Franklin Five

Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

Saturday, June 25, 2011

One Year Ago...

We received the call. We had a baby girl. Her name was Lidiya. She was four months old. We rushed to the computer. We saw her precious face. It was love at first sight.

One year later, Lidiyanna brings us so much joy. She is a lively 16-month old toddler. She keeps us very busy. She is constantly following her brothers around, climbing on everything (including the table in the backyard), snuggling with mom and dad, bringing us books to read to her, and showing us her adorable, toothy grin. Although she is more interested in moving than talking, she does say a few words like Dada and pupu (puppy). We cannot imagine our lives without her. This weekend, we remember the call that changed our lives. We thank our God for giving us the privilege of being her family.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Glimpses of Oakville

Lidiyanna in our backyard on Father's Day

The kids enjoying the bike trails around our neighborhood.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Random Thoughts about My New Home

My Canadian observations so far:

  • "Mum" instead of "Mom"

  • "Bum" instead of "bottom"

  • Smarties candies are different here. They are similar to M&M's.

  • In my opinion, the summer must be the best time of year. The weather is fabulous and everything is green and beautiful.

  • A lot of women work full-time outside of the home and have live-in nannies (a lot of them are from the Philippines). Whenever I go to one of my neighborhood parks, I see groups of Filipino nannies with the children they care for. I am a little discouraged that I am not meeting more stay-at-home moms during the day. The nannies are nice, but they have their little group. I just feel like an outsider to them.

  • The GTA (Greater Toronto Area) is very green and environmentally concerned. I have no disposal in my home because I am expected to compost which is picked up every week. The GTA does a great job preserving trees and green space. Even though I live in a new neighborhood, lots of trees were saved in the outlying areas and trails were made throughout the wooded areas. The kids and I have spent many hours this week riding bikes through the trails near our house. Lidiyanna rides in the bike trailer, and I ride Tim's old bike from college. Good times!!

  • I've said this before...people from all over the world come to live in Canada. So far, I have met people from Europe, Tanzania, Jamaica, Nigeria, Russia, India, and Philippines.

  • I can't find any cans of Rotel tomatoes. Oh, my!! Although there are lots of great food here, Tex-Mex doesn't seem to be too popular.

  • Canadian geese are everywhere by the lake. So is their poop.

Things have been interesting. I'm finally learning my way around, most of our boxes are unpacked, and the kids and I have set up somewhat of a daily routine. I miss my friends and family in Nashville terribly. Despite all of the fun, new experiences we are having, I am homesick. I'm praying each day for God to shape my attitude and help me to enjoy this time and not just endure it. I am clinging to these verses:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Zero Emission Sunday!

Wesley was on charging duty.

Sitting by the dock on the lake.

Skipping rocks - The lake Ontario shoreline is a rock skipper's paradise - Smooth stones abound.

The Seagull likes it.

Plenty of cargo space.

We may have taken the first Zero Emission trip to church in Canada. I drove one of Nissan's new LEAF's home this weekend. The LEAF is the first true production all electric car. After church we explored another shoreline park in Oakville.

Nissan's marketing strategy is "Innovation for All," and we put "All" of us in the LEAF today. It is truly an amazing car, and while I love big engines and 0-60 times, I am glad Nissan has created this truly innovative car.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The Adventure has begun!!

We've made it to Canada and have been in our house about a week. The boxes are just about unpacked but there's still the settling in that takes time. We started out last week at Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls, and the kids had a great time at their indoor water park while we waited for our furniture to arrive on the moving van.
We're learning where all of the parks and grocery stores are and we've found a few "splash pads" as the Canadians call them. Toronto has a really great park system, so I think we could go to a different park almost every day this summer.

Overall, things are going well. The kids are doing a really great job adjusting to the change. The boys have had their moments of sadness. Graham has mentioned missing his Kindergarten teacher and Wesley said he was ready to go back to his old house. I've been trying to keep them busy, and that seems to help. The weather has been so nice, so we spend a lot of the day outdoors.

I have moments during the day when I feel the loneliness hovering over my head like a gray cloud. I miss our friends and family in the states, and I simply long for a friend who knows me. When we are at a park or the store, I wonder if I stick out because of the way I talk or how I look. Am I giving the cashier the right coins or am I saying the right word for the bathroom (which happens to be "washroom" here). Then, I look around and realize there are lots of people here that are from other countries so I blend into the array of diversity around me. I'm learning to appreciate new things and my perspective is growing.

I'm a minivan mom now, and I'm loving it. My favorite part of the car is the GPS. I'd be lost without it...literally.

Our new home

It didn't take long before Graham learned about the ice cream truck that frequents our neighborhood. He has declared Tuesdays "Ice cream day".

I can already tell one of my favorites things about living here will be the water. Oakville is right on Lake Ontario and some nice lake shore parks are not too far from our house.

Wesley loved the flight to Canada. I think he thought we were just going on one long vacation.