12 April 2020

Hello from the inside.

A month and a half ago I sat inside the hospital praying that my child would live, and today, we are all okay, but the world has completely flipped upside down.  In the hospital there was a baby in an adjoining room that everyone was suiting up to go in and treat.  I remember thinking, "I wonder if they are worried about that weird virus from China."  Today, I can't believe that there is anyone in the world that doesn't know exactly what Covid-19 and Coronavirus are. 

The world has been in lock down for 3 weeks now, and while our lives haven't changed much, we are feeling the heaviness of all the implications that this virus might have on our lives.  In some ways it's been nice. Evy has been able to heal without feeling like she's missing out.  In other ways its been difficult, as the kids are missing their activities and friends and everything else. 

I am not normally an anxious person, but this whole quarantine and lockdown thing has me in knots. I don't like not knowing what my world will look like next week, let alone next year.  

To remember this time, and be able to look back on it and remember the good times, we had some "Front Porch Photos" done. They were actually really fun. The photographer took all the photos from the outside looking in. I think, in a few years, when this is all over, I'll be glad to have these to remember this crazy time by. 

21 March 2020


Thus far nothing in my 40 years of life has prepared me for the last month. I’m so very grateful that I get to face it with these kids. They are the bravest, strongest, most wonderful children ever.

04 March 2020

Lucky Us

 I’ve been told how lucky Evy is that we adopted her, but the truth is, we are the lucky ones. She is strong. She is brave. She is kind. She is everything to us. From the second she was conscious she has been worried about the rest of the family. Despite her pain, and the road before her, she keeps saying how glad she is that she didn’t let her little brothers sit in shotgun, because then they would have been the ones hit. She’s told me how worried she is that Jared will feel bad, because she knows he did everything he could. This morning she cried, “Mom, why didn’t I do this for you when you broke your tail bone?! You are doing everything for me. I love you so much.” (She was 9 when I broke my tail bone!) She is absolutely incredible, and we are so glad that we have her here to bless our lives forever more.
The hospital needed to see her walking with crutches and going up and down stairs. When she heard that she grabbed the crutches and headed for the steps! And true to their word, they sent us home! She is so happy to be sleeping in her own (new) bed, in her own makeshift room. She is amazing and will be just fine, in time. We love her so!


A Crash

On Saturday morning, February 29, 2020, Jared got into a motor vehicle accident with Evy, Eli and Silas. He was driving to a breakfast party at a friend’s house in Millarville when he was struck trying to avoid another dangerously driving vehicle. Everyone was wearing their seatbelts and all of the airbags deployed.

Jared was able to call me from the scene, which was a miracle, because that road is notorious for having no cell signal. He said, "We've been in an accident, and it's bad. Evy's still in the car. It's bad, Jenny."

When I got there we were stopped far from the accident. All we could see were ambulances, police cars and car parts strewn across the road. The first responders for Priddis and Okotoks were incredible, compassionate, and kind, and also skilled and proficient. They held me up when I couldn't do it myself, and got our children safely and quickly where they needed to be. 

Silas was being driven away in an ambulance.  My poor, sweet, little Silas.  I didn't get to see him, and knew just how anxious out he would be. 

Eli was in an ambulance, stable and aware. 

Evy had been extracted from the car with the jaws-of-life and was on a stretcher being transferred from the back of an ambulance into STARS Air ambulance.  She was unconscious and unresponsive. A firefighter carried me to her to see if I could get her to respond.  Both of her hearing aids were lost in the crash, so she couldn't hear me, but when I went to her she did look at me before her eyes rolled back in her head and she was gone, again.  I stood there watching as they loaded my little girl onto the helicopter and she flew away.  

Then Jared and I jumped in the ambulance with Eli, and we traveled to the Alberta Children's Hospital.

Miracles continued to flow.  I was able to call my best friend, who happens to be a Calgary Fire Fighter, and so therefore knows the ins and outs of the hospital emergency department, and she happened to be within minutes of the Children's, and so she was at the hospital waiting for the kids before they arrived.  She was kept me up to date with their status while I was in the ambulance with Eli.  
            "I'm here. Stars has landed. Kids are being treated. Both responsive."
Never had any words given me any greater relief!  

It's hard to describe what was going through my mind in the hospital.  I was most worried about Evy, obviously, but still needed to make sure Jared and the boys were being taken care of, and make all the decisions for them.  I was bouncing between three different rooms, calling orders to everyone around me. Thankfully I have an amazing family, and even before I got there the Evans sisters were in full force.  Most of them came to the hospital, those who didn't were at home watching my other kids and driving around the city getting us things we needed.  My brother-in-laws went around and gave everyone blessings.  They brought food and they brought comfort. My brother-in-law happens to be a medical doctor, so I kept him close by as I had to make decisions I couldn't research or give any time to think about.  The staff at the hospital were phenomenal, allowing us to completely take over the ER (there were 17 people there besides my family)!

Despite the severity of the accident, we are now all home.  Eli went home the day of the accident sporting a cast on a broken hand.  A witness at the accident told me that he was so strong.  He shrugged off any help offered to him and told everyone to go help Evy and Silas.  He is such a blessing. 

Silas spend one night at the hospital under observation, because he had some abdominal bruising and was barfing a lot. He's on concussion watch, but otherwise okay. 

Evy took the brunt of the impact and suffered the most injuries.  She had an open break of her femur, a broken jaw, and many lacerations to her face and head, among other bruises and cuts. She has been sewn up by plastic surgeons and her leg repaired with a titanium rod by a team of orhopaedic surgeons in a surgery that lasted 5 hours. We spent 3 nights in the hospital while she learned to get around mroe independently.  She is expected to make a full recovery!

We love our sweet Evy so much, and are reminded how grateful we are that she is part of our family. She is such an example of strength and bravery. We appreciate continued prayers for her that she will be able to heal, both in body and spirit.

16 November 2018

Crazy Chicken Lady

It was pretty much immediately apparent that I was going to become a crazy chicken lady. For years I've ordered the Rochester Hatchery catalogue, dreaming of green eggs and fancy plumage. It was just a matter of time before I got my own little flock and lived happily ever after.

Well, luckily, the previous owners of our new home loved chickens too, and left behind a beautifully fenced chicken yard, and five gorgeous chickens.  Unfortunately, 3 of those five chickens are freeloading roosters, and the two hens weren't carrying their weight in the egg department either. 

Not to be deterred by the silly details of coop size or fencing, I very quickly acquired 6 young Lohmann hens!  And, just a few weeks later, the little ladies graced us with our first egg!

And what's nine more?  Nothing, I know, right?!  And so we welcomed nine more hens-a-laying into our coop. Except, this time it was apparent that we did not have enough room.  And that's where Jared and his mad carpentry skills came in - because 20 chickens were definitely not going to fit into the tiny coop that we had.

And, I'd be lying if I said that that little project took the weekend, like I expected it would. It's really become the project of the month, and still not quite finished, but we are getting there, and I can't wait to introduce the ladies to the new coop.

And now we aren't excited about one tiny egg, we are disappointed if we get anything less than 12.

So, if you live near me, and need some eggs, come on over!

16 September 2018

Welcome Home

When I was a little girl, I went to horse camp in Bragg Creek, Alberta every summer. For one glorious week each year I got to live my little girl dreams on the back of a tired pony.

As a teenager I worked at that very horse camp, where I spent my entire summer filthy, and utterly happy.

I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point that farm became the epitome of what I wanted in my life - where I wanted to live and what I wanted to do with my life. 

Fast forward about 20 years, I'd finally convinced Jared that we should move out of the city and onto a farm, and low and behold, that very farm was up for rent. 

And so, naturally, we moved, again. We sold the house in the city and moved to the country!

However, no matter how loudly my childhood dreams tried to convince me, that 50 year old tiny farm house was not our dream house.  As it stood there wasn't room for us, and certainly no room for us to grow. It was able to provide us with on last service: a safe place for us to be while we searched for our elusive forever home.

And that is what brings me to where I am right now, sitting in the dark, staring at the log walls of what is our new, and our forever home! 

I don't know what I thought I'd feel, finally in the house I plan on calling home forever, but I don't think I'm feeling it.  I am feeling stressed. I am feeling the heavy weight of finality on my heart. I'm feeling all the questions that came up when we were deciding to buy it. When Eli was younger he would react so badly when we moved - he hated to be alone anywhere in the new houses for at least 6 months - even if all I did was try to go to the bathroom by myself.  I'm sitting here now, with everyone else asleep, and I'm feeling a little of what he must have felt. 

I'm praying too. I'm praying for many years of happy memories.  Many years of Christmas trees and Easter Egg hunts. Many years of dirt biking and horse riding.  I'm praying that this home will become the safe harbor that my children will always feel welcome at, will always want to come home to.  A place where generations will gather.  I pray that my door will stay open to family, friends, and even strangers who may need to feel the comforts of home. 

And so, on this first night of the rest of my life I sit here in quiet contemplation, resisting sleep, because that will mean that this first night is over and the real work of making this house a home begins.

16 April 2018

10 weeks and I'm pretty sure I'm rocking it

It's easy to feel like a complete and totally failure in this world of tiny squares of perfect lives - but I don't believe in that kind of crap.  Seriously. 

I'm ten weeks into this whole mother of 6 things, and ready to celebrate the little things, like how I made the bed this morning, and last week I taught my kids science. You have no idea. That's big. 

This morning we decided to go skiing, and we were out the door in 20 minutes.  20 minutes, people. 

Of course, we didn't pack a lunch, and so I had to buy $8.50 bowls of soup for the boys, but what's $8.50 between friends, right?

Also, while I swear I'm not hinging my self esteem on it, I can do up my pre-pregnancy pants.  I don't really fit in them, but if I lay down on the bed first, and suck in really tight, I can do them up.  Also big. I attribute it to belly binding, which sounds like torture, and it kind of is, but after 6 babies I've finally put all that relaxin to work, and dang it, it works!  Now if I can only drop 50 lbs, I'll fit into my pre-Silas's-pregnancy pants, and then I will have all sorts of self esteem to brag about.

Also, I've made a few meals. Like real meals with cut up vegetables and cooked meat.  

And I've taken the kids on vacation to the cabin. 

And I've mopped the kitchen floor.  

Rocking it, I tell you.  Rocking it. 
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