Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Who Woke Up The Sun?

I love early spring. The freshness of it. The promise of new beginnings. WARMER weather.

I hate the sun rising at a totally stupid hour.


That means my kids come out of their winter hibernation where they slept until 8:00 (most of the time, anyway) - because the sun was still sleeping - to bouncing out of bed at the first hint of that blasted SUN.

It kinda conflicts with this night-owl mother.

This morning, my daughter awoke between 6:00 and 6:30. Just after 7:00, they decided it was time to play ping-pong in the hallway.....

"Sorry, mom, we'll.....uh.....just shut your bedroom door......'cuz we need all the doors closed in order to play ping-pong....." my daughter informed me.

Remembering the days where my brother and youngest sister (the Montreal Canadiens) teamed up against my oldest sister and I (the Toronto Maple Leafs) in the hallway of our mobile home - playing hockey with bent spoons and tin foil - I was moved with.....slight.....compassion.

But we DID NOT play at 7:00 in the morning!

(I think our parents drugged us or something.....)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

To My Sweet Granny & Wonderful Mother

This wonderful, feisty, spunky, sweet, much adored granny all-mixed-up-into-one is MY granny. And today she is 89 years old.

At age 75 she received the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

At age 77 she left her home of almost 30 years and moved to Saskatoon.

At age 89 she will be leaving her cute, cozy apartment to move into a duplex with my mom.....MY wonderful, sacrificial mom is moving in with her much loved MOTHER-IN-LAW. To help her IF she needs help.

I hope I am as giving as my mother when I'm old.

I hope I am as spunky and willing for change as my granny when I am her age.

Thank you mom, from the bottom of my heart. And Happy Birthday, Granny.

I love you both.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sunday's Child

And the child that's born on the sabbath day

Is bonny and blithe and good and gay

Eight years ago, on a Sunday morning (after keeping me in suspense for over 20 hours), my bright eyed, beautiful girl was born.

Everything that this well known verse says is true about her.

Happy birthday, my lovely Hannah.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Reaching Her Goal

My girl reached her goal today. She made the last $10.00 in her quest to earn $55.00 so she could contribute to the "buy a chair" fundraiser at the church. Thanks to her Aunt Lana and Uncle Will, she was put to work at their house today doing various tasks in order to earn the last little bit.

I reminded her - although she really didn't need reminding - that when she gives the money she should do it in secret. She should not tell anyone what she did. She understood this because it's something we've talked about before. (In fact, she wanted to be so secretive that she wanted to write on the envelope underneath the chair, or downstairs, where nobody could see her). And then I realized that that is exactly what I have done; I have proudly boasted about this. It has given me pause to wonder whether I should have or not. Even though every parent needs to and should boast about their own child occasionally, I haven't reached any conclusion as to whether I should have about this one. The fact is, it's too late anyway.

I do know, however, that in the diary of her life, which this blog is intended to be, I want her to look back and read about the day that the generous spirit of a daughter touched the heart of her mother.

Because she really has moved me.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Question Of The Day

From who else, but my son........(who is currently suffering from a sore throat, for which he thinks Gatorade is the miracle drink...)

"Mom, will Gatorade help me if I die?"

To which this chuckling mother responded....."ummm, no".

"Why not?" he asked, totally clueless.

Some things take too much energy to explain.

Lovely Girl

Have I said lately that I have a spectacular, good-hearted daughter?

Yesterday she played Florence Nightengale to her brother (coincidentally, after just finishing reading a book about her life) because he woke up with a sore throat. She made a bed for him on the couch. She got some books out and read to him for an hour. She got him some juice and waited on him. And he wasn't even that sick.

She's the kind of girl that would give every last cent to someone else in need. I love that about her, but we've had to teach her to use wisdom, even in giving.

Our new church is under renovation (costing a lot of $$$). We are buying new "pew chairs" for the sanctuary. Since the total cost of these are $55.00 per chair, our pastor has encouraged those who can to "buy a chair".

Hannah has decided she wants to buy a chair. Much impressed with her attitude, I told her that she could earn some money and that I would try to think up jobs that were not her usual chores (which she does not get paid for) to help her reach her goal.

The first job I gave her was a thorough cleaning of Seth's bedroom. Seth does pretty good with the general upkeep of his room, but like every other room in the house, it still needs a periodical thorough cleaning. I told her I would give her $5.00 to do this.

That girl of mine spent FOUR hours on his room. She did not complain. She did not get distracted.....not even once. She went through his closet. She went through his drawers. She went through his toys. She went UNDER HIS BED (where the boogey-man lives). She vacuumed. She sorted. When she was done, his room was the cleanest room in the house.

I was so impressed that I felt guilty just giving her $5.00 and was planning on slipping her an extra $5.00. However, her dad - very wisely - intervened. He said that she first needed to learn how to do a job for the agreed-upon amount so that she didn't always expect more. We did decide that it was fair to give her a tip for doing such a good job - and so we did. I realized how smart that was when I paid her, because truly, she did not expect to get more than the amount that was agreed upon and was very happy with her tip. And, we did not cause potential future problems of over-expectation.

Since then, she has done several other jobs - even one for her grandma - and is now just $10.00 short of her goal.

I'm very impressed that she has stuck to her goal of earning money (especially for a cause and not just for self-gratification). I wondered if she would get tired of it and give up, but she hasn't.

I'm very impressed that she has a heart to work and do good.

And I'm very grateful that God gave that lovely girl to me to parent.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Joy In Tennessee

Seth has been in the habit lately of singing, at the top of his lungs, at any time of the day, anywhere. Sometimes it's in the kitchen, specifically to put on a performance. Often it's in his bedroom with his door closed, which is my favourite, because he has no idea that I am listening closely.

The thing I love the most is how many words he has no clue about, and hearing his version is side-splittingly funny.

Today, while his dad dozed on the couch, he decided it was time to wake him up. To do that, he treated him to a full volume, FREE, concert.

With his version of I've Got Joy Like A River:

I've got joy like a river
And it flows continuously


I've got joy like a river
And and keeps on..........


...........in Tennessee!

I will never be able to sing this song again without thinking about the day that my son blessed the state of Tennessee.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I have discovered a new genetic condition.

It's called nareopathy and pronounced "naryopathy".

Definition: Inability for the brain to transmit the message to push mucous down the nasal passages. This is a rare defect, most likely genetic, that strikes about 1 in 1,000,000 children.

Okay, in all seriousness, I made up this word and this definition. But I think it should become a new word and a new definition and may even write the Canadian Medical Assocation about it.

Both of my kids have this condition. And because both of my kids have it, I suspect they must have received a mutant gene from some distant ancestor, because it comes from neither of their parents.

I honestly don't get it. Hannah - my brilliant almost 8-year-old - still, at the very most, does a slight blow through her nose. As a result, she has a runny nose quite often cuz she won't blow the dang thing! Seth is even worse. When I ask him to blow, he blows out THROUGH HIS MOUTH! All manner of instruction has been disregarded.

So, what is up with this? I have never met TWO children in one family with this condition. I just know that I have to get to the bottom of this disease, lest their mutant gene causes their own children to be born without.........sinus cavities (since their own parents never learned how to blow). Or something even worse.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Miss Ernie

Does anyone who has kids remember this book? It's a book about how Ernie breaks the cookie jar, and ultimately ends with Bert needing to use a pot for his cowboy hat (because Ernie used his cowboy hat as a fishbowl, because he needed the fishbowl for something else, and so on.....all the way back to where he originally put the cookies because he broke the cookie jar.)

Hannah could be the star character of this book. She has perfected the art of making a short job long, or a long job longer. Every time she "invents" something, I am reminded of Ernie in this book.

She made me a deal again today. She wanted to be done school to clean her room. Because her room wasn't that bad, coupled with the fact that I had already decided that she had done enough school (although I didn't tell her that yet, hee....hee...), I said she could.

What really needed to be done was a thorough going through of her closet. We had too much stuff and not enough space. She decided to undertake this. She took down what she thought she had outgrown and brought it to me for inspection.

She put them in a "special" cloth bag, not originally intended for clothes. She proudly showed me where she stowed the goods, pretty pleased with her ingenuity.

I asked her, "So, what was originally in that bag?"

"My Bible," she replied.

"So where did you put your Bible?" I asked.

"In my purse," she answered.

"What did you do with the contents of your purse?" I asked, knowing that her Bible would take up most of her space.

She smiled. "Why are you asking me this?" she asked.

I replied back with a big smile of my own. "Maybe I should start calling you Ernie."

She knew immediately what I meant and laughed.

A little later she called me into her room. She was emptying out her drawers and getting rid of socks and tights that didn't fit or had holes in the toes. She very proudly showed me her unique way of folding tights. She took each leg, rolled it up to the top, folded them together and tucked them in. A job that took longer than necessary.

But I just smiled again. At least she was working hard, and enjoying her work.

And she proved my point exactly.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I do not follow fashion. I am neither the best dressed or the worst dressed.

I needed new shoes (since mine had holes) and decided that today was the day. I tried on a pair that were different from any shoes that I have ever worn before, but feeling daring, I bought them. They were on sale, after all.

And my son was scandalized.

"Yuck!" he said when I first tried them on. "Yuck, mom. Those are yucky!"

I was shocked. My son came out of his previous five year fashion stupor to notice my shoes. And express extreme dislike for them. It actually gave me pause - for a moment anyway. The shoes were not something my granny would wear. Neither were they shoes I could see my nieces in. That meant they were just right and there was nothing wrong with them.

And my son could go fly a kite.

We went into the mall with my bag. I knew there was only one thing to do. I found a bench, took off my worn shoes, and put on my new ones.

"Don't you love my new shoes, Seth?" I asked.

"Yuck," he again replied.

I wore them proudly for the rest of the day, to the approval of my daughter.

Man, I love those shoes.

Every Wind Of Doctrine....

I do not think that this apostolic movement is perfect. In fact, there are several areas within the movement that have little resemblance to the life of Jesus Christ. Doctrines. Traditions. Fads.


I love this way of life. I love it because, in general, the men (and women) strive to keep the foundational Biblical truths, having to do this by sifting through every wind of doctrine, trying their best to find and maintain balance. This is no easy task.

One of the pros (or cons) of having the internet is realizing that in the big, wide world of apostolicism, there are a whole lot of very different, some very disturbing doctrines floating around. Ten years ago I could claim ignorance to these. Now I can't. I haven't decided yet if this is good or bad.

One recurring theme I have been finding - on apparent "apostolic" blogs - is the belief that having a strong standard of conduct and/or dress somehow takes away from the grace of God and the understanding of it. I'm amazed at the amount of people who claim "liberating freedom" in learning about God's grace - which, without exception, is accompanied by a letting down in the way they previously dressed and how they previously conducted their lives.

And if I could, I would have to ask:

1) Why does the FIRST sign of the enlightenment of grace always mean you "get" to do things you previously felt restricted to do?

2) Is there a limit to your liberal (for lack of a better word) turn, or will God, with His grace, accept you in WHATEVER you decide to do?

3) If there is a limit.....meaning that you still would choose NOT to do some things, I have to ask, why? If God is full of grace, what gives you insight as to what is acceptable and what is not?

I understand that God's grace cannot be earned. However, that does not absolve me from obeying His Word.

The same people who feel......liberated.........most likely do not believe it is okay to commit adultery. That it's not okay to steal or murder. That it's not okay to lie. However, that same Bible talks very strongly about the necessity of gender distinction and about men and women's hair. And for some reason that is the first thing that people feel liberated from, in the name of grace.

I do not believe I am more holy - truly I do not (in fact, right now I feel quite like schmuck in the eyes of God). I know that God weighs the spirit and looks at the heart of man and that no level of outward "holiness" will make me saved if my heart is not right. But I ask - does the fact that I have a huge amount of things to constantly work on inwardly excuse my dress and conduct outwardly?

I think not.

I understand obedience and the necessity of it. And do not confuse the necessity of obedience with the grace of God.

That, to me, is a very disturbing doctrine.

Friday, March 5, 2010

One In A Million

I do not know how school teachers do it. I ESPECIALLY do not know how school teachers in the good ole' days of one room school houses did it. Having 20-30 kids all the same age is hard enough, but having that many kids at all different age levels - keeping one group going while teaching another - well, that's exceptional in my opinion.

I say that because these last two weeks have been the hardest of the entire year up to this point. Not only did I make the mistake decision to change math curriculum mid year (initially causing fits and tantrums), but Hannah decided she wanted to bond more with her mother during school time. Uh huh.

I'm glad she loves me. Truly. But to have her decide she HAS to do her school work at the kitchen table (because she's lonely in her room) at the same time as I am teaching Seth (when up to this point she has been very independent and functioning great in her room at her desk, with me helping her when needed) has been a challenge. (And that was a terrible run-on sentence.) It is easier on me for her to be in her room, singing, dancing, beatboxing, playing the drums, making up poetry - ALL WHILE DOING HER SCHOOL WORK - than it is for her to join me at the table. To correct my mistakes. To add her two cents. And to completely lack concentration.

Today she kept interfering when I was working on math with Seth. Instead of helping, she was giving him the answers. I told her to stop at least three times and to concentrate on her work. When Seth was done his work, she stared into space and still did not work. When I asked her what her deal was she gave me the dramatized version:

"Mom," blinking back tears, "I just can't concentrate. And it's all Seth's fault."

"What?" I asked. "Why is it Seth's fault?"

"Because when he went to the bathroom, he didn't use soap when he washed his hands!"

Can someone help me connect the dots?

I love that girl. She's one in a million.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

If You Homeschool.......

If you homeschool;

More specifically, if you homeschool young children;

Most specificast (my word, thanks) of all, if you homeschool a YOUNG GIRL who is very emotional; who is very TYPE-A;

Be advised of the following:

Do NOT change your curriculum mid year. It could prove to be detrimental to the health of the entire family. You will have to endure tears and tantrums daily.

She thinks she doesn't understand something that she learned LAST YEAR. Doing review.....in the new curriculum, Math-U-See, the equation 10 + K = 16 sent her over the edge. It did not matter that I put a BLANK where the K was. It did not matter that we used manipulatives. It did not matter that she knew this already. IT WAS A DIFFERENT WAY OF DOING THE PROBLEM. I am super excited, waiting in anticipation, wondering what it will be like for her to learn.........algebra.

Consider yourself warned.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lazy Boy

"Phew. That sure was hard work."

So said my boy, after finishing off his ice cream. Hard labour that it is.

The fact is, my boy is supremely lazy. That statement really exemplifies this. "It's too hard" is a regular statement he makes. "I'm tired" after working for a short time on something is also something he regularly says.

Today they were outside playing. I made a prediction that he would be outside for a maximum of five minutes before wanting to come in. It's hard work, after all, to make a snowman.

My prediction came true.

Almost to the second, five minutes later he comes to the door wanting in.

"No," I told him. "You are NOT coming in yet. Go play."

"I want in," he whined. "I'm tired."

"Then you have two choices. If you come in you are going to bed, since you're so tired. Or, you stay outside. Your choice." Mean mom that I am.

"I'm not gonna play!" he whined again.

"Fine," I said. "Just sit down and watch other kids in the neighbourhood do all the work," I replied.

And that's what he did. He sat down and watched his sister shovel and build a snowman.

Until she started a snowball fight. He entered with a gusto, for another five minutes. Then he came crying to the door because HE HAD SNOW ALL OVER HIS FACE AND DOWN HIS JACKET! The end of the world had come!

Maybe I could make him run on the spot for five minutes as a new form of discipline. Maybe I'll get him a punching bag for his bedroom.

Whatever it takes, we've got to toughen that boy up somehow.