and I gave him tickets to a Nascar race in Kansas City in September. He loved them!

It made us feel so wonderful to be able to give him something that we knew he would love, and wasn't expecting.

My Mum made him this awesome Nascar cake that he thought was really cool, and actually everyone thought it was really neat. She bought the cake pan before they moved back here from Oregon, so it was a huge forethought that he really appreciated.

On a personal note, it is so wonderful to be so completely in love with someone, and to know that they completely love you back, with or without Nascar tickets. I love you Helmut, and I always, ALWAYS will. I am forever, yours.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Long Walk Home

Today, my sister Michelle (I have two) did a presentation as part of her program at Red River Community College. She is in the Creative Communications department there, and was required to do what they call and IPP...Independent something Project. She chose to do it on our Grandpa on my dad's side.

My Grandpa died when my dad was 14 years old. He left behind 9 children, ranging in ages from 3 to 22 at the time of his death, and his wife, my grandma. The whole family has had a hard time talking about my grandpa, and this was a very emotional experience for all of them, as I know it was for Michelle.

On November 26th, 1970, Grandpa was killed by a train. They have never determined how or why his car collided with that train. I know that it was incredibly hard on all of my Dad's siblings, and himself, because whenever he is mentioned, there is a sadness. No one wants to make anyone sad, so we, as the grandchildren, have collectively, asked very little about him.
Michelle decided to change all of that. She interviewed each of my uncles, and my aunt (yes, only one of those 9 kids, was a girl!) and put together a book about this incredible man. A man who loved to laugh, who didn't have any time for a hobby, because he was too busy playing with his kids, a man who was loved so deeply, it physically hurts those who knew him to talk about him. But talk they did.

Today, we watched her presentation. From the moment she opened her mouth, I was bawling. You have to understand. Michelle lives her life as though she was not given tear glands. She never cries, but today, she cried most of the way through her presentation. It was terribly sad to hear her tell the stories that my Aunt and Uncle's had recounted to her....Auntie Marlene and Uncle Ted had already bought Grandpa an ash tray for Christmas...Dad was shovelling the snow from the driveway so that Grandpa could park his car there when he got home from work...Grandma was doing some sewing as she waited for her husband to come home from work. Stories about the day he died, and other stories, from his life that I've never heard, about a man I never had the chance to know.
It was an honor that Michelle chose Grandpa for this project. An honor to all his children and grandchildren, and to Grandma. I wish I could have known this man that my father misses so much, but at least now, I can have the memories of his kids and wife in this book, "The Long Walk Home" by Michelle Cattani.
Michelle dedicated the book to Margaret, David, Don, Glen, Barry, Doug, Steve, Ted, Marlene and Tim.
Thank you Michelle, for this tribute.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Sign Up Day...

It's that time of the year again, when parents think about digging out their cheque books; deciding whether the money they have to put out for their kids to play an organized sport is going to be worth it. Especially considering the amount of complaining that often happens when it's actually time to go to a game or practice, never mind the homework that certainly doesn't stop just because it's baseball or soccer season again, or in some families like ours, the fact that you may not have enough vehicles to get all the kids to their respective practices and/or games.
Last year, we had two kids in baseball. That is four nights per week, PER CHILD. Thank the Lord that Kelsey has her own car, and was able to get to all of her games herself. Unfortunately that also meant that we didn't get to attend very many of them.
Then we needed to consider that we have little ones. Last year, Khai was two and his bedtime was quite still is for that matter. Are we supposed to keep him up later, so that he, and both Helmut and I, could see the games? Or should one of us go to the game and the other stay at home and watch Khai (and this year Declan)?
I remember my dad telling me stories of playing football at the school fields, and hockey in the streets, (even if they were in organized sports) they loved to play, and did so, at every opportunity. When I think of the struggle it sometimes is to get our kids out to play the sport we've paid money for them to play, I can't help but think something is missing. Of course, we are terribly proud of the kids when they do play, and do well at something they've been working so hard at. It is nice to see them doing something they enjoy, once we get them out there. I guess I just wish it wasn't such a fight to get them there, and finish their homework and make dinner and....
Unfortunately, I don't have an answer for any of these things, and so as I write this, Helmut is out signing up Bretty, and seeing how old Khai needs to be to play, and all I can say is, let the madness continue...

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Have you ever been SO tired that your man looks at you, moves closer to you and asks how you got your black eye? It's not until you inform him that they are simply dark circles under your eyes, that you realize that you aren't hiding your exhaustion as well as you'd like to! The one day I decide not to put make up on. *smile*
These days, getting out of bed seems harder and harder to do! I thank God everyday that He's given me enough sense to know that I have to get up for my kids! I don't think I would have the strength to do it otherwise, of course, I wouldn't be so tired if I wasn't for them; vicious circle!

My patience often wears out when I'm this tired. But kids are amazing aren't they? I can be at the end of my proverbial rope, when Brett will tell me that he has a new password for logging onto the computer. At first, I get upset, because he's not supposed to have a password, then he tells me that the password is "ilovekhai" and my heart melts. Or Khai, who tried my patience when we were getting Brett's skates sharpened today. He wanders around Play-it-Again Sports, looking at every piece of hockey equipment, telling me that we need to buy it, no, not for himself, but for Declan...who is three months old. When I tell him he's too small, that he can't even walk yet, he tells me that, "it's for when he's bigger Mummy!" or, "Maybe Bretty would like it Mum, don't you think he'd like it?" Not once did he ask for anything for himself.
Then there is Justin, who couldn't sleep for two days because he was so worried about his girlfriend in the hospital. Or Kelsey, who bought everyone a treat from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory...just because.

and all of a sudden, I'm not tired anymore.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Best Friends...

Does anyone remember in grade/high school, when you were dating someone, and you were on the phone with them ALL the time? Telling them your hearts desires, how stupid the rules your parents had were, how annoying your siblings were; whatever was in your heart, or in your head, you shared. Then, after your phone curfew was up, you'd write notes (at least I did), letting them know every thought you had, until you went to bed. I used to think that you lost that once you were in an "adult, mature" relationship. I thought that, that is, until I met Helmut. I still feel an aching desire, to tell him everything; to share ALL that is within me; to let him know the real me, and in return, to know him completely. He is the first one I call when something good happens, when the kids do something extraordinary, or when I hear bad news. There are somedays when I simply need to hear the sound of his voice and my nerves become much less sensitive, others when his laugh gives me complete comfort. His arms are the strongest I've ever felt when they are wrapped around me, and the most gentle when he is caring for any of our kids. I've never known anyone like him, and even more special, I still want to tell him everything. He is my best friend.

Kids, Kids, Kids!

As I said, I have five kids. The three oldest, Kelsey, Justin and Brett, are my stepkids, the two youngest are Khai and Declan. I must say, I hate that I have to make that distinction. I love them all as my own. It was a surprise to me, the first day I realized that I thought of them all as my own. Those of you who are parents, know that there is no love like the love for your child; I feel the same instinctive defence of them when they get picked on; the same pain when someone hurts their feelings; the same fear when they hurt themselves. I feel this for ALL my children, and I felt that way very shortly after meeting these three amazing kids; there is no turning back.

Right now, Khai is in Carman, visiting my parents, and while I am enjoying the peace and quiet, (and the chance to finally start my blog) I miss him dearly. There is less life in the house without him, and I miss his smile.
Well, duty calls! Declan is awake!