Thursday, March 29, 2007


Thank you for your encouraging comments everyone. We really appreciate knowing that friends are reading our blog and sharing in our experiences. It makes us feel closer to all of you. We wish we were physically closer too!!
After much deliberation, we have decided to adopt a dog from the local animal shelter. Well it isn't so local. We have been looking around and there are not a lot of dogs in our immediate area so we had to extend our search region. We searched online and found a dog at the SPCA in Yarmouth. The last dog we had adopted, Ford, had been abused and all the love in the world could not stop him from eventually being aggressive and biting Michael. So we said the next dog we got would be a purebred. We hoped this way we would be more sure of its breed characteristics. We also said we would get a puppy because then we could train it and make sure it had not experienced any mistreatment or abuse. When the time came to really find a dog, we could not justify the cost of a purebred dog ($500-700) to a mixed breed who needed a home. We had been looking at the Nova Scotia Duck Toller breed as one of our options for purchase so when 'Red' came up for adoption, we decided to go take a look. Arriving at the shelter, we were met with meows and barking. We walked into the kennel where immediately 15 dogs begin to bark even louder and Maetia starts to cry. It was so hard to look at each of them and give them all treats and base our decision of who will have a new home on that two minute interaction. We wanted to take all of them!! Not to mention the 20 or so cats. So it was hard but we went with a purpose and after meeting Red and taking him for a walk, we decided to.... go home and think about it. So we drove back home for 2 1/2 hours with Maetia crying much of the way. How would you go to an adoption agency in say China and pick out a child to adopt? How would you actually choose the one you like the best when you don't know any of them? Michael said it is like choosing the personality you are going to deal with for the rest of your/its' life. I know a dog is not at all the same as a child but for these dogs, we are picking one that will have a good life, not a perfect life, but a good one and it is really hard to decide which one is guaranteed that. Red has a nice temperment. He is 7 months old and is a Duck Toller mix. He is very hyper but gentle with Maetia. He likes cats and water which we have at our house. He also has a bum leg, kind of like Max/Tripod (Eric's dog) but not as bad. We decided to adopt him because he was the one we felt the best connection with. We will send pictures when we get him. He is currently awaiting the dreaded neutering process.
Here are some photos of Maetia instead.

Dordt Poster child

She can go up but not down

Sunday, March 18, 2007


So last Friday I got the call I have been dreading. It was my boss from my job with the Department of Natural Resources. He was calling to ask if I had decided if I was going to come back to work or not. In Canada we are allowed to have a whole year of maternity leave so I haven't had to make a final decision until now (I know we are lucky). For the past few months I have been going over it and over it in my mind; what should I do? I liked my job and it could potentially lead to a better job, making contacts and getting experience, but...... I never was a career minded person but I do like working outside, in the woods. And I liked to think I was making a difference, as far as promoting sustainable resources use went. I just couldn't leave her, in my heart I knew what I had to do. By the way Chole, your post about not going back to your job helped me verbalize what I had been feeling for so long, thank you. But when I got the call in the middle of our dancing session to my favourite song "Bridal Train" from The Waifs it was still hard to let go and say 'no thank you, I want to be a stay at home mom'. I question my expensive education and when I will use it again. I wonder if I will get enough intellectual stimulation just by being at home and in the garden. But as my daughter is weaning herself from me and I am mourning that phase of our lives, I am reminded of what a good friend said to Michael and I when discussing our financial situation=need to work. He said 'you will never get that time back' and I believe it. So I hung up the phone and pressed play on the the player and we finished our dance.

Maetia helping in the kitchen

Michael bonding/feeding Maetia

Together with the Youth Group from our church, we participated in a service project over March break. We all learned a lot by serving homeless and hungry people on the streets of Halifax. We are so proud of these kids!!

Sunday, March 4, 2007


For the past week, we have smelled spring coming up through the ground. It is a nice feeling to walk outside and smell the earth again. Very refreshing and encouraging. Just when you think you might not be able to handle any more winter, spring arrives. Part of spring that we have learned about by living on the Bay is the chunks of ice (as large as cars) that are breaking off of shorelines and esturaries and drifting into the bay to eventually make their way out to the ocean. Or at least that is what we think is happening. Right now they are floating in the wrong direction but we believe it is because of the tidal impact and ocean currents.

There might be something in the water or in our genes but this little one is the final baby in the countdown of the VanHattem cousins to have a baby in the past year. There have been seven girls, this latest cutie is Madeline Grace.

This beautiful girl made my day and helped me celebrate my birthday by watching the moonrise and lunar eclipse with a great view from the shore.