Friday, July 13, 2007

Goin Home

In a couple of hours I am leaving to go back home to see my mom and dad. As you all know by now, Dad is in the hospital and not doing well. I have prayed many years for Dad's healing, that he would be well and that he would be able to see. I have watched in agony as my dad got slowly worse. I don't want to get into the theological debate right now about why this is happening. It isn't important right now.
We have spent many wonderful times with Mom and Dad when they would come to the island. One of the first places Dad always wanted to go was Cathedral Grove. He said he felt close to God there. He loved the falls as well especially in the winter when they were roaring down the gorge with such power you could feel the ground shake. He always wanted to go to the beach when it was storming to see the waves crashing. There is something very special in all of those things. You feel God and you see His wonder in the nature He created.
It's hard for me to think about the fact that I will never go to Cathedral Grove with my Dad again. I can't imagine my life without him. What is worse for me to imagine is the pain and the sorrow that my parents have shared these last years and especially these last few months. Susan has shared with me how one day he couldn't get up from the table and he wanted to go and lay down. He asked mom to just help him to the floor. Mom told him he couldn't just sleep on the floor and he told her he couldn't make it to the bed. She told him that Susan was there and they would help him to the couch. They eventually got him to the couch and mom struggled to lift his legs up even though he told her not to bother. When she finally managed to get him comfortable he put his face into his hands and he cried. Then she knelt there in front of the couch and put her face in his neck and she cried with him. There are many stories like that that just break my heart. The pain my mom has gone through as she has watched the husband she had loved all these years slowly fade away is unimaginable. The burden my Dad has felt he has been to her is so sad it breaks my heart.
Can I imagine our lives without him? No I can't. But this is not about me, this is about him. All his life he has lived for one thing and that is to see His Lord and Saviour face to face. And his eyesight will be completely restored there. He will leave his wheelchair, his cane and all of that behind him. He will walk and talk with Jesus. And this is what I imagine his face to look like when his eyes are opened and he sees Jesus face to face.
I Love You Dad.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Life Changes.

"I really hate this hat, I'll have you know!"
"I am taking this hat off of my head".
"Can't anyone see how much I hate this hat and give me a hand here?"
"Fine I'll wear the dumb hat".

This one is just to show his little tongue that he always sticks out. Typical Braun baby. He reminds me of Jake when he does that.

And now back to my title of this blog. LIFE CHANGES! Yes it has. This year has been a big year of changes. Last year at this time, I was just getting used to the idea of this little bundle of joy in my life and that he was my grandson. I was a grandma! In July Ken closed most of his business down and we listed our house for sale. In October I went to move Melanie and Peter back from Wyomming. It was so wonderful to have all of our kids back on the island. Then our house sold and I made the heart wrenching decision to sell my horses. (In the end I donated them to a Christian camp) Then we moved into town and I had to try to get used to a small house, neighbors RIGHT in your face all the time, I had no horses, no dogs and I even had to take Molly our farm cat to the vet to have her put down. She was 11 years old and we had had her since she was 6 weeks. I don't even like cats but that day I cried. Then Jan came and I decided that I couldn't sit here any longer and mourn what I didn't have. I signed up for a course through the Uof BC to become a property manager. Let me tell you, you need to first take a law course to understand half of what they are trying to teach you. It is very intensive and hard. Even Ken struggled to help me with some of the stuff. But since I had paid huge money for this course, I kept plugging away. I had been praying for a while about it and just feeling like I didn't want to finish it. I felt so horrible about it though. So one day I am talking to a lady in church and she tells me she is managing a Michael Hill Jewellery store and is looking for another person to manage. I told her I would keep my ears open. But for the rest of the day, I kept thinking about this job and the amazing pay and benefits and all but I have no retail experience at all. A couple of days later I emailed her and told her I was interested and she called me in and make a long story short, I started my Manager In Training yesterday. It is a lot of hours and some of it requires me to go to Vancouver but I am in the work force for the first time in many years. It feels weird sometimes and when I look back at the last year, there have been many changes in my life. Some amazing and some...well not so amazing. All in all, God is still on the throne and he is still good. I have sometimes doubted that.
C.S. Lewis, after his wife died of cancer said this.."The tragedy is not that I would stop believing in God, but that I would start to believe such terrible things about Him." I have never forgotten that. I can't because sadly I am reminded of it many times in my life when my thoughts want to go that way.
So that is what is going on in my life.
I am also not leaving blogger to go to facebook. Although I do visit there blogger is my home. Hopefully I will still have time to post on my days off.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fun In The Sun!

This is a gooey duck. You can't really see what it really looks like but it is butt ugly. Even worse. This one is hiding under some seaweed. They pop up like this on the beach everywhere and they are filled with water...somehow. Sooooo...........this is what you do.....
You stomp on them. This picture isn't very clear but if you look close you can see the water shooting up.
Unfortunately, sometimes they get you. It's almost like they have eyes or something.
One of these got me right in the butt.
Some of them don't spray very much...
But some of them will get you right in the face.
As you can see here.....
So that is what I did for the afternoon. It is the greatest passtime....stomping gooey ducks. But there were so many today that now my calf is really sore. Oh well! It's still a lot of fun.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

God is Good!

For those of you who have read my last post, I would like to tell you all what has been happening. Robyn left a comment and said she has found a place. Let me explain.
Before Robyn even had Luke, she has wanted to live in those apartments. The complex is beautiful. So when Luke was 4 months old, she calls to see about an apartment there. The landlady says there is one but the waiting list is 32 people long and they are geared more for seniors and told Robyn that basically it was useless. They didn't want kids in there.
Robyn is very discouraged. We told her to pray about it and if this is where God wanted her, He would open the doors. A few days later, Robyn goes to apply. The landlady is away and the sister is there. She is very nice to Robyn but also tells her there are 32 people ahead of her. A few days later Robyn gets a call. You guessed it! The sister had tried to call all 32 people and they were either gone, already moved or something and at the end of it all, Robyn was the only one left. She got the apartment.
The landlady comes back and she is mad. Tells Robyn she never should have got the place and when Luke is one, she is going to have to move regardless because he will be too noisy and if Robyn disturbs her 'good' tenants below, there will be trouble. Since then, she has been nasty to Robyn. Even told her she shouldn't go barefoot in her apartment.
One day Robyn very briefly parked in the visitors parking and it just so happened that Kathy walked by and told Robyn if she did it again, she would get her car towed. Robyn has been given two noise warning, one just a few weeks ago and it was because Luke was sick and cried at night. She was told that one more time and she would be evicted. It's been fun.
So now Robyn had to go and give her notice. I thought Kathy would be elated to have her out of there. Robyn goes to talk to her and tells her she is moving and does she have a 1 bdrm available and if possible on the ground floor.
Now this is where things got very interesting. Kathy says she does have a 1 bdrm but it is already gone. Then she says she will talk to the lady and ask her if she is willing to take a different one because the ground floor would be better for Luke so he can't disturb anyone below and how perfect it would be because they actually have a little boy living right above that apartment so with Robyn below, it won't matter if he's loud.
Robyn tells me this and I am in shock. Then the next day Kathy calls her and tells her that the woman is willing to switch so if Robyn wants it, the place is hers and she can move in on the 20th. The rent is $630 but Robyn said she was willing to live without a phone and internet and do what she needed to do to make up the other $60. I call the lady at the Ministry to ask if this is okay and she says yes. Even gives me a few 'tips' on how to basically cheat the system legally to help Robyn out. I can buy her 3 months supply of diapers as a gift. Pay her cell phone, bring her groceries instead of money and a few other things.
With Robyn moving on the 20th, Kathy said she would give Robyn some money back because she won't be living in her 2 bdrm for the whole month so this should make up for the money they are taking off her next check. Plus she gets some back on her damage deposit since that won't be as much either. So things have worked out okay. It will be a bit tough going but it has been amazing to see this unfold so quickly.
I have been convicted these past few days of my fear of what will happen to her and my anger at the system. I usually come out fighting first instead of retreating to my 'corner' and asking God what I should do. Isn't that so like our kids when they were small. I so remember trying to get them to calm down so I could talk some sense into them. Now sad to say, God was telling me the same thing. To calm down and just ask Him to help and to remember that this is not that big of a problem for Him. Today I had to call the lady at the ministry and for some reason I did not feel this was going to go well. So I decide to go and pray first and I picked up the new devotional I got for my birthday on Sunday and the title of the very first devotional in there was 'In God You Can Trust' with this scripture.
Psalm 9:10...'Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You"....Amen to that. The call went very well.

Thursday, May 31, 2007


John has been bugging me about posting something new and wondered if I had a life outside of Luke :\ Sometimes I wonder the same thing. This is kind of about Luke but more about the idiots who run our country and province in this case.
Yesterday Robyn had an appointment with an investigator from Welfare. They don't call themselves that anymore because the name is too derogatory so they are now called Income Assistance. What a load of crap! They give Robyn $945. a month to support her and Luke. (sorry Robyn to let everyone know what you get but I have to to get my point across) She also receives $360. from Child Tax Benefit. So in total she gets about $1300.00 Her rent is $770. She has a two bedroom but it has a washer and dryer in the suite so she doesn't have to spend money on Laundry so we thought that all things considered it wasn't a bad deal because that would cost her about $40 a month. She has to have a phone because her security door works through her phone. That's $50 for a basic phone. Her hydro is about $60 a month, car insurance is $110 a month, internet is $55 (she got her cable cut off because it was too expensive) Her cell phone is $60 at least. (Rogers are a rip off but she's on a plan and can't cancel)
So these guys do the math and find out that they are not paying Robyn enough to live on and so they haul her in to talk. I go with her. We are told that I cannot as her mother, help my child out. She is living way beyond her means and has luxuries that you are not allowed on Wefare. Oh sorry..."Assistance". She does not need a car. I told the woman that we lived over 1/2 and hour away and for us to come in and pick her up and take her grocery shopping, to appointments and all of that would cost us way more than to just pay for her insurance. Sorry.. wrong answer. She can't have a car. She also can't have internet and she is allowed $570 for rent which has to include utilities even your phone so technically to live within their budget, she has to find a place to live for $400. I asked her where on this entire island can you find a place to live for that much. She just smiled and said she had clients that live within their budget but their address often says Haliburton or Harewood and they are not two bedroom. They are bachelor or one bedroom. She's not allowed her own room. That is also a luxury I'm told. I told her I would rather pay for my daughter not to have to live down there because it is not safe. She is a single mom with a baby for crying out loud. I had friends that lived there and they were scared to come home at night and all they listened to all night long was screaming and fighting and sirens. Now I have to send my daughter and grandchild to live there. She asked me if I was expecting this money back and I was honest and said 'no, it is a gift'. Sorry wrong again. The correct answer is yes. I am not allowed to gift my child money every month. Only the odd time but if it's on going then it is declared as 'unearned income'. Well are you not after all called income assistance? NO! They are deducting dollar for dollar all of it off of her next check. They are nice enough to let her pay off the other 3 months but last month whatever I gave her is all coming off next check. So now next month she is getting about $500. I asked her how she expected Robyn to live on that even if she did move. That leaves nothing to live on and won't even pay her rent. It will be very obvious once again that someone must have helped her. Then they'll haul her in there again to find out how she survived on $500 because they know it's impossible. All she said to me was that I had some hard things to go home and think about.
But get this. Here's the real kicker. Eddie who is native also gets $900 a month from the same government. That is not to pay rent or bills or food or any costs especially that of a child. No, that is just for the poor boy to have some spending money for the month because he goes to college which is really stressful and all. So they pay for his ENTIRE tuition. And it's not a student loan. How would he ever pay that back? That would just cause more stress. So they just pay for it all and give him $900 a month just to spend and just because he's native. Now this is not a rant about natives (I'll save that for another time) but this just burns my butt. And they'll help him stay living on the north end because you can't put the likes of him down in the south end. It may not be safe. Heck he's a big enough and he's a guy and he'd fit right in down there! No lets instead send a single mom with a baby to live down there but don't give her a cell phone or a car. Those are luxuries. Ohhhhhhhhhhh I am just so mad.
Now if Robyn was an unfit mother, they would take Luke away from her and pay some other person over $1000 a month to look after him, and give this person all the help and support they needed. But they won't give it to Robyn. This is not a rant against foster parents....Margaret. (I'll also save that for another time :\)
I asked the lady how I was to watch my daughter live like this and she had no answer other than 'assistance is there to help people who are down and out and if we make it too comfortable they will stay on assistance. I understand that but to allow $400-$500 for rent???? You can't rent anywhere for that. She agreed but said if they paid the going rate, then they would have to be paying people in Vancouver $1000 a month for rent and that is just not right. So people cheat the system and they wonder why. People start selling drugs and they wonder why. Jails are filled with 80% reoffenders and they wonder why. They spend more money on those guys per month too. Also another rant I'll save for another time.
So Robyn is giving her notice today. She has to give her car back cut off her internet, move to a small bachelor pad or at best a one bedroom so now she'll be at least 45 minutes away, and I am not allowed to help her out anymore unless I get way better at figuring out how to cheat the system. I am just so angry and last night at our home group we talked about what it looks like to be angry and not sin. Right now I'm not sure I know what that looks like. Any help would be greatly appreciated and any prayers you want to send up our way would be great.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day & Summer Fun!

These pictures did not post in the order they were supposed to but...that's blogger I guess. I know that if you are savvy enough, you can move them around on your blog. I tried it once and deleted the pictures so I will not try it again. So you'll just have to view them out of order.
This is Luke playing in our pond in our back yard.
Happy Mother's Day Mommy!!
(this year he was big enough to help carry the present)
Do you like my card Mommy? I put a nice hand print in there for you cause I don't know how to write my name yet.
Just hanging out on the grass.
What a happy boy you are. You just love being outside.
Going for a walk.
Mommy helping me play in the pond.
Splish splash...this is fun!
But this is way more fun.
What is all this stuff stuck on my feet?
I love watching the waves come rolling in over my feet.
........and sharing mommy's ice cream. What a fun day we had at the beach. I can hardly wait to go again.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Luke's First Birthday

He wasn't too sure about the whole cake thing although he was very excited about the candle. Typical little boy.
Oh yeah!!!! This is sooo exciting!!!!!!
As soon as he touched the cake and got icing on his fingers that he couldn't shake off, he wouldn't touch the cake anymore. Robyn had to actually get him to even taste it.
Eeeewwww!!!!!! I don't think I like birthday cake!!!!! (not your typical boy)
Awwww! Nope, he sure didn't want to eat that cake at all. Another Reagan here!

He was very happy playing cards. A very rare picture of Luke with Great Grandma and Grandpa.
What a big boy you are already.