Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Letter To Parents

Dear Parent:

In front of the First Elementary School, you will notice two signs. In case you have forgotten how to read, note the picture of the sign to the left to help remind you of what this sign looks like. Just in front of these signs there is several hundred feet of parking.

Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, in between these two signs - picture to my left - there is a spot reserved for something called a school bus. Again, in case you have forgotten how to read, please note the picture at the very top of this letter and have your translator point it out to you.

Now, I realize that you are a special family. Special families are families that think that they are the only ones who would possibly need to stop in a NO PARKING ZONE and that they are the only ones with true, extenuating circumstances. However, I'll let you in on a little secret. Your school, First Elementary, has several special families. In fact, your school has so many special families that you really should consider getting together to form your own Special Family Club. Each of these special families think they have special reason to take up the space designated for a school bus - picture noted above. And because there are so many special people at your school, the spot designated for a school bus to park is taken up many, many times per week. Which means that the school bus has to stop in the middle of the street, hold up traffic, sometimes for up to 15 minutes, and have children walk onto the road to get on and off the bus. As you can see, if you have any brains at all (and herein lies the problem), this is truly not ideal.

This is my suggestion to you. Go downtown to SGI and pick up the newest edition of the Saskatchewan Driver's Handbook. Turn to page 20, subsection 3.3, to the part titled Stopping And Parking. Please read the section at the bottom that says "You must not park where signs prohibit parking". Again, if you need a translator, have your translator read this section for you. Then, turn to page 63, subsection 4.5 to the part titled Traffic Signs And Signals. You will notice many pages of PICTURES, one of which prohibits parking in a school bus zone. And again, have your translator help you understand this if necessary. If you still fail to understand what the meaning of this is, please do everyone a favour and book an appointment to do the written portion of your driver's licence OVER AGAIN. Or perhaps book an appointment with an optometrist.

If all of the above fails to make you understand that, in spite of your specialness, you are not to park in a school bus zone, then perhaps having a parking enforcement officer spend a few days hanging around the school will. Getting hit in the pocket book usually works wonders.

I thank you for your serious attention to this matter. Remember: If the temptation becomes too much to walk that extra ten feet from YOUR designated parking area because you are in a rush to make it to little Johnny's hockey practice or Suzie's piano lesson - a few extra bucks in parking tickets might just make it impossible to pay for those things that are so important to your special family.

Kindest personal regards,

Atilla the Hun
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Bus Driver

Note: Please pray that I overcome the temptation NOT to really hand this letter out at my school. It was written in jest, but my goodness, does it ever tempt me.

Monday, September 28, 2009


It has become a goal of mine to accumulate enough stories of my kids' childhood to eventually amass them into a book to give them when they're older. When they would appreciate them. Like at least by age 47 (if I'm still alive then). If I ever do accomplish this, guaranteed that at least half of the stories will be about my son's misbehaviour in church.

I warned my son during prayer before church last night to stop being a pest. He was tickling my ears, sticking a pen in between my arms, almost poking my eyeballs out, just to name a couple of things. So, we eventually took our routine weekly trip downstairs. To the OLD SANCTUARY (for any Mark Lowry fans).

As we were marching to our secret place, he became concerned.

"I'm still a sick boy, remember," he reminded me, because he has been fighting a seriously debilitating disease a cold, after all.

After giving him two swats on the area where God intended swats to be, he had his cry and we had our chat. After his assurances that he would obey from that moment on (and my managing to refrain from rolling my eyes at these assurances), we left our secret place to go back upstairs. He stopped me at the foot of the stairs to air a concern.

"I don't want anyone in church to see my eyes," he said.

"Why not?" I asked.

"Because they might think I got a spanking," he answered. Now what would possibly give them that idea? I wondered.

We march up the stairs slowly. As we approach the door to the sanctuary, my son stops to take cover.

And so confirms to anyone who might be watching that he is either playing hide and seek, or is in fact, bothered by the brightness of the sanctuary lights.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Impossible Variables

My mom is going to be 65 years old in November. Her main wish for her birthday is that she get a recent photograph of her entire family, since the last one was done 22 years ago. You would think that this would be fairly easy to do, since we have a "budding" photographer in our family, which keeps the cost down significantly.

Well, it isn't, and at this point I'm losing hope that we'll get it done.

The first obstacle is that the only possible time we can all meet AT THE SAME TIME (which is kind of important if you want it to be the entire family) is on Sunday. Every other day and evening of the week somebody is working. Our second obstacle is that we have to have a second photographer, since our budding-photographer-relative kinda needs to be in a few pictures. So, for the last two Sundays we have planned to run home from church in the morning, change into nice casual attire, and then meet at a previously decided location.

It was hotter than normal temperatures the past two weeks. Three records were broken in the province. Except last Sunday. That was the day it decided it was tired of being hot and that the earth needed a drink. And it rained cats and dogs. Obviously pictures last Sunday were cancelled.

Now, today. This Sunday. Sibling #3 (I won't say which one that is, except that she has the youngest children) was concerned Saturday because her youngest child was getting sick. There was also 40 percent chance of rain in the forecast for Sunday. Sibling #3 warned Sibling #1, 2 and 4 of this, so it was decided that they would just have to get up Sunday morning and play it by ear. Sibling #3 was pleasantly surprised that her youngest offspring awoke happy, with no fever, and only a slight cough. The skies still looked gloomy, however, and the forecast still called for 40 percent chance of rain. And, it was very windy.

Sibling #3 discovered, with great bitterness, that the rest of her Siblings had a privilege that she didn't have. Perhaps they never used to have this privilege in years' past, but at this point they have arrived at a place in life that Sibling #3 was not. And that was the privilege of SLEEPING IN. So, while Sibling #3 was up with the dawn, her other Siblings slumbered. She was left to wonder whether pictures were going to take place or not because of the weather. Since Sibling #3 had more work to do to prepare, with younger children, she had to make a decision. And that decision was to awake another one of her Siblings (the one who was least likely to bite her head off) and ask them whether there should still be pictures in light of the cloudy skies and Oz-type winds. Sibling #4 said that she thought we should still plan for pictures, even making the decision just after church if necessary.

Immediately when church was out, Sibling #3 set about trying to convince Sibling #2, the budding-relative-photographer, Sibling #1's wife, and the rest of the relatives at church that since it wasn't raining, even though it was windy, that pictures should still be done. After all, Sibling #4 agreed with her, right? However, it was discovered at that moment that photographer #2 could not make it to the photo shoot. And so thus all plans were again kiboshed.

Sibling #3 called Sibling #4 after church to tell her that pictures were cancelled only to discover that Sibling #1 and Sibling #4 had already discussed it and decided that it was much, much too windy (and cold) for pictures and that they weren't going anyway.

Broken down, here are the unique variables of actually trying to get pictures done in our family:

a) whether it's raining;
b) whether it's windy;
c) whether it's TOO sunny (according to the budding-relative-photographer);
d) whether it's perfect, mostly cloudy, non-windy, non-cold, non-rainy, non-snow weather, between the hours of 1:00 - 3:00 p.m on a Sunday afternoon;
e) whether NONE of the family members, particularly the smaller children are SICK;
f) whether the second photographer can make it or not;
g) whether the spouses of Siblings 1 through 4 get too cranky about the whole process and tell us to jump in the lake (particularly the male spouses of Sibling #2 and 3);
h) whether any of the relatives love one another at all by next Sunday, the next presumed attempt.

I realize this is a lengthy story and it's meant to relieve tension and find some humour. However, to anyone reading this blog, trust me when I say that if you ever decide to try to have family pictures - particularly if your family has more than ONE person - just let that thought pass on by. For the sake of peace, harmony, love, and sanity.

Here's to next Sunday.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Title

We snuck in a trip to the grocery store this morning after my bus run. While in the store, my kids began their usual, "can we get this, mom?" routine.

One of the things they regularly ask me for is the Yop yogurt drink which I rarely get because it's too expensive. I just get regular yogurt instead that's on sale. However, today Yop was on sale, so much to the kids' delight, I stocked up.

Seth had to to protect them, so excited was he. He had to put them on the counter when I went to pay for them, so excited was he. And, so excited was he that I earned a new title today. On the way out to the car, he exclaimed in total delight:

"Mom, you're the best YOGURT-DRINK-PICKER-UPPER, EVER!"

And so today I proudly wear my badge of honour.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Trial By Homeschooling

It doesn't matter how much I tried to prepare myself for this fact, I'm still a little thrown off because of it.


While I remain pleasantly surprised at how long Seth is willing to do school without his A.D.H.D. kicking in, I have been just as unpleasantly surprised at how much he does not retain. Just when I think he's "getting it", he promptly "forgets it".

He is still much better with numbers than letters. With his letters, he is still struggling with his vowels names and short vowel sounds, particularly with remembering the name of "i" and the sound of "e". The first two consonants introduced to him are "t" and "l" and from one day to the next he cannot remember the name of "t", only the sound.

Today I discovered two more problems, both of which almost reduced me to tears of frustration. I was asking Seth to trace his numbers first, and then write them in the spot beside where he traced them. I then got tied up with giving Hannah a speed drill in math and initially was not able to watch him. When I finally looked back at him, he was hung up writing the number 3 neatly (and not doing a very good job), and had not begun by tracing it. Now I do not expect him to write all of his numbers and letters perfectly or even that great. Yet. However, I do expect him to listen to my instructions. And that is what caused my frustration. It did not matter how many times I told him to TRACE the number 3, he would look at me in the face and promptly attempt to write a 3 correctly without tracing it. I had him look at me and repeat my instructions; he still did not carry them out. It was probably close to one dozen times of stopping him, erasing his attempt, and showing him myself (several times with me doing it myself) before he finally cooperated and/or understood.

Then I had him count to 20. He knows his numbers well and has on his own figured out the pattern of counting after 20. However, I had forgotten that for some reason he cannot retain the number 15. When he counts, he skips from 14 to 16, every time, and only does this at 15. Not 25 or 35 or 45, etc. So, I had him count over and over and over from 11 to 20. At least 20 times. He would miss the 15, so I would count with him. He would do it again himself, only to again miss 15. It took until the 19th time AT LEAST, for him to say 15 himself.

I'm sure a large part of it is that he is not really listening. I also know, however, that he will remember something one day, and forget it the next. He has also written his 2's and 3's backward on several occasions, so it's something I want to be cautious of and watch closely. One of the things I was told at a homeschool conference is that there are some studies that show that dyslexia can be caused by pushing a child to read TOO early, rather than letting them wait and read when they're ready. With this in mind, I realize I have to be careful with how much I push my son.

On a positive note, however, my daughter had a great attitude today, the first time since school started. I'm thankful that it all usually balances out. When one is having an off day, the other is having a good day.

Because God knows how much this mama can handle.

Monday, September 21, 2009


I'm pretty sure my 7-year-old is turning 14 tomorrow.

Over the last couple of months and especially since school has started, she has so many ups and downs in a day that my head is spinning. She has not had a day go by in school where she hasn't shown major attitude. One day it will be because she can't write properly; the next it will be because her little brother gets to finish before her; the next it will be because she simply CANNOT make a sentence with the word tree, butterfly and flower. (Her sentence was A tree. A butterfly. A flower.!!!) This from a girl who has written TWO songs.

Then, she'll be the sweetest girl I could ever hope for. She hugs me regularly and tells me I'm the best mom in the whole world and that she loves me - several times a day. This from a girl who generally does not display affection even half the amount as her brother. She offered to wash my dishes tonight and did an excellent job. She carefully folded all of my towels that had been dumped on my bed, and again did a superb job of it. Unfortunately, the attitude showed up when I walked in on her doing it (she was trying to surprise me) and could not be comforted. It didn't matter how much I told her that I appreciated the job she did, all she could say was, "but mom, I wanted to surprise you!"

{{Huge sigh}}.

I cannot imagine what her teenage years will bring, but I'm sure hoping she'll have this part of them over with by then.

Ten more years of this and I'll likely have permanent residence on the fifth floor.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Question Of The Day #2

Question: What could possibly be better than waking up to hugs and kisses and tickles and pokes and ear pulling from your son?

Answer: Waking up to a CONCERT from both of your children, singing Redeemer at the top of their lungs, interspersed with your son yelling "HANNAH!" in outrage because she presumably stole his solo.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dear, Dear Seth

For some reason I have been in the mood to write more lately. I go through these spells where I am "written-out" or that I find nothing that my kids do is funny....:). Then I go through times like now where I think of sentences to write right in the middle of an escapade and MUST write it out. Never have I so enjoyed writing.

This morning Seth woke up and came out to the living room to snuggle. He sat on my lap and told me that he had a dream. I asked him what this dream was about.

"I was wearing a costume," he answered.

"Oh?" I asked. "What kind of costume?"

"Batman," he said. I thought this rather amusing since the only thing he has in the house that's Batman is a lunch bag, which I haven't seen for ages.

"Actually, I would like to be Batman when I grow up," he said seriously, which I again found amusing.

We were sitting there snuggling; he attempted to "win my heart". He did not quite succeed.

"Mom," he said. "It would be alright if you made my bed for me this morning," he sweet talked. It didn't work. He made his own bed.

The sweet moments ENDED in the afternoon.

His behaviour really hasn't been getting better, so Dave and I had to make some serious re-evaluation. If he can't sit still and be quiet during church at this age (when he has gone to church since birth FOUR times a week); and if he can't sit still on the bus for 15 minutes when other younger kids can, then we've - or really I'VE - fallen short on some things.

So, he sat on a chair in the living room today for a total of 37 minutes - 7 minutes were added on. He was told he had to sit there - not lay there - not get off, and could not talk. AT ALL. Now, if this seems cruel and unusual to some, I apologize. In my opinion, however, parents are far too lenient these days on their kids' behaviour in public and I am obviously no exception to the rule. He needs to learn to sit for a time EVERY DAY and entertain himself quietly in his mind. As Dave said to me, "If you want to accomplish this in church, you have to accomplish it at home." And I agree.

He sat quiet for 23 minutes. Then he made a monkey noise, so I added on 7 minutes. He got the picture and was angelic after that. He knows this will be a daily occurrence as long as it takes for him to change his behaviour in public. And I discovered something awesome.

It didn't kill him!

He has also started a new, very annoying phase of mimicking by repeating everything you say. He finds it quite humorous. So far it's easy enough to stop when he does it to me because I just go silent (which he CAN'T tolerate) long enough for him to say something to me in desperation, which I in turn REPEAT back to him. He gets the picture.

It's not the same for his sister, however. She hasn't quite learned how to stop him. Tonight we were having a discussion about how much she has been whining lately. She started crying and said, "Mom, I've been trying so hard not to whine," in a whiny voice. Dear, dear Seth, great little brother that he is, repeated back, just as whiny,


And well, as they say, the rest is history.

A Time To Laugh

Hannah's misspelled word of the day:

scweak (as in squeak)
Just in case you couldn't recognize it

It's things like this that keep a homeschooling mom sane and able to laugh.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hectic Morning

It's been a hectic morning, so the kids are snuggled in their rooms having a bit of a break, while mom is snuggled on the computer having her break.

It guess it comes with trying to juggle too many things at once, which is what I did this morning. Running around doing laundry; schooling Seth; on the phone with the company I bought Hannah's curriculum from to ask a question I just could not answer Hannah; changing loads; starting lunch; and finally, again changing loads.

I had both the kids at the table at the same time because I was helping Seth PLUS giving Hannah an exam. This was the first time I've had to juggle both at the same time, and I got a good idea how difficult it is. Kudos to large home school families, and kudos to public school teachers.

Anyway, as I was going back and forth helping both kids - explaining to Seth what to do, and giving Hannah the next question - Hannah got tied up in knots on one question. She did not know the answer to it and so was unwilling to answer it at all. I was encouraging her to answer the question, even if it was wrong, because I wasn't using this test against her, but more as a guideline as to where she might need more work. Bright mother that I am, I should have clued in that her inability to answer the question made it obvious she needed more work in that particular area. But, I had Seth in one ear saying, "What do I do now, mom?" and Hannah on the other side saying, "I don't know how to answer this one." This was repeated several times until I finally just told Hannah to "WRITE SOMETHING!" (I didn't holler it, but I was exasperated). Wonderful mother that I am.

I finally look over at Seth to see what he was doing. He was supposed to be writing his numbers 1 through 4. I thought he understood that. In the midst of the kerfuffle with Hannah, and his lack of concentration, he failed to do as I said. Instead, in every box where a number was to be I saw a bunch of scribble. Confused, I asked him what he was doing. His answer?


It was much needed comic relief. For both Hannah and I. Yup. A nice tension-reliever for a very busy morning.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hannah's Song

This is not Hannah's first song, it's her second (although it's a little chorus, actually). I adore it, but then maybe I'm just a proud mama. See what you think. I just corrected her spelling, but everything else is as she wrote it. Together we're working on the music (because she asked me to help her).

You're the One of us, Your blessing is true
But when I see Your face
And feel Your warm embrace
I know there is none like You
I know there is none like You.

I don't know, folks, but I think this is pretty good for a 7-year-old. I'm especially glad she wrote it about Jesus. And it sure is precious to me.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Better Than Ice Cream

Before church tonight, Seth asked me if I thought anyone would get the Holy Ghost. I told him that I sure hoped so, but that if he wanted it, he could get the Holy Ghost himself.

"No," he said, "I'm too little."

"You're not too little Seth," I replied back.

His dad joined in the conversation at this point. "How old do you think you need to be to get the Holy Ghost, Seth?" he asks.

"Oh, about 15," he answers earnestly.

His dad made a statement that I think, in its own way, is profound. Dave has a special way of bringing a subject down to a kids' level of understanding and is much better at it than I am.

"Can you imagine waiting to try ice cream until you were 15, Seth?" he asks.

"No," was Seth's obvious answer.

"Well, the Holy Ghost is so much better than ice cream, Seth. Believe me, you want it as soon as you possibly can, and you don't have to wait until you are 15," was his wise reply.

Seth had no more questions. I'm hopeful that it made him think.


One more quick story about my son.

He was a total goober in church tonight, which is very shocking I know. The problem was that I decided not to sit at the back. The kids are old enough now that they should not misbehave and cause too much distraction, and I wanted to sit closer to my oldest niece so that we could corroborate what song to pick for altar call, since I was in charge of it tonight.

Seth was very delighted with this prospect because it meant, as I was soon to see, that he had a much bigger audience to entertain. He so exasperated me that at one point I turned around to one of my nieces sitting behind me and said that I was going to kill him, sit him on my lap so that I could gently talk to him about behaviour tonight and beg him not to do that in the future discipline him at home.

The triple toppers for me came when he: a) refused to come to me when I motioned for him to; b) COVERED HIS EARS again so I couldn't talk to him quietly (although he didn't hit me in the face this time, which he needs to thank his lucky stars and GOD for); and c) stuck his little index finger up at me in a sassy motion to quieten me.

He came home, and after his proper ration of bread and water a bedtime snack, he went to bed without a story. He laid there for at least two hours before he went to sleep because he wasn't tired, so justice was served.

If only he could remember what his dad told him was better than ice cream.

Ten Years

I can't believe that I'm actually posting a picture with ME in it. But, ten years deserves something special and I guess I have to accept the way I really look. So, 641 extra pounds, 377 more wrinkles, 97 new gray hair AND...............


I'm still alive and half sane. I can't say that we haven't had some major ups and downs, but I cannot imagine life without my "other half" (or is it more 1/4 to 3/4: him and I? - if you know what I mean).

SO: Here's to the next TEN, darling..............................cuz you know at our age, we have to take time in smaller increments, after all.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First Day Of School

My son started kindergarten today. At home. He finally accepted the fact that he was starting yesterday after initially protesting mildly.

I have expected all along that teaching him would be entirely different than his sister for many different reasons. Because of this, I was geared up to be tried severely today.

I ended up having a wonderful first day teaching. I expected to have to change what I was doing every five minutes or so because of his attention span. He ended up cooperating with me for an hour and a half and accomplished some language/phonics as well as doing incredibly well in math. It was plain to see today that math will come much easier at this point, which is typical for boys. He actually didn't want to stop, he was that excited. I bragged him up to daddy, and he was very proud to show him his accomplishments when he came home from work.

My girl, on the other hand, exceeded my expectations as well, but for an entirely different reason. Feeling quite seasoned in dealing with her temperament and knowing her strengths, I felt confident we would have a great first day. I was very wrong. It's funny now to look back and see how backward I was with the expectations of my children.

Unfortunately, Hannah is cursed with a very similar personality trait as her mother. I have always been lazy with working on things that do not come naturally for me. I was the first one in my family to show an interest in playing the piano and taught myself some very basic piano. However, my natural ability only took me so far, so when that ability ended and hard work and practice has to be utilized, my growth as a piano player stopped. I was the same way in school. I managed to graduate with my average in the 70's without applying myself much at all. I never learned study habits and passed by whatever knowledge I happened to memorize. This is my Hannah's personality, unfortunately.

She is so very bright in almost everything, and what she isn't as bright in she is still by no means "stupid", just not quite as bright as her other subjects. She was flying along today through her school, aceing everything as usual. Then she hit a roadblock.

Her handwriting.

She does not find it easy, but is not willing to take small steps to improve. I wanted her to write letters and small words over and over; she wanted to write whole sentences because she was impatient about one little teeny word. As a result she was frustrated when she struggled with writing the sentence neatly and staying in the lines. Her meltdown came when I told her to go back to the beginning and start writing one-letter-at-a-time.

Let's just say that by the end of the morning, she did not finish school. She ended up throwing a fit like I haven't seen her throw in years and I had to make her stay in her room until she settled herself down. That took about two hours. TWO WHOLE HOURS. She kept coming out of her room to talk about it, but was still so out of control and unable to be reasononed with that I had to send her back in.

I sat at the kitchen table, head in my hands, praying while she was carrying on in her room. It's tough as a parent to see replays of actions you knew you performed as a child (and sometimes even as an adult) being carried forth in your children. I felt like someone was playing a home movie of me carrying on when I was a kid.

On a positive note, however, after the storm settled and she finished school, she told me she wanted to type. She called me in a while later to show me the song she wrote. Perhaps I'll post it another time (it's on her computer in her room, where she's sleeping), but was I ever proud of her. It was a cute kid's song about a mouse and a cat (she told me she used those words because they were easy to rhyme with) and I thought it was actually pretty good.

I will always, always treasure the first song she ever wrote.

In any event, it's been quite a day and I sure hope tomorrow is not a repeat.

Except, of course, in the case of my son.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Gentle Wallop

This is a story about my son.

I am truly blessed and thankful that God gave him to me.

But he's a rascal sometimes, and that's a fact.

We were in Calgary this past weekend staying with friends of ours and attending special church services. We had a grand time and it became apparent during the last service Sunday night that my son was having a grand time as well.

It started when I leaned over to whisper in his ear to strongly suggest that he change his behaviour (although if the truth be told, I cannot remember exactly what the particular infraction was at that time). He anticipated this move of mine and decided to cover his ears so I could not whisper anything to him at all. When I attempted to remove his hands, he decided it was time to SMACK MY FACE.

I was shocked. This is not a regular practice of his, and because of this it stunned me momentarily. I know there are any number of things I should have done, but because he has not done this before and I was still in shock, all that I did was let him know that he was NEVER, under any circumstances, to smack my face again.

Within a short time, I had to turn around to again whisper in his ear asking him to stop his misbehaviour. Again, he covered his ears. Again, I removed his hands from his ears. And, again.....you guessed it. He smacked my face. Not hard, but definitely in defiance. I told him that when we got back to our friends that he better say his prayers was getting a spanking. Now please folks, don't send me your "do not spank" comments because I will always believe that there are times when it is necessary, like when your children are defying you. I believe this because although the Lord will deal with us gently way more often than not, we do get the occasional "spanking" from Him as well when we're being brats. That's a fact.

Church ended on a very high note, and although I did not forget about my promise to spank my son, neither was I mad about the incident either. Apparently it was weighing heavily on my son's mind though, as I soon found out on our way back to our friends' house.

"Mom, would you please not spank me and give me a second chance?" he asked.

"I did give you a second chance, Seth," I replied.

"But mom, would you please give me a second chance?" he asked again. I guess he must have meant a second second chance. His dad spoke up then and reiterated what I had already said.

"But mom, if you spank me, I might be mad," he warned me. Since I was not moved, he tried a different tactic.

"Mom, will you please spank me gently?" he asked.

"Well," I said, "that depends. If you willingly come to me and I don't have to fight you, maybe I will," I replied. As you can imagine, five-year-olds can be pretty tough and I have had a hard time turning his wiry little body around at times so I can spank his bottom.

He brooded about this for a while, and then informed me that he would "cooperate".

By this time, his dad and I were highly amused. Any parent with any sense of humour at all would have been. I took no pleasure in the thought of spanking my son, but firmly believe that it was necessary for this type of nasty, defiant behaviour, and if it was necessary then it was better that it was without rancor from both parties.

We all went quietly downstairs. I sat down on the bed and waited to see what would happen. To my surprise, my son came up to me and very willingly leaned over and stuck out his derriere to receive his just recompense. He was so compliant, in fact, that I almost could not spank him. But, just as I said I would, I quite gently spanked him twice on his bum. He looked up at me, surprised, and said,

"That didn't hurt at all." His dad and I could not look at each other for a while. Then we tried to use his obedience to teach him a lesson.

As much as I don't like spanking my son, it does seem to have more effect than any other method I have found so far, and I have tried many things. When the evening ends good and your son loves you and you feel blessed of God for this wonderful lad He's given you, then I believe it's worked like it was meant to work.

Just like the times when I've hated God's "spanking" - I am His child after all - but eventually realized how much I deserved it and loved God even more as a result.

And just as my Seffie loves me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


It's been a tiring week and I'm plum worn out. I started back driving school bus on a new route which, in the long run, will be wonderful. It's very close to my house and is about one-half to one-third of my last year's route, for the same pay.

However, I am facing new challenges. I'm adjusting to driving a bigger bus and having over 100 kids ride my bus (I have to make two laps around my neighbourhood). Many of these kids are immigrants, and a few do not speak any English. They live in a huge apartment complex across the street from my house, along with about 90 percent of the kids I drive.

And all of them, including the kids that rode the bus last year, BELIEVE THE SEATS ARE TRAMPOLINES AND THE AISLES ARE THERE FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF RUNNING LAPS IN.

Evidently, the wonderful gentleman who drove this route for many, many years wanted the children to have fun. He basically closed his eyes and ears and let them do pretty much anything (except eat - maybe because he didn't like cleaning up messes??). Most of them have no clue how to behave on a bus. And the older, seasoned kids confirmed that "Bob didn't make us do that" on a few occasions.

I now have my work cut out for me. For the sake of my job (I believe anyway) and their safety, THEY WILL LEARN. Or die trying.

Today I brought along a huge tubful of suckers and used bribery positive reinforcement. It actually broke my heart slightly when I had to let some of the kids off the bus without their sucker because they didn't remember to obey the rules. But I had no choice and encouraged them that next time I was quite sure they would remember.

Tell me, whatever am I going to do when my suckers run out? Since I haven't yet made my first million, I need to come up with other ways to encourage obedience.

I think I'm up for the challenge. It's been a whole four days, after all.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tim Hawkins - The Government Can

This is hilarious and is true of government in general (although especially true of the current American Administration............. just had to get that in!)