Sunday, April 27, 2008

My Sweet, Sweet Girl

I have nothing profound to write tonight, just something about my sweet girl. Sometimes I think that because my boy is such a rascal he gets more of the lime light. I find it more natural to tell a funny (or aggravating) story about him than I do a sweet story about her.

Lately she has been into writing notes. The latest notes have all been the same: I love you, with a name attached. Before Seth's birthday party she asked me who was all coming, how to spell their names, and wrote a note for everyone with "I love you" on it. She did this again before we went to see Dave's family and melted a few people's hearts in doing so. The other night at church she handed me a note that said, "Mom, I love you", and later Seth handed me one that Hannah wrote for him that said the same thing. I had a couple of ladies in the church mention how sweet this was. It is.

I have several of these notes tacked up around my house. Every time I look at one my heart melts. This is the same girl who took until she was about three months of age to bond with me. This is the same girl who until only in the last year or so was totally "daddy's girl and daddy's girl only". This is the same girl whose main love language used to be "Quality Time" and I believe has now changed to "Words of Affirmation" with a bit of "Physical Touch" thrown in. This is the same girl who didn't seem to need many kisses and hugs, but who now hugs, kisses and snuggles me regularly. This is the same girl who tells me countless times a day that she loves me, sometimes to infinity.

She has changed and matured so much in the last year. She is beginning to love people more and more - she used to hide and not like meeting new people. She shows affection all the time. She loves her brother to distraction - in between fights anyway.

And she loves me. And daddy. And hopefully one day Jesus.

What more could a mother ask for?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Stressful Traveling & Lighthearted Moments

This last weekend was quite eventful and one I hope not to repeat for a very long time. After going to Edmonton on Thursday to see Dave's family, we left Saturday to go to Calgary, planning to stay one night. I really needed to go to the Canadian Home Education Resources store to pick out Hannah's curriculum for the year since they were not at the home school conference in February and this was the closest store for me to go to in Western Canada.

Since hindsight is always 20/20, I wish we would have just come home on Saturday as usual. Then we would have missed THE STORM. The storm that almost gave me ulcers on Sunday morning, listening to the forecast and road conditions. I honestly don't think I've ever felt so "pinned in" in my life. Every way home was forecasting terrible conditions in the weather and/or highways. I tried to convince Dave to stay an extra day, but because the weather was not predicted to let up at all for several days, he said we were coming home and would just drive very slowly. One day of work missed is one thing, but several days missed is another altogether.

We left around 10:30 from Calgary on Sunday morning. We decided to drive through Edmonton, an extra two hours, because it was double lane all the way. That was definitely a good decision. Even today I'm reading road reports about the Kindersley/Rosetown highway we usually take home from Calgary still advising against travel at all.

It took us 11 hours to drive to North Battleford (an hour and a half away from Saskatoon and normally about 7 hours). We arrived bug-eyed and totally worn out so we ended up getting a hotel in North Battleford to give everybody a rest and make the rest of the trip home in the daylight. The trip home today was a piece of cake in comparison, so we're finally home, able to sleep in our own beds.

Thank God for his protection, truly.

On a lighter note, one of our stops on the way home yesterday was in Vegreville, Alberta. While taking Seth to the bathroom in Wal-Mart, my social boy was talking and singing in the bathroom stall when he heard someone else come into the bathroom. He asked me if someone else had just come in and I said yes. So, he proceeded to yell at the top of his lungs:


To which I quietly said, "Seth, shhhh." He ignored me (surprise, surprise).


Obviously the person had no sense of ha ha because they didn't answer him. I really don't understand people like that. I can't imagine going into a public bathroom, having a little kid in a stall holler at me what Seth hollered, and not laughing out loud. But maybe that's just me.

Anyway, it was a nice, lighthearted moment in the midst of a stressful day. I'll take those any time.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I Stand By The Door

I stand by the door
I neither go too far in nor stay too far out
The door is the most important door in the world.
It is the door through which men walk when they find God.
There's no use in my going way inside and staying there
When so many are still outside and they, as much as I, crave to know where the door is
And all that so many ever find is only the wall where a door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind men with outstretched, groping hands
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door, yet they never find it.
So I stand by the door.

The most tremendous thing in the world is for men to find that door--
The door to God.
The most important thing any man can do
Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands and put it on the latch--
The latch that only clicks and opens to the man's own touch.
Men die outside that door
As starving beggars die on cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter
Die for want of what is within their grasp
They live on the other side of it, live because they have found it
Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it
And open it and walk in and find Him.
So I stand by the door.

Go in great saints, go all the way in
Go way down in the cavernous cellars and way into the spacious attics
It is a vast roomy house, this house where God is.
Go into the deepest of hidden casements of withdrawal, of silence, of sainthood
Some must inhabit those inner rooms.
And know the depths and heights of God
And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is
Sometimes I take a deeper look in, sometimes venture in a little farther
But my place seems close to the opening
So I stand by the door...

I admire the people who go way in,
But I wish they would not forget how it was before they got in
Then they would be able to help the people who have not yet even found the door
Or the people who want to run away from God again
You can go in too deeply and stay in too long and forget the people outside the door
As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place
Near enough to God to hear Him and know He is there
But not far from men as to not hear them and remember that they are there too.
Where? Outside the door.
Thousands of them, millions of them
But more important for me, one of them, two of them, ten of them
Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch
So I shall stand by the door and wait for those who seek it.
I had rather be a doorkeeper, so I stand by the door.

--Samuel Shoemaker

Oh to know the depths and heights of God, and to be a doorkeeper!

This one made me cry.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Most Recent Pictures.....

When I see the two of them standing together, I realize just how tall Hannah is. She is taller than the average 6-year-old.

My photogenic girl, all dressed up ready for church.

Of course, here's Seth making his "Calvin" (of Calvin & Hobbes) face, one of the faces which he makes quite often. This picture very much reflects his personality.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Today was Seth's fourth birthday. He was a total stinker most of the day. Part of the reason is he is just getting over being sick, starting last Friday with a cough, fever and vomiting, to now having a full fledged cold. The other reason is that he is just.....well.....four, I guess. I hope.

Because we had to have his party last night, it was a late night, and so the day started out with him tired as well (another reason for his stinkerness). We usually have the kids open their gifts from us on the morning of their birthday, but decided because it was so late last night that we weren't getting him up before Dave went to work, so Dave came home at noon.

I know he is only four. I know he is a boy. I know he is sick. But having no one I know to compare him to - only nieces birthdays in the past - I really don't know how much of his behaviour today was typical and how much shows that he has been "over-indulged". I honestly don't remember him being like this at his third or even second birthday. His nonchalance during gift opening (displayed somewhat last night as well during his party) had me stewing for the rest of the day whether I had a spoiled kid on my hands. The only thing he showed a modest amount of excitement over was his new bike.

While I was making lunch, he asked me to help him with his airplane. I told him he'd have to wait until I could, as I was making lunch. He wouldn't quit and was almost at the point of breaking it, so I put it up where he couldn't reach (where eventually all his NEW toys ended up because of his behaviour). Then he spazzed on his grandma for even touching one of his new toys. I sent him in the corner. He was traumatized, so much so that he surpassed his sister's talent for dramatics, hands down (I really don't know where they get this from, honest). This was our conversation:

"Mom, I want you!!!" - Seth wailing.

"Turn your head in the corner, Seth and stop talking." - ME.

"But mom, there's bugs on the wall!!!" - Seth in hysterics.

"There are no bugs, Seth. Stop talking. You're not coming out until you STOP." Again, ME.

"But mom, there are bugs on the wall!!!" - Seth persisted.

I ignore him for a while because I realize there is no reasoning with him. There is no ignoring him, either.

"Mom, I'm going to frow up." Seth.

"Throw up then." Me.

"Mom, I need the pail, I'm going to frow up!" Seth.

"Throw up on the floor if you need to, Seth." Heartless me. I almost laughed out loud at this one. This is the same boy who pushed away the pail when he was sick on Friday because in his little mind, the pail was the problem.

"Mom, I want you!!" Seth.

Seth will not be ignored in the corner. He just will not. It doesn't matter how much I tell him that all he needs to do is stop crying and stop talking to get out, he always responds with, "I am stopping, mom", all the while continuing to cry and talk. As a result he is in the corner far longer than necessary and eventually I end up letting him out after he manages approximately five seconds of quiet, at most. I know, wonderful parenting.

I made him lay down for a nap after lunch and told him when he got up - if he slept - we'd go out and start teaching him to ride his two-wheeler. He slept and got up in a significantly better mood. He reminded me the second he got up that he wanted to go out and ride his bike. I said I would finish the dishes first and to get ready while I finished. This started the session of, "I can'ts".

"Seth, go put your socks on, please." I do say please most of the time, really.

"I can't put my socks on." Seth.

"You can put your socks on, Seth." Me.

"I can't put my socks on." Seth.

"Four year olds that can ride bikes can also put their socks on, so the choice is yours if you want to ride your bike." Me.

Off he runs to his bedroom to - miraculously - put on his socks, all by himself.

"See mom, I've got my socks on, all by myself." Seth.

"Good. Now go put your coat on." Me. I really do "praise him up" more than this usually, but today I was already tired of his behaviour and didn't. Probably should have, yes, but didn't.

"I can't put my coat on. I need help." Seth.

"Yes you can Seth, if you want to go outside." Again, me.

Off he runs to his bedroom, grabs his coat and brings it out. He then proceeds to whine and whimper the whole time he's trying to put his coat on. He gets one arm in one side and can't grab the other and fusses and complains.

"I can't put my coat on!" Frustrated Seth.

"Seth, you've put your coat on before when you wanted to, if you really want to go outside, you'll get it on again." Mean me.

Again, miracles. He got his coat on. Himself. Hannah comes into the kitchen at that time and he says, "Hannah, I got my coat on all by myself!"

"Seth, go down to the landing and grab your runners, please. And put them on." Me.

He runs down to the landing, grabs his runners, brings them upstairs and sits at me feet. He proceeds every which way to get those runners on, again whining the whole time, but because I can see he really is trying and not succeeding (although he has before - dramatics again perhaps?) I give him a hand this time. There. He's ready to go.

We go outside. For about ten minutes, tops. After trying to show him over and over again, and having Hannah demonstrate over and over again, I realize he is much too lazy to pedal a bike and just wants to be pushed.

I'm afeared I have a lazy boy on my hands. And I made him that way. This is another way he has been "over-indulged". And I'm "reaping the rewards". Yes, I know, I've been short-sighted. It's not that I didn't see this potentially happening, I just thought eventually we would get past this and he would, ta-da, not be lazy anymore. I have helped him way too many times because of my own impatience to get things done, and because I've been sweet talked by him. It's true. What else is a mother to do when her boy crawls on her lap, kisses every square inch of her face - no joking - asking for help?

"Mom," kisses on the the cheek and chin, "I", more kisses on the other cheek and forehead, "need" kisses on the ears - no joking - nose, eyelids, "you", HUGS.

As I said, what is a mother to do? With her totally wonderful, lovable, kissable, lazy, spoiled, cute, amazing son?

Be more consistent, I suppose. For his sake.