Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sweetness Personified

'Tis the season. And, like all children do, mine spend a lot of time picking these beautiful......flowers......and delight themselves by giving them to me by the handfuls.

Fighting off the temptation to just throw them away when they weren't looking, I decided instead to reciprocate my children's intended kindness by making a bouquet of them. Of course, this made them supremely happy, and so our house has been continually recycled by these flowers, throwing out the dead ones and replacing them with fresh ones. It really is a very easy way to make my children feel pretty special.

So, one evening last week, with all of these warm fuzzies floating around our household brought about in part by the flower-giving episodes, my silver-tongued son outdid himself yet again in his flattery to his mama. While tucking him in to bed and giving him kisses and snuggles, he said to me:

"You know, I sure do like that brown-haired lady right there," he said, pointing to me.

I almost turned around, thinking surely there must be someone else in the bedroom. Sensing my hesitation, he said yet again:

"She has a shirt with stripes on. Yep. That lady."

What can I say about this boy-child of mine? I decided that I am going to enjoy this lovely personality of his while he's young, and let tomorrow (and the potential problems of his charm) take care of itself. With God's help.

For today, he's just my sweet, lovable boy.


My poor girl has been sick for the last couple of days with a stomach flu. Feeling terrible this morning, her dad went in late to work and I went alone on my bus run today.

A couple of kindergarten girls, Tyarah and Jaycene, got on the bus and promptly asked where my kids were. I told them that Hannah was sick. They wanted to know if she had a cold, so I told them what kind of illness she had. They both seemed very compassionate to her plight and I was very touched by their concern.

When they got on the bus after school, Tyarah handed me a piece of artwork that she had made and asked me to give it to Hannah because she was sick. I told her how very sweet that was of her to think of Hannah and that I would be very happy to give it to her. Then Jaycene said to me:

"Remember when Hannah made me a card when I was sick?"

Of course I remember. Jaycene had broken her arm a couple of months ago and, compassionate girl that Hannah is, she decided to make Jaycene a card telling her that she hoped that she felt better soon. She gave the card to Tyarah to give to her. We had never heard back from either of them, so I wasn't sure if Jaycene had even received it. Now, two month's later, Jaycene brought it up and I was very moved with the thought that Hannah's thoughtfulness impacted these girls.

In the last month, she has taken to playing games like "I Spy", or "Let's see who can spell the word........", or even "let's count the fire hydrants......." (exciting, I know) on the bus with the younger kids. All of this went through my mind today and I realized that Hannah really has been extra sweet to these younger kids. And today she is reaping the benefits.

I took home the piece of artwork that Tyarah made for her and gave it to Hannah with her well wishes. What does my sweet girl do? She sits down and writes a note for me to give to Tyarah tomorrow (because she likely will not be on the bus again for one more day, at least). Here is the note:

And so the cycle continues.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Killer Ant

Here's the story.

After coming home with a bunch of groceries, my son decided, for the first time ever, that he wanted to run barefoot into the house. You have to know my son to understand that this is a huge progression for him. He is not the typical boy in that he does not like bugs of any kind and hates getting dirty. Thus the combination of these two things makes running barefoot rather difficult. He might squash a bug or get his feet dirty, after all. I do not know what made him suddenly decide to do this, but I celebrate it as a small victory.

Thus, because Seth managed to successfully navigate the length of the driveway barefoot, it was only a matter of time before his very competitive sister decided try this previously uncharted territory as well. Hannah has grown in leaps and bounds in so many things, overcoming many of her fears, so I wasn't really that surprised that she had determined to try this.

She successfully helped me bring one load of groceries into the house - shoeless - dropping her flip flops in the house after the first trip. She went back to the trunk to grab another bag when, lo and behold, out of nowhere, comes this....................KILLER ANT!...................obviously loaded down with artillery galore. I didn't see it (how could I miss it, I ask?), but I certainly could not miss my daughter's shriek. Nor could my neighbours for that matter.

"Mom!" my daughter hollered. "There's an ANT!" I stood there, unable to rescue my daughter because I was laughing, so she took matters into her own hands, as noted by the picture below:

She climbed into the open trunk. And she wasn't budging. And I was helpless with laughter. I finally managed to go into the house, grab the camera, and return with her flip flops. I took this picture (the sun was in her eyes) and did aid in her rescue after all.

And honestly, I'm still laughing.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Just Random Stuff

See my boy's finger? After sustaining a sliver while playing outside, he underwent minor surgery to remove the sliver. Someone must have mistakenly told my son that his finger was being amputated because I'm certain that you could hear his screams all the way to Regina, so traumatized was he.

He came in the house, tears running down his face, telling me about his finger. I was trying to get a glimpse and finding it very difficult to do so because he would not sit still. Finally able to see the sliver, I told him I had to remove it and he promptly went into weeping and travail.

I don't think I've ever had such a hard time comforting him and fighting laughter at the same time, truly. Sitting on my lap trying to prepare him for his surgery, he asked me:

"Mom, (sniff, sniff), do ssssticks (more sniffing) get slivers, too?"

Honestly, I hid my face behind his head and struggled with all of my might not to laugh out loud. He also adamantly proclaimed:

"There should be no sticks in our yard! We need to get them out of our yard and put them in everybody else's yard!"

His dad, who was working on the deck, came in to see what the fuss was all about. It was decided that both of us would undertake this serious operation, so I assisted by snuggling my son and holding his finger still while dad did the dirty work. While he was trying to get out the sliver, Seth again started to wail and said to his dad:

"Pppplease, dad, (sniff, sniff), go gently!"

I caught a glimpse of daddy's face - he was trying to keep it together like me - and as a result I could barely make it through without cutting up myself.

My sweet Hannah, ever compassionate, stood by my side, all the while asking if she could do something to help. I realized that I was out of bandaids (adding to the trauma), so she went into her bedroom to make Seth a bandaid. The picture you see above is my lovely girl's invention of cut up kleenex, a sticker on top - it must look real you know - wrapped around his finger with scotch tape.

It was a great time, needless to say.


I said that I was going to get pictures of my girl's room some time and post them. This is the result of living the life of a packrat.

See the two beloved Tic Tac containers amidst all of her treasures? She did manage to get rid of some of them, however. I really should take random photos of her room and make up my own I Spy series. Get rich quick, you know.

THE corner. And the end is in sight. That trip to grandmas is coming up very soon because I am getting company at the end of May and they are using HER ROOM. I will try to remember to take pictures AFTER mommy is through with it.

To be fair, she is not a slob anywhere else in the house. She is very helpful and likes things orderly. But, because she cannot get rid of things, she continuously gets herself in a bind. She'll go several days trying her hardest to put her beloved treasures back, and then eventually just gives up. This is the end result. It's not like this every day, but this is pretty much the worst it ever gets.

And finally.......

Today, my niece Rachel took the kids' annual pictures. Here is a sneak peak of the one picture she emailed to me.

Totally captures their personalities. I love it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Music & Tributes

After a long season of listening to Adventures in Odyssey and Jungle Jam in the car, we have finally gotten back to listening to some good, old music. I had bought a CD several years ago that I resurrected. Not having heard it for quite a while, I was missing it. I played it over and over for several days, then changed to a different one. To my surprise, both of the kids requested I put the first one back in because they had enjoyed it that much. I was surprised because the next one I put in has usually been more to their liking in the past.

This got me to thinking about music and the types of music that I like, and particularly, the types of voices that I love.

I like some contemporary Christian music, some choir music, some bluesy-black-soul music, the occasional (.....very occasional, I might add) hip hop song, some country music, and Southern Gospel. In fact, the older I get, the more I love Southern Gospel - at least the tight harmony, non-honky Southern Gospel anyway.

Being the analytical-type of person that I am, I have to ask myself what it is about someone's singing that I like or dislike. There are a lot of voices that I admire greatly for their technical ability, for example Mariah Carey. Not many can touch her vocal gymnastics. However, I am one who has always appreciated the beauty in vocal simplicity as well, so I get very tired of the vocal back-flips when they're overdone. And I believe Mariah Carey, just to mention one, overdoes it. Celine Dion, on the other hand, does not. She can sing sweetly, softly, simply, gymnasticy, powerfully - crescendoing to beautiful heights - and ending brilliantly, all in one song.

I love the singers who understand this - that it's not all about their ability. In fact, I would much prefer a simple singer over a technically great singer who doesn't understand the beauty of simplicity.

The CD my kids fell in love with and which I have always loved is Joni Ayn Clark. I had the privilege of meeting her and hearing her in person many moons ago. She is the "Celine Dion" of Christian music, in my opinion. She sweetly draws you in and leaves you wanting to hear the next vocal "lick". More than all of that, she is annointed. And to a Christian, annointing is the most important aspect of singing.

I want to end this post by paying tribute to a few of my very favorite, local singers. I happen to think that our district - for how small it is, and our own church has some very great vocal talent. I am not writing this to embarrass anyone, simply to tell them I appreciate their contribution to singing and allowing God to use them by annointing their talents.

I have to start with my own niece, Melissa. She recently sang The Prayer at a wedding and SLAYED the song. This is a Celine Dion song - not just anyone can sing a Celine song - and she more than did it justice. I love, love, love her voice. I also love my oldest niece's voice, Amanda, but unfortunately she uses her vocal talents mainly as back-up, focusing more her incredible piano playing ability. I do believe, however, she would be phenomenal as well if she were to ever sing more lead vocals.

In our district, the standouts are Amy - I love the sweetness and purity of her voice; Becky - I do not get to hear her half enough, but I love her husky alto voice and always have; and how can I not include Misty - the voice I miss, but love - singing to beautiful heights untouched by others.

And last - but certainly not least - is Vren. How I love you AND your voice! Your spirit! Your annointing!

It's not easy to balance vocal ability, artistry, simplicity and humility - and I love you all for your ability to do it.

This might seem like a different post. But while I had it on my heart to write it, I did. God bless you all.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


This is what happens when Tarzan swings from his curtains. This is why I highly doubt I'll redo his bedroom before he's 14. Up until that time, he can proudly bring his friends into his room - still decorated with Thomas the Tank, Disney's Cars, teddy bears and such like. I'll then show his friends a picture of this as explanation of why my son has been so deprived.

He is currently serving a two week restriction from the computer, as well as getting no bed time stories in that time frame. His dad chose this latter punishment so he can lie in his room, listen to his sister get a story, and look up at his curtain rod (which will be left just like this until after this two weeks) and remember that monkeys really do belong in the jungle.

I must say that when I first discovered this a few days ago, my little sonny-boy was a little concerned when I told him that I was going to give dad a call. To be fair, I usually take care of any discipline that happens while the kids are in my charge (which is 90 percent of the time) because I don't want dad to be the big-bad-booger. However, I really didn't have any wonderful ideas on how best to handle this one. I didn't want to over or under discipline and I didn't want it to be typical. Anyway, when dad walked in the house to go and take a little peek, it was so quiet in the kitchen (we were eating lunch) you could have heard a pin drop. When dad asked him what he thought should be done, he replied,

"Get a spanking?"

"Really? You really want a spanking?" dad asks.

"Well, no, I don't," was his answer.

Not believing a spanking would really deliver the intended message, his discipline was delivered as stated above. It took him one whole day, however, to inform me that he "thought it was about time he got to use the computer again". He really has no clue how long two weeks is, but he sure will by the time he has served his sentence by the middle of next week.

This afternoon I made sonny-boy lie down, a typical Sunday afternoon ritual for all of us. Kissing him before I left his room, he very seriously informed me that,

"I really don't think that we should tell dad."

Surprised (and stifling a chuckle), I asked him what we "shouldn't tell dad about", because I hadn't a clue what the little turkey had done this time.

"That I smashed the sidewalk chalk." (Gasp!) They had been playing outside decorating the sidewalk earlier.

"How did you smash the sidewalk chalk?" I asked, having full understanding of the severity of this sin.

"I threw it against a rock!" he stated.

After I left, I whispered the story to daddy to share a good laugh.

Perhaps his little conscience is improving. After all, it is not typical for sonny-boy to confess a sin before it is discovered.

Perhaps things are looking up.