Monday, March 23, 2015

Thirteen Years

Where has the time gone? Yesterday she was just a baby. Tomorrow she is 13. She has left her childhood years behind forever and entered a new phase of life. She is a teenager.
She is very much the same baby I brought home. She still doesn't like to sleep. She is still as inquisitive as she has always been. She goes to sleep with a head full of wonderful imaginations. She still doesn't like hugs or kisses.
But she is so very different, too.
She is more of an introvert than an extrovert. She is the champion of the underdog. She has compassion for those less fortunate. She has a bulldog determination and likes to figure things out on her own. She is fiercely loyal to her brother. She is very black and white about certain things.
She is very talented. And brilliant.
She plays piano, a little of the drums, and loves to sing. She is passionate about sign language and has learned a little Italian. She has also devoted hours of time to memorizing the book of Proverbs.
This is a little tribute to my beautiful girl. She fills my heart with love, awe and gratitude. She inspires me to improve myself. 
Just looking at her makes me understand how much the Creator really loves me. Why else would He grant me such a beautiful gift?
I love you, Hannah Rose.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Boy And His Bed

Every day, my son begins his arduous task of making his bed. This is an intense process with several Parts. The first step is to begin the day's audio production. This may be Oliver Twist. Or The Horse and His Boy. Or one of Jonathan Park's adventures. Or maybe even an Adventures in Odyssey. He then climbs up his ladder and begins The Animal Stack. Literally. He removes all of his at least 25 animals to the head of his loft bed and makes a perfect pyramid. But before he completes his pyramid, he stops to recite his lines: (this one in particular from Oliver Twist)
"Oh please sir, may I please have more soup?" ~ with the perfect British accent
He then continues stacking, all the while carrying on with this particular scene. He decides, since the task is so difficult, and he has had ever so many lines to say, that he would feel much better after a drink of water. He climbs down his ladder, comes to the kitchen for a drink, and then returns to his room to carry on his task.
Eventually The Animal Stack is completed, so he moves on to Part B in his convoluted task.
He begins by perfectly - and I mean perfect - aligning and tucking in his first bed sheet. Some days this takes longer than others, depending on how restful his sleep was. During this process, he pauses for a soliloquy or two.
I open his door to see which Part of the process he is on. And to tell him for the first (of many) times to, "hustle it up".  "I will, I will, mom," comes the usual reply.
He manages to finish Part B, so begins Part C. The quilt. This seems to go a little faster. He tucks, recites, tucks, recites, and tucks.  The audio drama reaches a crucial scene. He pauses for a fuller effect, and executes his lines perfectly.
Thirty minutes have passed. I have opened his door three times by this point.
He finishes Part C and begins Part D.  The animals. Every animal for a spot. Every animal with a name. Occasionally one falls off The Animal Stack and onto the floor. When this happens he will try one of two things: 1) call for Hannah to come and pick up his animal....and if she is feeling particularly generous, she will; or 2) climb down the ladder, pick up his beloved animal, do a few jigs while on solid ground, enter WHOLEHEARTEDLY into lines because of his unlimited freedom, and eventually ascend the ladder once again.
Forty-five minutes to one full hour has passed.
He finishes his bed and climbs down his ladder. He gets dressed - it is simply not the correct order to get dressed before making his bed.  All in record time.
One hour. Or maybe an hour and 15 minutes. Occasionally even an hour and a half. Depending on the particular audio drama and how many scenes he loved.
And four to five calls from me by this time.
This is a true, every day event. There is the odd exception, like when he really wants to go somewhere and it is dependent upon his having his bed done. In those cases he can make it in 10-15 minutes, just as perfectly.
But I have to be honest. Most days I really don't push it too hard. This is his time, he enjoys it, and he does a perfect job with his bed. Way better than I would if I had a loft bed (which is not easy to make). And if I have the luxury of not having something pressing, I let him take his time.
And in the evening.....this scene is repeated, in reverse order. He sleeps surrounded by his beloved friends, and every one of them has a special spot on his bed while he sleeps.
But again, I will be honest. I am not quite so patient then. I want him to get his bed "ready" because he needs to go to bed.  In ten years' time, alas, I will remember this quirk of his with fondness.
And so I have written this story.......

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Hude Family Circus

You know, I love my kids. I think they are awesome. They do amazing things. Have great personalities.  They are eveything a mother could ever hope for.

But if you were ever to be in a restaurant with us at the same time, you may be just be fortunate enough to witness The Hude Family Circus.

Although their fear of bugs hasn't gotten much worse, neither has it improved. And I still find myself shocked that my 11 year old girl and 9 year old boy could be reduced to toddler age over.....a fly. Yep. A little old stinkin' fly.

Today while at the IHOP for breakfast - a restaurant we don't have at home - the patrons saw an awesome spectacle. My son, with chocolate milk in hand, was the first to see the *monster fly*. The chocolate milk almost coloured the booth fabric a beautiful light brown. Rescuing the chocolate milk (and my son from a most UNcomfortable form of discipline should he have sent the milk flying), the chaos only continued. For my lovely daughter caught sight of the offensive varmint. What resulted over the next five minutes was something like this:

Hannah: Teensy scream....and a duck down in the booth.
Mom: "Hannah! Sit up now!" in a LOUD, urgent whisper.
Seth: At this point, crouching as well says a loud, "Aaahh!"
Dad: "Seth David! Get up now and calm yourself!" in a much louder whisper (he isn't quite as concerned about making a spectacle of himself as I am).

This process was repeated several times, almost verbatim, over the next five or so minutes, except that Seth actually lay down in the booth and Hannah almost slid under the table. This is not even a slight exaggeration.

I was sure the restaurant patrons were expecting to see a bird.....or something like it.....swooping down on my kids trying to make a nest in their hair, based on their behaviour. And if they didn't see the kids, or hear their minor wail, they just may have heard their parents' sharp rebuke and wanted to call Child Protective Services.

We are on vacation. Vacations are supposed to be relaxing. On vacations a family tends to eat out more than usual. I think I will fast the remainder of this trip if this is any indication of what our next time eating out will be. 

Here is hoping The Hude Family Circus has packed up and left town.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Confession Is Good For The Soul

It's been so long I almost forgot my password. And how to type. Or how to make a half decent sentence.
But I'm going to try.
Today I had a phone call from my eldest sister, letting me in on a little insider information about some behaviour she witnessed from my precious, darling, sweet little lamb of a.....son. Apparently he pushed a boy (who is five years younger) for no obvious reason, resulting in the boy falling. As well, my lil-ol'-sweetie-pie ignored her when she instructed him to apologize.
According to my charming lad, this boy was coming toward him to *bug* him. Bug him? BUG HIM? Imagine my surprise that my son doesn't like to be....bugged. The biggest pest of our household (and about half of the city's too, I'm sure) doesn't enjoy the favour being returned to him. I told him I would have a talk with dad when he came home tonight.
I didn't forget, as I'm sure he hoped I would. While he was eating a bedtime snack in the kitchen, I relayed the conversation to his dad, and we talked about suitable consequences. The whole time I knew Seth was in the kitchen, but I wasn't entirely certain he was listening to us because we weren't talking really loud and sometimes he reads while eating. So, I was surprised when dad went on the hunt for Seth, only to find him......curled up in bed for the night with the light off.
He was, umm, a little concerned. And I held back this ripple of laughter trying to come out of me.
He walked tentatively out of his room for a good old chat with mama and papa.
Now, the chat went really well, actually. He explained his position again - that he was just defending himself from being bugged. We explained that it was really too bad what he thought, and that if the worst thing this boy was going to do was be a pest, he should be able to take it very easily since he was the King of the Pest Kingdom. We also said that under no circumstance is it acceptable to push, or hit him. Then we discussed what his consequence would be.
A good 20 minutes into the conversation, he decided it was a good time to come clean on the fact that he disobeyed his grandma while at her house by jumping on the rocker when she said not to.
Scandalous!  As if it was the only thing he ever disobeyed her for! But, it was cute.
It was the kind of confession that I had to turn my head away from him to hide my smirk. He was so earnest. So we very seriously told him that he needed to obey his grandma.
Later, after he was in bed for a while, this was obviously weighing on his mind. He called me into the bedroom.
"Mom, is it alright if I tell __________ (the older brother and his best friend) that my mom and dad said to stay away from ___________ (the younger brother who was victim of Seth's push), because he is such a pest?"
I said that he absolutely could NOT say that since that isn't what we said. We told him that if he got so annoyed by the younger brother that he needed to remove himself from his presence until he could learn how to react properly. I told him that if he felt a need to explain this to is best bud, then he needed to make sure his friend understood that he (himself) had the problem. Not his parents. 
A little later, while kissing Hannah good night, she had a little confession of her own.
"Mom, sometimes _________ (oldest sister, and her best friend) and I grab ____________ (the little pest, and brother) and hold him until he stops being a pest. I heard your discussion with Seth. I probably shouldn't do that, should I?"
And I sit here tonight smiling. Smiling because I have two kids with a super-duper conscience. Seth confessed something totally unrelated to our discussion. And Hannah confessed something as a result of our conversation. Neither one had to, we wouldn't have known the difference.
But, confession is good for the soul. And my kids sleep in peace tonight. And I sit here with a smile.

Monday, December 31, 2012

A Look Back

2012. Come....and gone.
January began with helping settle my Granny into her new private care home, which she had moved into a couple weeks prior. She struggled a bit with the transition, so we spent a lot of time with her to help her adjust.
In February I ended up in Emergency with appendicitis, which required that nasty little thing to be removed. Fortunately, the surgery went smoothly and I recovered very nicely.  February ended tragically, however, with the unexpected death of a much loved family friend, Sherri Long. She is someone who will never be forgotten by all who new her. She loved Jesus and was a Ambassador for Him. One of her greatest thrills was to bring out the best in others, and she truly excelled at this.
March is a month of birthdays for our family. My daughter reached the double digits, turning ten. My Granny had her 91st birthday with much celebrating, and my brother and sister-in-law both finish off the month with a birthday.
Likewise, April begins with Dave's birthday....he is getting ANCIENT....and then a week later it's Seth's (who turned eight). It is also a month of birthdays; my niece and brother-in-law have theirs as well.
May......we finished school. And celebrated.
In June we had three weeks of revival services with the Brother Platania. They are always a great time.  We also had to move my Granny from her private care home into a nursing home because of her advancing dementia and general health decline. Fortunately, the Lord worked it out that she was placed in the home that was our first choice and we were very grateful.  Hannah took her Grade 4 Royal Conservatory of Music in piano and passed with honours. We are very proud of her as she worked very hard for this.
In July we went for a 16 day vacation to the States: North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Colorado. We visited Laura Ingalls Wilder homesteads in three states; Legoland in Kansas City; an underground cavern in Missouri; Mount Rushmore in South Dakota; and tons of places in Colorado Springs, where we stayed for a week - including and especially Focus on the Family AND the kids' beloved Adventures In Odyssey. We also visited excellent churches, Brother Riggen in Kansas City (where we saw my good friend Rachel Goff and her beautiful family), and Heritage Conference in Colorado Springs. Heritage Conference exceeded our expectations with AMAZING preaching and awesome, Holy Ghost anointed prayer and song service. All in all, it was the best family vacation we have ever had. One which the kids will talk about all their lives.
In August my dad turned 70 and we had a birthday bash for him. However, on August 30, my sweet Granny went to home to be with Jesus.
I could stop right here and write a whole post about this remarkable lady. It was difficult to see her swift decline in just over two months in the nursing home. But, she lived a long and full life, and was going to her reward, and for that we can never be sad. But, there will never be anyone like my Granny.  There is a big hole in my heart - and my family's that only she filled. How I miss her!
In September we were able to go amazing services in Calgary. And, my dad stopped his chemotherapy.....which was making him very sick. My dad has multiple myeloma (an incurable cancer of his bone marrow) and had been on chemotherapy for almost a year. It was found it wasn't helping anymore, so his chemo was stopped. He has the option of restarting a different form of chemo in 6-9 months, but the doctor gave him a life range of 1-3 years. This, of course, is very hard news for our family.
Good news in October though, which will always make it a special month for of celebration. On October 28, Hannah was filled with the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, and on October 31 was baptized in Jesus' name.
November began with our church's annual Fun Night. And cold winter. With LOTS of snow.
And now we are on our last day of December. The month and the year flew by. Much has happened. Much has changed. Loved ones have been sick and some have gone on to meet Jesus. New babies have been born into the Kingdom. And, personal goals have been set in my own life, and some of them have been attained.
So, it is with new confidence that I begin this new year.....for in 2012 I conquered. And, although I am far from what I need to be, I am determined to keep this momentum going forth into the new year.
Happy New Year and much love to all!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Don't They Miss This?

Today, this is on my heart:

Many people I have known once knew this Truth.

Some got offended and left.  I ask:

Don't they miss the Holy Ghost?

Some just got carnal and wanted the world.  I ask:

Don't they miss the Holy Ghost?

Some got worn out with the struggle.  I ask:

Don't they miss the Holy Ghost?

Some have been seduced by false doctrines and lies from the devil.  I ask:

Don't they miss the Holy Ghost?

That is the biggest question I have of all. Regardless of offense (and I have been offended), regardless of carnality (and I am - more than I care to admit), regardless of the struggles (and I've had my share), regardless of the appeal of an "easier - *grace-filled* way" can one who TRULY experienced the Baptism of the Holy Ghost function without it? I tried - for just over a year when I was 15 years old. I couldn't. I will never forget the complete, utter, desolation without the indwelling of God's spirit, and the ability to be refilled with it over and over.

There is one thing that cannot be denied about this Truth: The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is an undeniably real, irreplacable experience. I never, ever, EVER want to live without it again.

And I ask: How could anyone else?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Just Like Dad

We've had some really good preaching lately. Not that is hasn't been in the past, mind you, just that maybe God is actually.....getting through. Amazing.  One of the messages my pastor preached was about "improving our position". Since then that phrase has been on my mind regularly.
One of the ways our family has "improved our position" is in daily Bible reading and Bible study (I mean as a family). This should have been done a long time ago and I am ashamed that it hasn't. However.....we are "improving our position" and can only go forward from here. Each of us have picked a book of our choice and we read one chapter a night until that book is finished. Then we choose a different one. Consequently we have several different books being read at the same time, but it's been fun and changes things up a bit. The other thing we have been doing is having the kids learn different foundational truths in the Bible and memorize where to find them. Right now they are learning about the gospel, what the gospel means according to the Bible and where to find those scriptures. My son can actually tell me the gospel that Paul preached and the gospel Jesus preached, where the scriptures are, and summarize what they say.
The most exciting thing for me so far, however, is how our daily Bible reading has affected my daughter. We don't just sit down and read. We sit down, read, and dissect. There are some chapters that every few verses, my daughter stops to ask what something means. I am not the Bible *expert* in my family (ashamedly). Dave is. Really. I have yet to ask him a question that he hasn't been able to answer. If he doesn't know the answer, at the very least he has studied it in depth and gives possible answers. However, there are some nights that Dave isn't home yet....he has been called in to work a lot lately on emergency calls....when my dear daughter asks her questions.
With the electronic age, Dave reads his Bible on his phone. We had been reading my little "purse" Bible. How could we forget Dave's Thompson Chain Bible? We dragged that out last night and I tell ya, it felt like Christmas.  Second about Absalom and Joab and David are chapters that beg for questions and....I found some answers. We finished our reading. My daughter, however, had more questions. She took dad's Bible, did research, and came and told me several things she found out.
And this is really what this post is about.  I am so impressed to have a girl that is like a bulldog when she wants to know something.  She holes up in her room and digs for answers.  If she isn't satisfied with an explanation, she WILL find the answer. 
In this way she is just like her dad.  And that makes my heart happy.