Monday, July 28, 2008

Over The Top

Today was a circus at our house. So much so that my mom actually asked me if my son could be bipolar. What? I thanked her very much for her kind words of encouragement and then explained (not very sweetly, I might add) to her what bipolar really was. What I did question, momentarily anyway, was whether he had developed a sudden case of ADHD.

Seth was sick on the weekend. He had a fever for two days, had no appetite and was lethargic. He got to sleep very late Saturday because he was restless from his fever and woke up totally miserable, so I kept him home from church Sunday morning. He sprang back very quickly Sunday afternoon and finally ate decently so I decided he was ready for church Sunday night.

The problem was that he again didn't get to bed very early, because it was as I was driving home that I thought I saw that funnel cloud and, not wanting to land in Oz, turned tail and ran. As a result I didn't get him home and in bed until 11:30. That is very late for a boy just recovering from being sick and not getting enough sleep the night before.

I really thought he would sleep late this morning. He did not. He was up by 8:00, bouncing - way more than usual - right from the start. He went into Hannah's room and ended up wrestling with her. By 10:00 he was so over the top - with his sister being not too much better - that I told them we were having a very early nap, like 11:00, gave them a much bigger than normal breakfast to tide them over a missed lunch, and made them lie down.

I really thought he would go to sleep right away, he was so obviously tired. He didn't. He called me within a half hour to say he had to go to the bathroom. He went very little. Ten minutes later he said he had to go again and again went very little. When he said it a third time ten minutes later, I warned him that if he didn't go he was getting a spanking, so he managed to squeeze one last drop out. Poor child's bladder must have been bursting. That took up a whole hour.

In hour two he sang. He kicked his walls (not in a fit of temper, just out of boredom). He did everything he could to keep himself awake. His sister was, again, not much better. She tried to negotiate getting up. I told her the deal would be that if she didn't want to sleep then that she was going to bed very, very early. She agreed - for about ten minutes. In the meantime, I decided to lie down with Seth. I had been wanting to catch a few winks myself because my night was very late, but I knew it was not possible with my toad-face still awake, calling me every 15 minutes.

I lay down beside my son. This is when I have a hard time staying mad, because he always attacks me with kisses and hugs. As he was smooching my face and stroking my cheek, he said, "have sweet dreams" over and over. A chuckle snuck out, much to his delight, because he promptly began his comedy routine.

He just could not lie still. He began kicking his walls again, so I told him to stop. He told me that, "I don't think that God should have made walls!" to which a chuckle again escaped. This prompted a full-fledged gymnastics routine on his bed - after all, if mommy was laughing it must be safe to jump. And jump. And jump.

Now I know that I shouldn't let him jump on his bed, and most of the time I don't let him. But the kid had so much nervous energy I didn't know what else to let him do and by this time I had basically given up on our sleep. Besides, what kid does not jump on beds whenever it can be snuck in, right? It was 2:00 - three full hours later.

We got up and got ready to go to the store (a chore I was avoiding in the morning and couldn't any longer). Before we got out the door he started singing: "One, two, buckle my shoe.....". I cut in with "three, four.." and he said, "close the door." I said, "five, six..." and he said, "pick up sticks." I said, "seven, eight..." and he said,

"The big fat hen!"

I laughed hard - I couldn't help it. He belly-laughed with me, although he had no idea what was so funny.

The circus ended at 8:00 tonight. He was more than ready to go to bed, and I was more than ready for him to go. I have several blessed hours alone before heading there myself.

I'm praying the circus has left town tomorrow.

Scary Storm

Tonight after church, my darlings and I went out to Tim's with my sister. At about 9:30, I turned on to Avenue W, one of the last streets I turn onto to get to my house, heading south, when I saw a sight much like this picture above. Actually, what I saw was much clearer than this picture because it wasn't raining yet and the funnel was even slightly closer to the ground than this.

I honestly thought I was imagining it. To be truthful, I still wonder, because there was not one report of a funnel cloud being spotted in the south end of Saskatoon tonight. There were funnel clouds and tornadoes all reported north of Saskatoon, but none south. I was a bit freaked out, to say the least. My house was a very short distance from this presumed funnel cloud.

Needless to say, I played chicken and turned around and went to my mom's house. She lives in a basement suite and I felt a little safer there. My basement is in total disarray and if the kids and I would have had to go there we would have been stranded in a tiny 4' x 6' area - no kidding, and I couldn't imagine being there for any length of time. At least we could play games and read at my moms.

I'm interested to know if anyone else saw anything south of the city Sunday night. Also, would you have played chicken and ran like me? My husband, who was working at the time, has very little concern about things like this and sometimes I feel a little bit sheepish after it's all over. I don't freak out in storms like I used to, but the funnel cloud definitely unnerved me.

Any other witnesses?

My Testimony - Part Five

Tell me, what mother would want their teenage daughter to move away? Now that I'm a mom, I can understand the pain this would have caused. However, I knew where God wanted me to be and I knew of no other place than in Saskatoon. I'm not saying that there was none, I'm just saying that I didn't know of any. My aunt and uncle, who were new members of this church, had offered me a place to live if I wanted it.

My mother was not at all happy. It didn't matter that I was significantly different when I came home. She couldn't understand why I would not just go to a church in Melville and live at home. She couldn't understand why I would want to radically change my lifestyle. And the thought of her daughter moving away overshadowed any improvement she saw in me.

So I waited. And prayed. I went back to school and back to volleyball; I had nothing else to do.

I will never forget the phone call one Friday in November, approximately one month after I was baptized. I was called to the office while at school and told that my mom had phoned and to call her back. I was a little concerned because I did not remember my mom ever calling the school before. When I called her back, the first thing she said to me was, "How would you like to go to Colonsay this weekend?" Somehow I knew she didn't just mean for a visit, so I asked, "You mean, to live?" And she said, "Yes." I said, "Yes, I do want to go," so she told me to clean out my locker and bring everything of mine home from school.

Just like that. Miracle number three.

To this day, my mom can't explain what happened to her. All I know is that one day she was adamant I wasn't going anywhere, and the next she was calling me at the school asking me if I wanted to go and to clean out my locker.

I left the school that day without telling a soul that I wasn't coming back. I don't remember even having any kind of nostalgia as I was leaving. My heart was singing. God had answered my prayer, and in a very short time.

I went home and packed my bags. We didn't get away until Sunday afternoon, but on Sunday night I walked into church and miracle number four happened.

Now my friends, the reason I believe so strongly in the bible and this truth is because I obeyed the scripture and, in turn, what the scripture said would happen did happen.

Then Peter said unto them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off. Even as many as the Lord our God shall call."
Acts 2:38, 39

I had repented and was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ one month prior. I obeyed the bible. And the bible said that, "ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." I received the promise - just like the bible said I would.

That Sunday night, the second time I had ever been to a Pentecostal church, I received the gift of the Holy Ghost. The reason I knew I had received it was because the bible speaks very clearly that the sign of it shall be that you will speak in another tongue. When your tongue is speaking a language that you have not previously learned and you can tell you are not in control of - well let's just say, there's nothing like it. It is truly a supernatural experience from God, meant to confirm that he has given you His Holy Ghost. And once received, it is truly undeniable.

And my life changed dramatically. My natural tendency to worry did not leave overnight, but what did come was true peace. And my anxiety began to improve and change in way that no counsellor could ever help me change. I had hope like never before.

For a very short time I lived with my aunt and uncle and went to church. It was only a short time because God provided miracle number five: My dad got a job at the Potash Mine in Colonsay and moved there within a few short weeks. When God answers a prayer, He answers it just right. God does not desire families to be split apart, however, He does require Himself to be put first in our lives. Since I did put Him first and was willing to leave my parents to do so, He brought them to me. How cool is that?

My mom is now a true advocate for our church. She does not attend herself, but she has always said that if she ever decides to give her life to God that she knows where she would go. My dad has always remained a friend of our church.

And God, gracious and wonderful God, has been truly merciful to my family.

I can never give Him thanks enough.

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Testimony - Part Four

There are those of you who read my blog because of my kids' quips, because I've been told that. And I really appreciate that you do. Just please bear with me while I finish up my last two posts. I promise I'll get back to lighthearted.

My dad and I, and an acquaintance of my dad's who was a minister of another organization, went to my brother's baptism on that Sunday night in October of 1981. I think my dad wanted him to come along to check out this church, to be quite honest.

I will never forget walking through those doors. For those who may not know this, Pentecostal churches pray prior to service starting - out loud, and with much enthusiasm - so it can be a little scary for a first time visitor who is not familiar with this outward display of worship and prayer. I was freaked out, to put it bluntly. But, since this was the church that God told me I was looking for, I went downstairs to the bathroom and prayed. And this is when God gave me what I call my second miracle - because I'll never forget the instant lifting of my fear. It was the first time that this had ever happened to me. I prayed specifically and asked God to take away my fear, and God instantly took it away and gave me peace, just like that. And it made a huge impression on this 14-year-old girl. It reinforced that this is where I was supposed to be.

I went upstairs and was thoroughly pleased to be in the rest of that service. I loved the exuberant song service (even when my brother, who shared a song book with me, clowned around singing We Shall See The King by doing the echo part in my ear, making it hard for me not to laugh!).

After the preaching my brother got baptized. He was fully immersed in water (because the word baptize comes from the Greek word baptizo, which means to fully immerse) in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of his sins, just like Peter commanded in the book of Acts (Acts 2:38). I stood behind the baptismal and watched. And I had never in all my life felt anything like that. I cried like a baby. I shook under the power of God. I repented and asked God to forgive me for my sins.

When my brother was done, I asked the pastor if I could be baptized. I remember his skepticism - after all, this was the first time I had ever been in the church and baptism is a serious step of salvation only to be undertaken after someone fully repents. However, he was sensitive to God, because he told me that if my dad said I could that he would baptize me. So I went to my dad and asked him. He asked me what I would wear home, so I produced my hidden set of clothes. And my dad gave me permission to get baptized.

And this, my friends, was truly the most remarkable thing that happened in my life up to that point. A 14-year-old girl, weighed down by the cares of this life, full of anxiety, worry and fear, carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders, went down in that water in the name of Jesus Christ and came up with her burdens lifted. And that is the truth. I had never experienced anything like it. To actually feel carefree and at peace. Instantly. I kid you not.

My full salvation experience is still to be shared, as well as the last miracles that God performed. I'll finish that in the next and last post.

I left church that night with my brand new bible, given to me by the pastor, and rode in the back seat for three hours all the way home. I held that bible to my heart like a mom holds her newborn baby, for I knew I had found the most precious thing life had to offer. When we stopped once to go to the bathroom, I took that wonderful book in with me - I just was not willing to part with it.

I got home not knowing how it was all going to work out, but more sure than ever that it would. And that's the final part of my testimony that I want to share.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Testimony - Part Three

I will always be grateful to my brother. I remember his concern for me during my hardest times because he, like everyone, was at a loss with how to help me. It was my brother who introduced me to the truth. And it was my brother who sacrificed to get me to Colonsay so I could sit in on a bible study.

I logged his initial conversation with my dad in my brain and on one particularly bad day in the late summer of 1981, I asked my mom if I could call my brother. After all, I knew my brother had THE ANSWER. I knew it because God put it in my heart to know it.

It just so happened that they were having a bible study that night and, if I remember correctly, my brother was working the graveyard shift. I don't recall our exact conversation, but obviously he knew that I was again in distress because he offered to come and pick me up - a three hour drive one way - in order for me to sit in on this bible study. He then had to work that night with having had very little, if any, sleep. That's what I call a sacrifice. My brother was only 19 years old at the time and looking back on it now, that was a lot to ask.

I sat in on my first bible study. I remember asking a ton of questions, but to be quite honest, if I was told that the bible said that I must eat green cheese three times a week to be saved I would have done it gladly. That's how hungry I was. And after all, God told me this was what I was looking for.

My brother told me that he was thinking of getting baptized, so I asked him to please tell me when he was because I wanted to be there. I went back home after that bible study with a firm resolve in my heart that I was going to this church at any cost. How it would happen seemed impossible, for while my dad was interested in the church and had an open mind, my mom did not. She was adamantly opposed to it. And I knew that she was the barrier that could keep me from going.

I remember praying every night that God would work out a way for me to go to that church in Saskatoon. And while I had some bad days during the summer, they only got worse when school started in the fall. School - an escape for me at one time - was an escape no longer. Bullies and meanspirited people went there and I had to face them every day. I began the ninth grade in fear and trembling, praying every day to be able to go to that church in Saskatoon. I made the volleyball team and played hard, but definitely not with the same gusto as previous, for I was just biding my time. I knew that eventually I would be going to that church in Saskatoon. Sports had ceased to be the centre of my life and had become just a time-filler.

And so it was in October of 1981, that my brother made that phone call. The one where he told us that he was getting baptized on the next Sunday night. I told my dad that I wanted to go. Fortunately my dad did, too.

And unknown to my dad, I packed an extra set of clothing to take to church. I had determined in my heart that I was getting baptized, too.

And I did - but that's for Part Four.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Testimony - Part Two

My family did not have a lot of money when I was growing up. We moved around a lot. I was in a different town/city for kindergarten through grade three. In grade three, we actually settled in Melville where I lived until the beginning of the ninth grade. That was the longest we had ever settled anywhere during my childhood.

My dad is an alcoholic. I say that with some reluctance because I'm not saying it to degrade him. It did, however, affect our lives as children, as it would any home. The reason we moved around so much was because he frequently found himself unemployed because of his drinking binges. Even while in Melville for those six years, he went through several jobs.

I know his drinking was the toughest on my mom and my brother. I think that it was hard on my sisters and I more because of the constant worry of him being gone and wondering if he would ever make it home. For my mom and brother this worry was coupled with wondering where the next meal would come from or how the bills would get paid. He was generally a "happy drunk". I don't remember him ever being physically abusive with us kids while in that state. Sadly, we would quite often "hit" him up for money because that's when he was the most generous.

Having said all of this, it was my dad who had an extreme curiousity with religion. I remember the great interest he showed in the Jehovah's Witnesses when I was quite young, almost converting. Over the years my dad has told many tales of "bar room proselytizing".

When my brother finished school, he moved in with my aunt and uncle and worked for the Potash Mine in Colonsay. While boarding with them, they began having bible studies with the "then" pastor of the church I now attend. He, being a previous self-proclaimed atheist, started sitting in on the bible studies and gradually became convinced of the truth of the Word.

I'll never forget the phone call that changed my life forever. This is what I call the first miracle in my life. My brother phoned my dad - remember my dad's interest in God and religion - and told him he was having bible studies with a pastor and his family, and that this church "didn't believe in smoking or drinking and that the women wore skirts and didn't cut their hair". Whether my brother said these exact words or not I do not know, what I do know is that this is how it was translated down to me through my dad. I recall my dad hanging up the phone and relaying his conversation with my brother (which was probably meant for my mom).

I do not say what I'm about to say lightly. I did not know God at all. I was always very interested in things of that nature, but I did not have a clue how to find God. And I was desperate; desperate for relief from my anxiety and worry. When my dad relayed the phone conversation with my brother, with the words being something like, "this church didn't believe in smoking or drinking and the women wore skirts and didn't cut their hair", I heard God's voice for the very first time. God spoke to me very strongly and told me that THIS was what I was searching for. That is what I do not say lightly - I really am not a kook. I had never recognized God's voice before, but I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God spoke to my heart that day.

And that day was the beginning of my new life. My first miracle. The day I began to seek God without abandon, without a care for anything in the world, eventually finding Him.

Like I said, this was my first miracle. I have several more to share.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Testimony - Part One

I have always intended to write my personal testimony, mainly because it really is something I want my kids to know and understand when the time is right in their lives. I never knew exactly how or when I would begin, until just a few days ago. I heard a song for the first time called Don't Laugh At Me by Mark Wills, and I knew this would be a good beginning point.

From as far back as I can remember, I was a child filled with anxiety. I can recall having minor anxiety attacks as young as age five or six, although I didn't understand that this was what they were at the time. My main fears were centered around death and dying. I can recall being given Valium for the first time at age nine when our family was away on a trip because my mom just could not calm me down. Because this was over 30 years ago, Valium was given to children in extreme situations like mine. This is not something that would be given today.

When I was 12 I had my first full blown attack of hyperventilation. I had been working up to this in small steps but I will never forget that first time. Of course, I was sure I was dying - that being my particular phobia. My parents weren't home at the time and my poor brother had to deal with his sister, lying on the floor, totally panicked because she couldn't breathe, freaking out over feeling tingly and numb, and lightheaded. I can still see it in my mind's eye.

Around that same time, I got it into my head that I was going to choke if I swallowed any food. An offshoot of my fear of death was my fear of choking. This was not totally unfounded - I had had two incidences where food was lodged in my throat for a short time and could not breathe at all - so this happening to a child with an obsession of dying (ie., not breathing) was even more traumatic.

It was around Christmas time. I can't recall how many days I went without eating but I'm pretty sure it was at least two. My mom took me to the doctor, who sent me on to see a psychiatrist in Regina (we lived in Melville at the time). This doctor told me that if I didn't eat within a day or two that I would be admitted into the hospital in Regina over Christmas. Thankfully, that was all I needed to hear and I remember eating my first, very small bite, on the way home from Regina.

Up until the end of the seventh grade, school was never really a problem for me. It was not one of the main contributors to my anxiety attacks. I was an average student academically; I was average looking; I was neither extremely popular or unpopular; I had friends. I excelled in athletics, and this is likely why I didn't mind school. I poured everything into sports; volleyball, basketball, badminton, track and field, and fastball were my main interests. I was considered the top player in some of the sports, and at least in the top three in all of them. Sports was my saving grace.

And then came the eighth grade.

I really don't know why things changed so suddenly, except to say that more of the kids must have hit puberty and were therefore at their worst. I did not grow an extra finger or develop some anomaly on my face. I still looked the same as I did in the seventh grade. I was not fat (then), in fact I was very skinny if anything.

It began when I was put into the homeroom of a teacher who had ZERO control of the class. As a result, she decided to put ME in between the two class JERKS to separate them. Now how totally dumb was that? Putting a quiet (because I really was back then), mousy girl in between two of the meanest boys was just plain stupid. I cannot list all the names I was called, or should I say whispered, some of them are too vulgar, but it was nonstop while in that room. I also endured endless poking and prodding on my back.

I was not at all like either of my sisters, and how I wish I was, really. Laura would have pounded the snot out of them (and probably won) and Lana would have slain them with a glance and scorned them with her words. I'm serious. Both of them were able to stop any harrassment very early because of their personalities. I was not. I might as well have written SUCKER on my forehead, for I became the target for these bullies and I hadn't a clue how to deal with it.

And my anxiety escalated. I began seeing a counsellor regularly. He recommended that the next time I was poked constantly on my back that I should stand up and deck the guy - seriously. Even if it got me into trouble with the teacher, because it would have been a small victory with that kid. So I tried. And I failed. I remember vividly enduring the pokes, trying to work up the nerve to hit him and finally doing so, only to have him see it coming and block it. And the tormenting increased as a result. The counsellor was dumb.

The worst incident happened on a day when our class was playing fastball outside during our last period spare. I was up to bat. Now remember - ball was my game, and I was very competitive. The problem was that Bully #1 was playing first base and Bully #2 was playing second. I had to make the choice to either strike out or hit a home run or I would be stuck on a base with the bullies. Striking out was not an option for a competitive girl like me, so I told myself I would simply belt it out of the ballpark. Well, it didn't quite work that way. I only made it to.......second base - with the worst bully of the two. The minute I stopped on that base the taunting began:

"You are so ugly, you are so useless. I should just grind you up like a toothpick and stick you back in the ground where you belong! You know what you are? You are a living abortion!"

And something in me broke. I took off running toward the school with my teacher shouting at me to come back. To this day I don't think she said a word to that kid, honestly. I ran into the bathroom in a different wing of the school, went into a stall, locked it and sat on the top of the toilet and cried. I stayed there until the first bell rang. I stayed there until the second bell rang. I stayed there until I was sure not a soul was left in that school. And then I finally crept out of that bathroom, peeked down the hallways, and ran home from school, at least a half hour later than normal.

I informed my mother that I was not going to school the next day. She didn't force me - which was wise. She waited until I was ready, which was the next afternoon. I knew I had to face it eventually, but she let me come to that conclusion myself.

I entered the hallways of the school the next afternoon, only to be met by Bully #2. The first thing he said to me was: "Where were you? Out getting an abortion?"


When I heard that Mark Wills song the other day, all of this came rushing back. And I said to my mom, who happened to be there at the time, "You know, as hard as all of that was, I would much rather be on the receiving end of a bully than to be the bully, any day."

I think of my kids, my daughter in particular who unfortunately has some of my more vulnerable traits. And the mother in me prays and hopes she never has to face that kind of thing; however, the woman in me realizes how it shaped me, I believe, into a better person than I would have otherwise been. And I know it would for her, too, if it ever happened.

Looking back, it was only a very short time after that that I found Jesus. Or should I say Jesus found me. And I wonder.....would I have looked for him as intently had it not happened? I honestly don't know.

Part of the chorus of the song, Don't Laugh At Me:

Don't laugh at me
Don't call me names
Don't take your pleasure
From my pain

I thank God from the bottom of my heart that He used this incident to get my attention. I'm also thankful that, to my knowledge, I have never gotten pleasure out of anyone's pain. I pray to God that I never do.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Lately I've taken a bit of an unintentional hiatus from blogging. I have so many ideas for new posts, but quite frankly they've all been of the serious, soul-searching variety. I seem to go through these phases periodically where I just have to quit clowning around. When I have my serious thoughts in order, I'll blog one or two.

The other reason I haven't posted anything new is because sometimes I feel like I'm repeating myself. I mean, how many of Seth's cute sayings can I write about? I honestly feel like that would be my main material right now because lately he's come up with some real humdingers. Things like:

"Mom, I am being haviour!" when I had a chat with him about his behaviour.

And saying, "Mom, I would be so honoured!" when I reminded him that he didn't have to go to bed just yet because his BIG sister had to go to bed before him (because of some behavioural issues). The kid cracks me up daily, believe me.

And there you have it: I managed to get two of his cute sayings in after all.

I have also begun training to be a school bus driver and find myself very mentally weary. After all, studying a driver's manual and "bus driver rules" can be very tiresome. This is a good opportunity for me to help out a little bit financially because I can take my kids with me on my run. The kids, of course, are very excited about going on a school bus. I'm sure that won't last after the third morning of getting up earlier than usual, but their excitement is nice for the moment, anyway.

So, when I get my thoughts in order, and when I find some new funny kid stuff to blog about, and when my middle-aged brain isn't so fuzzy from studying........I'll write something interesting.

Until then......

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Silly Walk

Tonight I went for a walk around the neighbourhood with my darlings.

It started with Hannah, who suggested we play "follow the leader". So, with Hannah as the leader, Seth and I followed her, sticking our arms out to the sides and going in circles - trying our hardest to imitate her.

Then it was Seth's turn to lead. He did his usual "monkey dance" down the sidewalk with Hannah and I paying strict attention to detail, resulting in three apes walking down the sidewalk.

Then they insisted that I lead. That was a hoot. I made up every move imaginable. Arms and legs were flailing in every direction, much to the amusement of my daughter. She was so impressed, she said, "Wow mom, are you ever good at thinking up new moves!"

Now while we were doing our silly walk, my mind went back to our church fun night a couple of years ago when the youth put on a skit with the same name. In the skit, a man came to talk to the Minister of Silly Walks, requesting funding to improve his silly walk. As a result, a medley of silly walks occurred to show this man how a silly walk really must be done, and to point out his obvious deficiency. It was very well done and extremely funny.

As I'm silly walking down the sidewalk, sometimes following, sometimes leading, I'm trying not to laugh out loud in remembrance of this skit, thinking: "you know, I really believe that my children and I would have qualified for a grant if the Minister of Silly Walks were to see us right now". I also realize how utterly ridiculous I must look to anyone who might happen to be looking out their windows or driving by (although I tried to tone it down a bit if I saw anyone - I do have some pride, after all).

And I think: My kids are having the time of their lives.

And their mother is having the time of her life.

And their mother is also getting wonderful, much needed exercise.

And the last thought I think: Eat your heart out, Leslie Sansone.

When the pastor axes......

Yep. It's Wednesday again. It seems that Wednesday and Sunday are the two days of the week that I get most of my blogging material.

Tonight in church, Seth, who was being a booger as usual, leaned over to whisper in my ear:

"Mom, I need your bible."

I had put my bible away after the text was read because there are times that it is impossible to actually turn to the scriptures during the message because I have a son who demands so much of my attention. I feel I have accomplished much just by listening and catching the gist of the message.

I got my bible out and handed it to him. He promptly hands it back to me and says, quite emphatically:

"Mom, the pastor axed YOU to turn in the bible!"

Indeed. The little twerp just better remember this when he's axed to do something.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Intolerable! Socks!

The first thing that Seth does when he comes home from church is take off his socks. It doesn't matter how cold it is outside or in the house, he only tolerates them when necessary. I'm convinced his feet could be blue (our kitchen floor is cold in the winter time) and he still won't wear socks. Somehow he ended up with the same genetic predisposition as my nieces, Amanda and Melissa. They always abhorred anything on their feet and shed whatever they happen to be wearing immediately upon arrival home. I found this very amusing.

Anyway, after church Sunday night, the usual routine is to head to the bedroom to change into his pajamas. This requires intense supervision. Only occasionally will Seth actually do this on his own. He is able to, but it's much too lonely that way.

I was surprised tonight, therefore, that he ran to his room on his own. I changed out of my church clothes and still hadn't heard the usual, "mom, I need you", so when I checked his room, I chuckled at the pose in the above picture. My son will lay down and relax with his tie on (what man can lie down and relax without taking off his tie?) - but the socks? Intolerable! Apparently he was in no particular hurry for his snack either.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Still Missing.....

News just in:


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wacky Wednesdays

Take a good look at the picture. There are three sticker books, two different coloring books, seven story books, a book of mazes, two I Spy books, a notebook, plastic stencils to make letters, three sets of pencil crayons (because I'm obsessed), Pooh's Number Match cards and an iPaq (not seen in the picture). I don't let Seth bring cars or such like to church because we have wooden pews (which make noisy racetracks), and everyone knows that a boy can't play with his cars without sound effects.

So, will somebody please explain to me why there should be any good reason for my son to be bored in church?

I'll tell you what the problem is. It's Wednesday. I've come to expect them to be one of my worst days of the week - it's a church day. I also believe that years down the road when I look back on this diary, and fondly reminisce, that a large amount of my material will be written about the trials of trying to keep a four-year-old (or three-year-old, or five-year-old - and Lord Jesus, I pray that's all!) content and well behaved in church.

He was cranky just before leaving for church. He found out his daddy was taking his own vehicle instead of riding with us, so he refused to get in the van. Because my neighbour was watching this little drama unfold, I was very careful on how I handled the situation. He got in the van only after I got in and shut all the doors. Now, really, I don't like doing that, and in fact have never done it before. I think it's cruel to pretend to leave your child behind alone (even when they are being turkeys), but of the options I had (because calmly picking him up and gently putting him in the van was NOT one of them), I thought this was the lesser of two evils - because of the nosy neighbour.

Alas - wonderful whining on the way to church. I told him if it didn't stop we would head straight downstairs for some wonderful mommy/son time somewhere in private, a liberty I am more inclined to carry out when I'm around those who know me well.

He stopped. For the moment. In hindsight, I should have just paddled him good and got it over with, because unfortunately the night only got worse.

He was not interested in anything I brought to church. He was in his best pest mode. He bugged his sister (in the guise of just watching her make letters). He bugged me.

And still I didn't spank his bum. Dumb.

Song service starts. He wants to give me wet kisses. I tell him to stop. He doesn't - imagine that? I pinch his cheek. He is shocked - after all mommy pinched his cheek!

And still I didn't spank his bum. Dumb.

He decides he wants his daddy. Hallelujah! I get a few minutes break. During the preaching he paces back and forth between Hannah, daddy and me. He still doesn't want to do any of the activities I've brought. He smiles constantly - you know, that Calvin-without-the-Hobbes type of smile. I want to wipe it off his face. He decides to pinch - or should I say grab - the end of my elbow and says "honk, honk" out loud.

And still I didn't spank his bum. Dumb.

He eventually settles into coloring. Or should I say he settles onto my lap with a coloring book pointing at what he wants me to color. Yep. That's the way Seth colors. By giving directions. I'm sure he's going to have an important job some day giving orders and being lazy (probably for the City or something). But at least he's content for ten minutes, until I decide I'm done coloring - I'm still a bit cranky with him - and tell him he's on his own. He colors for approximately three minutes alone. Then he decides that daddy will help him with this very difficult task and ends up on his knee. Until his big sister realizes he's coloring in her book (I didn't clue in to this earlier). The war is on! She grabs her book away from him. He struts by her and grabs the book (with his bottom lip sticking out a mile). I remove the book from his hands and hand it to her. Then I grab him and try to sit him on my lap. He stiffens like a board.

And I have finally reached my limit. And I did what I should have done three dumbs ago. I know this is where some will say.......well duh! You should be more consistent! Stick to your guns!

Yep, I should. But I was weak and he was stronger. That's not an excuse. It's called being a real mom. And don't worry, I'll get back to it tomorrow when I've again renewed my resolve.

On the way out of church, after his punishment was meted out, I told him he was going straight to bed after his snack. There would be no bed time story. He replied,

"But mom, what about brushing my teeth!"

I told him I thought I could manage that. We pull in the driveway and I realize that I hadn't watered my flowerbed yet. I leave them in the van to finish listening to Jungle Jam while I water my flowers. When they get out, Seth is sniveling because Hannah apparently scratched his nose. It looks pretty serious, so I tell him that perhaps amputation is required. He tells me he needs a bandaid.

We go into the house. He runs into the bathroom and grabs a bandaid. He insists on having it on. So, being the loving parent that I am, I complied (does this remind you of your youngest, Laura?) In all honesty, I just wanted to get a picture of it.

It didn't stay on too long when he realized he couldn't breathe through his nose, which of course, is what I planned for.

Tomorrow's Thursday. I'm sure he'll be back to his angelic self and I'll become the perfect mother again.