Monday, January 25, 2010

Uno Champion

My daughter is crafty. My daughter is competitive, although *I have no clue how she ended up that way*. She loves games and is very good at them. Tonight she took on her dad and I in Uno and absolutely blew us out the back door.

I have been trying to teach her how to hold her cards to nobody can see them. She forgets at some point in every hand and the person sitting closest to her can have full view. Tonight I was sitting close to her and although I didn't intentionally look, there were times I could not help seeing what was in her hand. I knew she had a 4+ Wild Card. And I waited for her to play it. And waited. And waited.

Do you know that girl held on to it, even at times when both her dad and I were very low in cards, until the very end when she could play it as her last card and pin her dad with four extra cards? That is how she plays her Wild Cards almost all the time. She does not freak or panic, ever. Her dad and I treat her as an equal when we play, in any game, not as a child. She is just as bright as the best adult player.

Tonight she went to bed with a smile on her face. She was the Uno Champion of the family, beating the socks off her mom and dad. And although some of the game certainly can be held to chance, she deserved the win.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Snow Day

It's a spider! Limping very slowly through the snow. I have never seen a spider outside in the winter.

It's Sunday. We've been snowed in. Church was cancelled both morning and evening because a storm hit the province and the roads are pretty hard to navigate without getting stuck. The day was spent playing games, reading, working on the computer in relative relaxation and sweet harmony. It was actually a very nice day for the four of us to be couped up together. The parents kids didn't fight. At all.

Because it was fairly nice, Hannah and Seth played outside for awhile and had a blast. The best news of all is that I DO NOT HAVE TO DRIVE THE BUS TOMORROW! They have been cancelled! Yeah! That means I will only have three more driving days before I'm done altogether. I might feel a little emotional about that on the last day, but right now I do not.

This is a special week. On Wednesday, we will be having our last service in our little-white-building-on-the-corner. Forever. And we found out yesterday that my previous pastor (Brother Ken Bow) will be with us in our last church service in that building. That's pretty special.

Then, this weekend we will be honouring Pastor and Sister Dehod on their 30th wedding anniversary AND 25th pastoral anniversary. We're having special services at a rented facility, with a lot of visitors and fellowship. Lots and lots of memories. I'm really looking forward to it.

And week we will be moving into our BRAND NEW CHURCH!

God is SO amazing! used SIX exclamation points...........!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Public School Never Looked So Good

What do you do with a boy who, counting by fives, says:

"Five, ten, fifteen, twenty......twenty-one......"

What do you do with a boy who tells time like:

"Mom, it's 14 o'clock...."

What do you do with a boy who tries, every time, to sound out "the", and has to be told that it is a sight word before he remembers?

What do you do with a boy who writes a note in church last night,

which translated, says: "Dear Darla Hude....."

There are days I wish my walls were padded so I could safely pound my head against them. Really, I am laughing about this.......after the fact. But on days like today I seriously doubt my own ability to be a homeschooling mom.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Little Comedian

Seth's aunt, uncle and older cousins brought him home these Mickey Mouse ears from their recent trip to Disneyland.

He came out from his room just before supper tonight, leaned on the microwave stand as pictured above to ask me what he could have for a snack. I just loved his pose and had to take a picture of it. The smile he has in this picture pretty much shows the mood he's been in all day. Everything from beginning end was a big "joke".

I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that he will likely be the next Mark Lowry or Tim Hawkins when he's older (at least in his mind, anyway). His biggest goal every day is to make people laugh, "trick people" and make "funny jokes". We rarely go into a public place now without him trying to capture some stranger's attention by making faces or doing a break dance routine to see if he can make them laugh.

He also talks nonstop. He constantly re-enacts whole scenes from Jungle Jam, Odyssey, or some of his computer games like Freddi Fish or Pajama Sam. Today while at the table at supper, he was the only one still eating. I told him to sit down and not get up again, since he was constantly hopping off his seat. Seth can't just tell a story; he has to stand and tell a story. Anyway, while I lapsed into momentary unconsciousness, Seth "forgot" he was supposed to sit and got up to pace back and forth. When I realized he was up, I got after him.

"Seth! I told you to sit down on your chair and not get off of it," I *sweetly* said.

He danced quite a little jig at the sound of my voice. And no, I did not holler. He was just caught.

"But mom!" he protested. "I was playing Roman Soldier!"

Now what mom can't understand the need for her son to play Roman Soldier?

Tonight I gave him ten minutes on the computer while he was waiting for me to read to him. When I was ready, I told him it was time to shut down the computer. He gave a deep, heartfelt sigh, and said dryly:

"Now, why am I not surprised?"

I tell ya. He makes me grey(er) and keeps my heart glad. He also gives his dad and I a lot of chuckle time when he's in bed.

And that's a good thing.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I found out from my supervisor at the office that a complaint was filed against me. The complaint wasn't that I was rude or unkind to the lady with the baby carrier blocking my spot, which I expected. The complaint was that I was racist.

At this time, I feel very fortunate to have great support from my supervisor, who I feel really believes in me. I will be changing my route within two weeks, thankfully. I'll be driving a minibus with 17 kids.....I honestly don't know how I'll cope....:)

Hmm. Racist? Perhaps I should ask her if she's racist - after all, I at least gave the woman enough credit for being intelligent enough to understand road signs. She, obviously, does not give this woman enough credit, because she is an immigrant.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What Do You Do?

What do you do when you feel like you do your best, give your all, and it's just not good enough? What do you do when your frustration has built to the point where you feel like perhaps it's just time to move on?

Tomorrow I'll be fine. Today I just want to vent. Please, do not read this if you're sick of hearing about my bus driving stories.

Today I was politely *sarcasm intended* told to "please be more kind to the immigrant moms who bring their babies into the baby clinic". The school I drive for holds an immunization clinic every Thursday. Today, one of the "immigrant moms" was parked in the bus zone.

Before I tell my story further, let me explain what my week has been like at THIS school. Today is the very first day there has been ANY SUPERVISION AT ALL. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, the kids have been left to run wild. As a result, there was a fight outside my bus (no teacher was around), a kid was hit in the eye with a snowball and cried on their entire bus ride home (no teacher was around), a parent informed me that one of my students was hanging around the back of my bus - AGAIN - SNIFFING EXHAUST.....because NO TEACHER WAS AROUND. And, because NO STINKIN' TEACHER WAS AROUND, yesterday when I pulled up, the kids were scattered hither and yon. About a dozen got on while I had to wait for the rest to finish playing on the playground and got on at their leisure. I left a message with the principal on Tuesday. She did not return my call. In fact, it is the third message I have left with the principal and vice principal since December and none of my calls have been returned.

Yes. I guess I am a little frustrated. So much so, that I told my office yesterday that I was through dealing with the teachers of this school, that from now on they would have to go through the office if they wanted to talk TO ME.

Back to today. When I pulled up in front of the school and had no spot to park, I put on my four-way flashers and determined to block in the van that was in my spot. I then put a notice on their windshield. It is not a bad notice, honest. It is one that explains that they are parked in a school bus zone and to please not park there again unless they want their ankles broken.

A lady soon came out with a baby carrier. I went out and very sternly told her she was parked in the bus zone and to please not park there again. She told me she did not understand that she couldn't. I asked her how she could not understand a sign that told her so. I then told her she had to wait until I left. I WAS NOT HAVING A REPEAT INCIDENT WHERE THE DRIVER ALMOST RAN OVER ONE OF MY KIDS. I then waited at the bottom of the steps to make sure she didn't leave. In spite of my warning, she tried to leave twice, and twice, I put my hand out and VERY STERNLY told her she COULD NOT.

That is the story with no exaggeration. I was informed by the school nurse that she didn't appreciate how I handled this because, after all, she is from a foreign country. She then stood there WITH THE STINKIN' SCHOOL PRINCIPAL WHO HAS REFUSED TO RETURN ANY OF MY CALLS, and another teacher and they had a "mini conference". Do you think the principal would come and talk to me?

So I wonder....people from foreign countries are allowed to drive in our country without understanding the road signs and laws of this land? I wonder how this nurse would feel if this driver from another country HIT ONE OF THOSE KIDS?!!! Yes folks. I was very stern to a woman from another country who was carrying a baby carrier. But I was BEYOND FRUSTRATED, and frankly, I still believe I had every reason to be stern.

The two people in my office that I would talk to about this incident are gone. One for the day, and the other for the week.

Was I really nasty, folks? Am I out of my head?

I have honestly never come so close to quitting before.

And I think. Yeah...I'm really unkind to immigrants. I just try to help them communicate better by figuring out how to speak their language (unlike the school), and cry over their situations. Yup. That's me.

I'm done my rant.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Precious Moments

There are good days in life. There are bad days. And more than them all, there are in-between days. Most of all, I love the days where life seems precious. And my children in particular are precious.

It's not that anything really profound happened today. It's just that I perceived it differently, and you know, perception really is everything. A whole blog post could be written on that topic.

I had a hard time getting my kidlets up this morning. I let them come with me last night while I played some recreational volleyball because they have a running track and got their own exercise while I played. Consequently, they got to bed later and fell into bed much exhausted. As a result, Hannah awoke very groggy and Seth woke up.......barely at all. Hannah, sweet girl that she is, took pity on her very tired brother and helped him get dressed, because he was "too tired to lift his arms", and also made his bed for him. All in her own groggy state.

That is precious to me.

As she gets older, we share a lot of "secret glances", particularly over some outrageous thing that Seth has said.

Those are precious to me.

Tonight I was reading to the kids. Seth chose Smelly Socks by Robert Munsch. Every once in a while I change the story up because Seth acts totally outraged (although he secretly enjoys it) and we all get a good laugh in. Tonight I changed the girl's name from Tina to Martha. Hannah and I enjoyed our "secret glances". Seth appeared in a daze because he did not react at all. After several pages of substituting Martha for Tina, I decided to substitute Martha for Maryann. I was just checking to see if Seth had fallen into some sort of semi-comatose state. I discovered - one broken eardrum later - that he HAD NOT. He hollered at the top of his lungs:


Hannah and I nearly fell off the couch we were laughing so hard. Seth had NO CLUE what the joke was, and even after Hannah told him - after finally catching her breath - that her name was really Tina and not Martha, he still didn't quite seem to.......catch it.

More precious moments to me.

So now, all is quiet. The kids are in bed. Hannah told me she was looking forward to going to bed so she could spend some time imagining. And I smile in contentment at my precious girl. And think of my precious boy, already asleep.

My precious family.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

It's Here!

Isn't he beautiful? Golly, what a masculine hunk.

He probably carries something like this.

Yep. It's here. We knew it was coming. It's a male's skirt. And male's purse - yes, that is a male's purse pictured above. Google it, see for yourself all the stunning feminine male purses and attire (oxymoron or what?). They're lovely. I guess it's about as normal and oxymoronish as women's pants. Or men's eyeliner. Or a long list of other things that have become gender-confused.

The lines between men and women have gone from being blurred to inter-crossing. Women have butch haircuts and cuss like sailors. Men wear ponytails and nail polish.

Now, more than ever, we need to stay as far away from the centre lines. God knew what He was doing when he very clearly stated in His word that men and women needed to remain distinct.

It's a confusing world we live in.

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 - A Year Of Growth

Where did 2009 go?

If I were to define one word that aptly described this past year, it would be growth. Growth of my husband, who has gone through some refining. Although it took until nearly the end of 2009 to really see the change, it really has ultimately been tremendous growth. Growth of me - ?? Well, I'm really not sure. Like Dave, the Lord really is trying to work things out in me, but quite frankly, it's been one of the toughest years I have ever had. There have been things I've battled (and am still battling) that I thought I conquered 25 years ago. I've been more worn out mentally, physically and spiritually than any other year in my memory. There have been relationships that have changed that trouble me. Have I grown? If recognition of things that need to desperately change defines growth, then yes, I guess I have, for there has been some new, somewhat startling revelations of my heart. But I think it is more fitting to say that I am still in the process of growth. Because I will grow. However long it takes.

The biggest change of all is in my daughter. This has been a year of many "firsts". She first rode a two-wheeler. She lost her first tooth, and then five more since. She had her first piano lesson. She wrote her first poem, then her first song, then her first story - and again, many more since. She sang her first solo in church with the Sunday School kids. Many of these things are tremendous steps for her. After learning to ride her bike, she became determined to perfect her skill. By the end of November (because we were having above average temperatures at that time), her dad and her were taking long bike trips - several miles long - just about killing her dad in the process. (It wouldn't have "just-about" killed me. It plainly WOULD have killed me.)

As for piano - she has truly surprised me. She has again shown dogged determination, practising until I can't stand the sound of a piano, always without prompting from me. She had her first piano recital in December which, not surprisingly, she chose not to participate in. However, I took her to the recital to sit in the audience so she could see what a recital was, hoping she would then agree to participate in the next one. Since the recital was much bigger than I expected, I was sure it would actually have the opposite effect and that she would definitely decide NOT to participate in the next one. However, she surprised me again and told me that she thought she would definitely be ready to play for the next one in June.

I believe that playing the piano has helped her develop a better ear for singing, as well. Before then, she had no clue whether she was on pitch or not, and she was pretty much off pitch most of the time. However, when she told me she would sing a small solo in Sunday School (another surprise for me - that she agreed to do it), I was very pleasantly surprised that she sang her part basically in tune. I believe learning to play the piano has taught her to listen more to the actual tune of a song.

As far as her writing, it was one of her weakest subjects in school at the beginning of the year. She would spend hours wasting time and/or throwing fits when given any writing assignments. To think how much she has grown in this regard is truly amazing. She enjoys writing now and has wrote many cute songs and stories. She also writes letters and thrilled to the process of sending them out in the mail.

She really has grown tremendously this past year. Her curiousity and determination to learn new things is overtaking old fears and uncertainties. Hopefully this coming year will be the year she gets the Holy Ghost, because I believe she is getting close.

And finally, my son. I have filled many a post about that lad. He has gone from a toddler to a boy. He is lovable, fun-loving, funny, charming, sweet and plain wonderful. He is also a turkey, a stinker, a TURKEY and a STINKER. But's he's still my Seffie and I wouldn't change him if I could. He's done much better in school than I expected, thankfully. And, he is the best bed maker and room cleaner of any boy his age that I know. And definitely better than any boys that are.........teenagers.

That was my year. I'm looking forward to even better things in 2010. With even more growth.

Happy New Year to all.