I often wonder, which genes did our boys get from me, which ones did they get from their father?
Without any reservation, hesitation or false modesty I raise my hand to Good LOOKS AND CHARM. Let me keep my belief that throwing tantrums, being moody, smart and entrepreneurial comes from their father’s side.

This last characteristic makes me so proud that I needed post about it!
Today was the annual Entrepreneurial Show at our Elementary School.
The students had to design, research, develop, create and sell a product of their choice!

The business plan, all thoroughly thought through!

The Business plan

Our son, without leaving his minecraft screen, or taking a break from youtube, hit the nail right on its head.
This 10 year old encompasses the Zeitgeist of his generation. Guess what he made?
What is every 10 year old boy crazy about at this moment?
GENIUS in the making

Here he is, THE GENIUS…

In the early hours of the evening he cut, painted and glued 30 of these characters (don’t ask me their names though-).
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This young boy gave us seasoned sales folks a lesson.
He showed us what sales manuals, marketing strategy courses or business courses don’t teach.
It is that simple – really!
This morning, within one hour, he was sold out!
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Today is my last day of my self – imposed writers challenge. During the last 24 days I reported on all sorts of going ons from our new life on top of the rock in B.C., Canada.
With this final entry I will get back to writing in “normal” intervals. I proved to myself I can write nonstop, every day, for 25 days straight! I am disciplined enough to put something on paper before midnight strikes. Mission accomplished!

I will leave you with this fine piece of well researched literature. It will compare basic school operations in The Netherlands vs Canada.

The Netherlands

At the beginning of each school year your kid gets his photo taken. Home address, phone numbers and emails of each student are collected. With the permission of the parents each kid in every class gets this list to take home. For us parents this list feels like a sigh of relief:
We know of all the other kids our children are hanging out with.
If our son has a crush on Heidi, all we need to do is pull out our info sheet, check out her picture and comment on the good taste of our son – or remain silent.
Another advantage is, if our kid “goes missing”, all we need to do is telephone the list from A to Z until we find him. All in all, this whole procedure runs like a well oiled machine, it’s organized.
The Dutch don’t have any secrets, nobody is ashamed to admit their dodgy, humble home address.
Wy? Where we lived we didn’t have dodgy.


it’s the beginning of the year and — nothing happens.
We as parents are lucky enough to know that our kid is back with Liam (there are three of them, so which one?), his teacher is Mrs. Scott and his class is next to Joshes. ( here again, I know five Joshes by now, which one is he?). Our Elementary school at the bottom of our rock operates on the “Need to know basis”. You want to know, you need to find out by yourself!
I literally have to walk around the playground with my pen in hand and ask individual parent for their phone number. Regardless of their connection to my children or not!

If you don’t put the effort in, something like the following can happen:
I allowed Cruz to go home with his mate Liam and his mom. At 3.15pm I remembered I don’t remember Liam’s home address or his moms name- and she is the one who took Cruz home!

I called the school. Thank God the secretaries were still around to take my call. I described mom, boy and ask for their phone number! School secretary identified mother and son but refused to give me their address or phone number. Not because she doesn’t like me- it’s school policy not to give private info out!
Secretary promised to call mom in question and I had to wait to be contacted!
Word of warning: Remember your childs not whereabouts before the secretaries leave. Otherwise you can kiss your kid good-bye!:imagesCADMIM71


Required volunteer drivers leave their name on a SIGN IN SHEET. All we had to do is mention the amount of seatbelts available and we were off.


BEFORE you even attempt to put your name down as volunteer, you need to call ICBC (the holy, Canadian wide insurance corporation) The school needs to know what kind of car you are driving, If you are the owner of that vehicle and if any claims have been filed against you!
Then each child brings home a disclaimer from school. We need to sign it, and then we are off.

Different rules for different countries – shall I tell you about the cheques we had to sign during our first full school year in B.C. Better not, this is a whole different topic altogether!


I should rename this blog to “Prairie Log”, as this is my third entry on this topic! Bare with me, I will be home on Monday and things will get back to normal…

After our event, we left our venue elated and ready for tomorrow. It was 5.30pm Weyburn time on a Saturday, we went shopping when it hit me: The movie set from Yesterday World changed into Ghost Town: We hardly saw any souls anywhere! How many more names can you give this place?
6pm is too early to be tucked away at home, but not too late to be out and about?
Apart from petrol stations, the odd fast food joint and Walmart, everything else was shut. Let’s hear it from Gail: You never ever see anybody out and about. Not on Monday, on Tuesday…..ever!

Today we presented our live event LIVE LIFE NOW for the first time!
Part of our presentation is devoted to goal setting. That got me thinking; Do you set goals? If yes, do you take them serious? Do you act upon them or do you live your life like “I want to become a rich, let’s find a good job and see what happens?”

Here is my question: If we never heard of goal setting when we were little, and all you had was your imagination, your ideas and dreams- how far would they carry us?
Do we gravitate towards our own wishes and ideas anyways without manifesting them on paper?
Autsch, it’s official, the prairie makes me mellow, I am writing way too serious stuff.

Right here is the part I should mention my parents, my all too serious, over protective father, my amazing hospitable, overwhelming mother. None of them open to anything fancy like ‘becoming an entrepreneur, dream big, setting goals. What are goals again? Instead of ‘doing what you love doing” the motto of my father was ‘Do what earns a steady income and has a future (become a civil servant!). Enough said.
My parents deserve a whole book devoted to them, therefore I am not even tempted to start with them….you will thank me, believe me!

As my chances are slim to hear from you (?), I will answer my own question.
YES, we are guided by our dreams, wishes and ideas. Take it or leave it, here is part of my story:
When I was little, I fall in love with this man:
There was no question in my mind – ever, I was going to marry a native American!
I wanted to live in an English speaking country, become a writer and if I was lucky enough to have children, I wanted four – four Boys!
Here comes the spooky part: I am married to an American (without hair!), I live in Canada (reminder: they speak – among many other languages, English) I wrote a book and we have four boys (ok, I cheated, one is an exchange student, he is ours on a temporary basis only).

All this without ever knowing what goal setting is? What is that called?
One Happy Mother!
See ‘ya tomorrow!

IS THERE such a THING called LUCK?

The lucky couple!    C.Waschko

The lucky couple! C.Waschko

One lucky couple! C.Waschko

I just talked to my parents in regards to their upcoming 50th wedding anniversary!

My dad considers himself a very lucky man! He always mentions ‘how lucky’ he is that he married my mom; how ‘lucky’he was with his job. how ‘lucky’ he is his children live the good life!

That makes me wonder, how much luck can one man have? How lucky can we get?

Could you help me out with the following:

Are we born under a ‘lucky star’?
Is it destiny we are born into a certain social class?

Do we have a personal destiny to fulfill? Is there a book written for us when we are born – i.e. whatever happens to us has to happen because it was written in that book?

Thank you for helping me to define’being lucky’.


…when dropping off their children at school.

Parents are the same all around the world: We only want the best for our kids and bugger the rest!

When it comes to waving good-bye to their precious ones, parents park their cars everywhere, regardless of whose driveway it is, what is in front-, besides or behind them.

It’s the same old scene every moring, regardless of where you are in the world! What my Dutch buddies do with their bikes – leave them everywhere- my new Canadian parent friends do with their cars-  leave them everywhere! I just love it, it proves the point we are only people, regardless of where we live ! Canadians may be ueber friendly, but for these 2 minutes in the morning they are as ignorant, over protective and arrogant as the rest of the world wide parent group!

This madness is bad enough during dry, sunny days- imagine what is going on when it’s raining… need I say more?

I can wash my hands in innocence, I am not part of this group- I prefer to bitch about them and make my boys walk!

Strolling home   photo: C. Waschko

Strolling home photo: C. Waschko

Now that this is off my chest, it is time to cook dinner- again- I will see you tomorrow!

Just a reminder, this was the first entry of my 22 day challenge!



Sophisticated Morning Talk between Spouses

If you want to watch harmonious gender division, come and visit us on any given school day early in the morning.

What you will find is the wife in action  (aka, multi tasking to make sure the children will go to school on time, neatly dressed, their lunch boxes filled with nutritious, delicious goodies)  and the husband sitting on the couch, reading his TIME magazine.

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In his mind, there is no better time to strike up a meaningful conversation with his wife than between 7.15 and 8am. The wife loves his attempt of keeping her informed and educated about bigger things in life other than the stain on his shirt and a reminder for an oil change.

It goes something like this:

Husband: “Did you know there are more than 100 million sharks killed each year?” (Times, March 18, page 9)

Wife, thinking: Did Cruz feed his fish yesterday, need to go to pet store, we are running out of fish food.

Aloud: “Mmh?”

Husband: “Hey lovey, listen to this, this is funny,  ( quote) “We make the modest proposal that the negotiating rooms should in future be an inebriation-free zone.(Times, same edition, page 8)  These delegates….”

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Wife has water running, concentrates to make orange juice out of concentrate. Is thinking to herself  “what was this all about?”

Aloud: “Mmh, interesting.”

Husband thinks this quote is hilarious, wonders why wife isn’t laughing and gives in to his desire to read it again. Still, no response from wife.

Somehow this reminds husband of an article in the PROVINCE from a few weeks back: “What about the story on gentrification in downtown Vancouver?”

Wife is thinking: I need to remember to write the cheque for school, how much was it again?

Husband rambles on, “Listen to this, this is quite interesting, “All you need to know about sequestration but were afraid to ask…”

Wife, aloud: “Boys, you need to give me your thermo containers back, hurry.”

Wife is cooking lunch, ravioli in pot is heating up, starting to boil and all she hears is this:

“….pulling out of Iran over next 22 months.”

Wife thinks “What is going on in Iran, who is pulling out? Is America pulling out?

Wife is brave (or dumb) enough to open her mouth to ask this question to her well informed, well read husband.

All he does is looking at her, shakes his head in slight desperation and thinks, Help, whom am I married to.? Aloud he says:

“Iran? I said Afghanistan – do you remember, it is the longest mission ever Americans were involved in?”

Wife thinks “Oops, need to get my ears checked, why is he talking to me now anyway, I am cooking lunch?”

This is the one that nearly killed her: “Lovey, can you get this, listen up  The record for continuous gum chewing is 135 sticks over 8 hours. Assuming he chewed one fewer stick during the final hour than each of the previous 7 hours, how many sticks did he chew each hour?” (Times, Feb.25, p.53)

Wife thinks,  He must be joking.   Aloud: “Mmh, clever question!”

Isn’t my husband a sweetheart? I consider myself a lucky woman, being married to this fine, young, well informed man! As I said earlier, he makes sure I am in the loop of what’s going on around the world. Unfortunately, most of the time I have no clue what he is talking about; and I mean literally. I have no clue what he is jabbering about, I have never heard of these words before! He is a native speaker and therefore comfortable with the TIMES vocabulary, not me!

Still, I appreciate his efforts and hopes that after all these years some of the more sophisticated words may have rubbed up on me – or not!

This reminds me of an incident from a long time ago.  I did my PADI diving course in Byron Bay, Australia. On the first day of the course we were discussing what you can’t do under water, wetsuit and all. One of the things you can’t do is fornicating! Did I know what that means? Of course not. I was the only foreigner amidst a group of Australians. They swore themselves to secrecy and kept me in the dark for the whole week – meanwhile my brain was working overtime about the action called fornication. What is it you can’t do under water with your wetsuit on….?


WINNERS aren’t BORN, they are MADE!

Last year they started out as a loose bunch of High School students – with no ties or connections to each other. The only bond between them was their shared love for the game, to play soccer! They were categorized as the bronze team, the lowest team to play in.

Yesterday, they were crowned undisputed Winners and Champions in their league!

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Our Bulldogs team went straight to the top in 23 undefeated (!!!) matches; come rain, come shine or snow! We travelled to the furthest places ( to a German that is, for a Canadian it’s just around the corner) or played in our own neighbourhood. We mothers huddled together under big umbrellas, sat on cold benches, wrapped in blankets or sleeping bags, we made the most of every cold morning!

Yesterday, it all came to a crescendo! God, my heart warms and jumps with joy when I see our healthy, strong, dedicated and handsome (!) sons!

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It all comes down to a good leader or coach, right? Somebody who can awaken the giant within you? Somebody who will start a burning desire to succeed, somebody who will let you know ‘we stand strong as one, together as a team’.

When you read this it sounds quite sophisticated, complicated, technical or challenging, wouldn’t you agree? At the end of the day, a coach can make or break the team!

Who needs Antony Robbins when three highly motivated fathers can do the same thing? Three dads who wanted to spend some more time with their lads in the evening! Let me call them Phil, Zack and John.

All they did was put on their coaching suits, were their own quirky, goofy selves and – Voila – magic happened. To this day I don’t know if our coaching dads play soccer themselves (they know about the rules though) or if they have any coaching experiences.

I don’t believe I just wrote this, silly me! Of course they do. They are fathers, they are raising children and they just created winners! Whatever they did, they sprinkled the right amount of pixy dust onto our sons; to bring the best out in them; to make them run faster, shoot harder; try harder!

How did they do it – apart from sprinkling the dust? Don’t ask me, I am only the mother who supplied transportation and watched from the side lines! All I remember is their laughter during practice, high fives, our Christmas party, paintballing on a glorious Sunday morning, ice-creams at Dairy Queen, encouraging words during matches and in emails, shouting, yelling, more laughter and encouraging words to our goalie when the occassional, unstoppable ball slipped through his fingers.

Could it be that simple? The magic formula for success is HAVE FUN & JUST DO IT?

Dear coaches, I bow my head in admiration: You taught our sons to believe!

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To believe in themselves and in their team! Thank you!