Saturday, December 3, 2011

Large Families

Children are a blessing. The fruit of the womb is HIS reward.

I had an interesting discussion with someone yesterday. This young woman brought up the infamous Duggar family, who is apparently expecting their 20th child. Now I realize that we live in a time when 20 children is unheard of. Fifteen children is rare. Ten children is considered a huge family. Five or six children is slightly more common. BUT 20!!

She said: "You cannot tell me that those children get much one-on-one time with their parents!!".....harrumph!

I said: "You cannot tell me that 2.5 children in a two-working-parent home where the children are either in daycare or left at home alone after school (if they're old enough) until a parent gets home from work (and is away at school all day.....but I didn't say that.....) gets ANY MORE one-on-one time with mommy or daddy!".......harrumph #2!

She said: "Touche....."

But, she still doesn't really agree. (And we really didn't argue......we were just vehement in our opinion....).

I've been thinking a lot about large families, particularly large families with good, responsible parents. Just because OUR SOCIETY says it's stupid, wrong, too hard on the children, blah, blah, blah, blah, doesn't mean that is the way GOD views children. Society just doesn't "get" God. Our society is way too narcissistic. We think unless we can give our children designer clothes, a car when they're 16, and pay for their college WE HAVE FAILED.

Let me tell you what I think. I think that unless my child earns their own money, they will NEVER get designer clothing. Even then, it would be closely monitored and ON SALE. I think that it is good for a child to work, earn money, save from a young age and BUY THEIR OWN CAR. I think that if a parent invests in their child's education (which we do), it is better given AFTER - AND ONLY - IF THEY GRADUATE. But, I think it's okay for a child to work hard and put themselves through school too, and a parent need not be ashamed if they just cannot afford it.

I highly respect the Duggars. Not only do they live debt-free in a gorgeous house, their children are responsible, well mannered, well trained, well spoken, home educated children. I do not believe they are deprived. The Duggars have understood from the beginning that it was their job to teach, train and prepare their children to be responsible adults.

If you can't properly train your children - don't have them. But give me a well trained child from a large family ANY DAY over a snotty child in the "perfect" two child family.

Yes, this is a stereotype, but I believe by-in-large, it is an accurate one.

By the way, this is from the mother of two *perfect* children........((smile)).

Monday, November 21, 2011


I am convinced my son will cause me severe embarrassment the older he gets. He is the kind of boy who does most things on a whim. If a thought enters his brain, the action most certainly will follow.

Today we visited my Granny while at her day program. The kids wanted to see their Great Granny "in action", and the program invites drop-in visits. While there, I witnessed this thought-entering-the-brain-thingy in action. He thought it would be funny to hide. So he picks a poor, unsuspecting senior - who is NOT his Great Granny - to play hide-and-seek with, hiding behind her chair while she was eating. He waits for her to turn one way to see what is behind her, then he scoots the other way, out of sight. He plays this game as long as he doesn't get caught. Fortunately, it wasn't long, because I caught him and put a stop to it. I didn't want him to scare the wits out of this poor lady.

I have little hope of ending this problem. Seriously. I don't even have to be more than a hand's reach away for him to carry out some scheme of his. In this case I was right there, speaking to my Granny. Yes, I can punish him, but I have yet to find a punishment that will curb his impulsive behaviour.

That little episode was nothing, though, compared to this next event.

We were outside the hospital (where her day program is) when a woman rushed past us. This woman unintentionally scared Seth because he didn't hear or see her coming. He moved out of the way when he realized it, and, as she rushed past, he hollered out:


Don't ask me where he comes up with his on-the-spot names, but I do suspect it is part of his DNA, which comes from his.....mother Great Aunt Bertha on his father's side.

It cannot possibly be my fault, after all.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time, I blogged.

Once upon a time, I could put words together to make a decent sentence.

Once upon a time, I had more confidence in what I wrote.

I don't know if it's because of facebook......I've gotten lazy writing a whole story and just post *little clips*....;

Or, because I really believe my stories are mostly........recycled;

Or, because I am gone from my home almost half the time now, and thus away from my computer; (I don't have a computer at my Granny's, and I'm one of the last standing who have a cell phone with NO internet....)


Whatever the case, day, I will get back to blogging. I don't know. Time will tell.

Because, once upon a time, I REALLY enjoyed it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Serious Girl

My daughter got 63% on a spelling test today. She has never received a mark that low or done so poorly on any assignment before. She is struggling to concentrate.

She is more impatient than she has ever been.

Despite doing so well in piano, she has two songs she has not been able to pass that she has been working on for several weeks. She seems to get a portion of it perfect, and then falls apart in another part of the song (I mean that literally.....tears AND tantrums). The next time she plays it, the parts she does perfect are reverse. She cannot seem to play the whole song(s) through in its entirety.

She is a perfectionist. Her piano teacher pointed that out to me today.

She has been frustrated for several weeks about many things. She cries at the drop of a hat. She is extremely serious about EVERYTHING.

She is very intense.

Although she has laughed with and at other people, she cannot laugh at herself.

She is nine.

Besides the obvious....growing-up-getting-close-to-teenager-moodiness.....she needs the Holy Ghost.

I seriously do covet your prayers.

Monday, September 12, 2011

12 Years......

Yesterday I was married for 12 years.

Dave has long excelled at trying to surprise me and/or the kids. In fact, every tradition we have on birthdays and other special events is because of him. He started waking up in the wee morning hours to surprise the *special* individual. This is now a family tradition for everything.

This year, the kids and I spent the evening before (Saturday) at my granny's house. My granny is needing a lot of supervision and so until a long term solution is found, my sisters and I share this responsibility. Because I wasn't home on the morning of my anniversary, I *assumed* Dave would not be able to keep his early morning tradition. I should have known he had something up his sleeve.

Apparently on Saturday, while I was still at my own house, he tried to reach my mom. Not getting her at her number, he phoned my granny (who lives upstairs) to see if my mom was there. Granny said that she wasn't. This began a wild goose chase Granny was very confused. When I arrived there Saturday later, she told me that Elgan (her youngest son) was trying to reach my mom. On questioning my mom, she told me she did not receive a phone call from Elgan. My Granny also called my dad to say that Elgan tried to reach Marlene and couldn't get her, which concerned my dad because his other brother is currently in the hospital in Regina recovering from a very serious illness. He was wondering if this is why Elgan was trying to reach my mom. He then told Laura. Laura called me to ask why Elgan would be trying to reach mom. As a result, I ended up texting Elgan, asking if he was trying to reach my mom, to which he replied that he had not been. This left my Granny.....and myself....confused and without answers.

The mystery was solved early Sunday morning. My mom.....along with my kids.....woke me up early to give me an anniversary gift....FROM MY HUSBAND....who was in bed at home! Apparently he plotted to get me up very early despite being separated from him for the night, by calling my mom, sneaking to her house without my Granny's knowledge, to drop off a gift so that I could have it first thing in the morning. This was who called Granny, and who Granny mistakenly thought was her youngest son. My mom knew all along and eventually filled in my dad and sister.

My Granny was comforted, and I was much impressed with my crafty husband. I thought the day couldn't get much better. I was wrong.

On the way to church Sunday night, he pulls out ANOTHER CARD. Dave is very, very, VERY good at picking out awesome cards. In fact, he's very good at WRITING awesome poems and really should just open his own Hallmark shop and write his own material (although he IS getting rather rusty at the poem writing business....**hint, hint.....**). Totally surprising me, I read the card all misty-eyed, and then found he also got me a gift card to my very favorite store. TWO GIFTS. BOTH SURPRISES. BOTH VERY THOUGHT OUT AND WELL PLANNED. What a guy......

And now the topper.......because our anniversary was on a Sunday; because we go to church in the morning and evening; AND because we had a corn boil planned after the morning service, we decided not to go out for dinner until tonight.

Therefore......we are continuing our TWO DAY celebration this evening by going out for dinner to a very nice restaurant. Our once-a-year tradition to a classy place. On our anniversary.

After all, it HAS been 12 years. And that's worth celebrating.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Life's Lessons

Perhaps it's because our life is very hectic right now; perhaps it's because we (the kids and I) are staying three nights/days a week with my Granny; perhaps it's because we have been in a Laura Ingalls Wilder phase; OR perhaps it's all of the combined reasons......but once again I have come full circle to realize that I have let too many things a parent.

So why would this have anything to do with the above? Let me explain.

A few weeks ago, my Granny had an incident that has made us concerned about leaving her alone. As a result, my sisters and I have been taking turns staying overnight during the week, as well as having someone with Granny at least most of the time during the day. We have no idea how long this will be for. Truthfully, we are considering it to be indefinite, since Granny's deepest desire is NOT to be placed in a nursing home. We are trying our very best to grant her her wish.

Because of this, we are sleeping four nights a week at home. The days at home are packed with getting stuff done around the house, doing our paper route, and such things. It will only get busier once we begin school again.

On top of this, my dad has just recently been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which is cancer of his bone marrow. Fortunately, it's in the early stages and he should respond quite well to chemotherapy. I have been running with my dad to appointments, and between my sisters and I we will be taking him to his weekly, 3-4 hours at-one-time, appointments.

That is why my life is hectic.

I am finding myself *tuning out* my kids' behaviour too much. And, when they are in a different house almost half of their week, and when their behaviour affects my Granny, then I begin to realize how much I must *buckle up* and improve.

I could make excuses for them. They sleep on a blow up mattress on the floor and don't sleep well. They don't have any "down" time in their own room. I don't have any "down" time and am more impatient than ever. I don't have the freedom to take them as much to the park as I used to.....only when Granny is feeling well enough. When I am home it's not much fun because I'm busy catching up.

However, as tired as I am.....I know this is really no excuse. It shows a lack of training on my part more than anything. And, in the long run, I am very GLAD that their lives are so different right now. I want them to understand that life is not all about them. I want them to understand the importance of family, and teach them to serve. in ME...... just needs to improve.

As I mentioned above, we have been on a Laura Ingalls Wilder kick. I have never before listened (or read) intently to the entire stories. However, during The Long Winter, my interested piqued and I have been reading the rest of the stories since.

I realize that during the time they lived in, generally kids were more obedient and parents were more consistent disciplinarians. However, Charles and Caroline Ingalls were, from all accounts, VERY even-tempered, NEVER raised their voice, RARELY spanked their children.....and yet their children were very well behaved and obedient. They had a heart to please their parents.

One particular incident in the book really *yanked* my chain. Laura, 14 at the time, was picked on wrongfully by her teacher. The teacher really took a dislike to Laura and Carrie and let it show. One time Laura was sent home from school because she stood up to how the teacher treated her little sister. Charles and Caroline NEVER once sided with Laura......they told Laura that she must ALWAYS respect the teacher. Another time, Charles and two other school board members walked into the school for an inspection (after hearing that the teacher had no control over the class), and the teacher accused Laura of being the main problem in her class. Charles took it in stride, would not let Laura defend herself, and informed the teacher that the school board supported her and admonished the children to obey their teacher. Afterward at home, Charles let Laura know that he knew she didn't intend to cause trouble but there must have been something she had said at some time to let the teacher behave as she did toward her. They discovered what it was....a statement blown entirely out of context......and used it to teach her a lesson to keep her mouth shut.

How many parents these days would react this way? Would I? Yet I believe with all of my heart their parenting was 100 percent correct.

Bro. Steve Pixler preached at camp meeting this year, and his last message in particular was a revelation. I don't ever want to forget it. He said that the true suffering of the cross was not bearing our own scars from past failures and mistakes. It was suffering WRONGFULLY. And IN SILENCE. Until we could do that, we really could not be like Jesus. We could not be resurrected into a NEW MAN. He even told a story very similar to the one of Laura, where his daughter was wrongfully accused by someone, but he kept his mouth shut, had his daughter apologize to this person......all so he could teach his daughter a valuable lesson.

My point is this: Although the times I live in is different, I KNOW I want to be that kind of parent. Staying at home with them AND even homeschooling them....simply is not enough. I must be engaged. I don't believe my convictions are wrong of what their behaviour should be like (and trust me, I question myself all the time), but what is wrong is my REACTION. Or lack thereof.

So, all of this is weighing on my mind. Life is bringing out inadequacies. And that's okay. That's as it should be. I really do just want to improve.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Gift

I've been handed a gift.

My dear, adorable 90-year-old Granny has recently had some health issues. As a result, she was put on an antibiotic that we were warned had a slight chance of affecting her blood sugar, causing it to plunge. In a diabetic, this is not good news.

Yesterday morning I was at an appointment. My kids were with my mom, who *just happened* to NOT be volunteering like she usually is. When I got out of my appointment, I saw that I had a text message from my youngest sister to CALL HER. She was at my moms.

I knew it must be serious. She had been at work the last I knew. I called her. She told me that my Granny very suddenly deteriorated to the point where she had to lay down, wouldn't eat, was feverish, and barely coherent. Mom, not able to reach me or my older sister, called my youngest sister, who dropped everything and ran over. She told me she was very close to calling an ambulance - that's how unresponsive my Granny was.

I told her I would be home in a few minutes. I knew I had to check her blood sugar. My youngest sister had never done it, and neither had my mom. My Granny, my older sister and I were the only ones who did. Obviously, that will change.

I ran in the door, and immediately understood the concern. My Granny looked very frail lying on the couch. She was so "out of it" that when I poked her finger she didn't even know or care. I was surprised then to discover that her blood sugar was a little high.

I then found out (although I had been told this already but didn't retain it) that my mom very wisely was able to get my Granny to drink some Pepsi just before she *crashed*. And I honestly believe this drink of Pepsi is what saved my Granny's life.

It took about an hour after drinking the Pepsi, (about ten minutes after I got there) but my Granny came to and, after initially being very weak, was able to get up and walk about with the assistance of Lana and I. We took her immediately to the doctor, where my suspicions were confirmed. Her blood sugar dropped dangerously low. She was taken off the antibiotic that interfered with her blood sugar and switched to a different one that didn't. (Likely should've been what was done from the beginning......but then hindsight is always perfect.....).

The implications of what could have been are very difficult to think about. *If* my mom wasn't home......*if* my mom didn't give her a quick sugar fix.....*if* my mom couldn't have reached my sister......

We quickly made arrangements to have someone monitoring my Granny at all times while being treated for this illness. That meant staying through the night and during the day when my mom was not home (plus giving my mom some peace and reassurance, which she very much needed AND deserved). As a result, my kids and I had a sleepover at Granny's last night.

I made a pledge to my Granny a little while ago that I would do my best to serve her to the best of my capacity. Even though there have been times it has made my life very hectic, I honestly feel like I've been given a privilege. I wonder if I would have felt that way 20....or even 10 years ago?

Last night I helped my Granny. I became her servant. When she was finally ready for bed, I told her I was going to tuck her in. She smiled and said, "okay". She sat on the edge of her bed, not moving. I repeated my request. She smiled at me, realizing she really would have to indulge me. Then she laid down. I tucked her in nice and cozy.

Then I knelt beside her bed.

And I prayed. I thanked God for this wonderful woman. I asked Him to wrap Himself around her that night. I asked Him if He would touch her and heal her. I told Him I had the best Granny.

And I heard my precious Granny saying, "Jesus. Jesus."

I then leaned over and kissed her cheek. And said, "Night, night."

And I left her room knowing I had received a precious gift. Life had come full circle and the Granny that blessed me and at times tucked me in bed when I was little.....well, I was able to return the blessing.

As much as we enjoy reaping what we sow....assuming we have sown for the *good*, I realized how precious it was to be the instrument of blessing to my Granny.

And I will preserve this precious memory. For all time.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The List

My daughter has entered a new phase. She is freaked out over all "flying" bugs. This was something she mostly conquered a couple of years ago, but for some reason, this year it has hit her worse than ever. Consequently, it makes doing our regular paper route very stressful, frustrating, tricky.......and tries my patience to the max.

However, this post is not about Hannah's bug phobia.

Today, I had to cut my Granny's grass. My mom was not home. My daughter is freaked out over bugs. Therefore, in order to actually complete my task in a timely manner, I chose to let the kids stay inside while I cut the grass. Otherwise, I would have been dealing with my daughter and not getting my work done......and it was too hot to mess around.

So, my children stayed inside with their Great Granny. (I felt the need to explain why they would be INside while I was OUTside, thus the story of her phobia.....of which my son is only slightly better....). I gave them "the rules".

1) Seth was not to be a pest to his Great Granny. At all. He likes to bug the snot out of her if he can get away with it, by touching her cheek or her hair, "stealing" her chair, and various things.

2) Hannah was to do something quiet.

3) They were both to OBEY any request of their Great Granny's.

4) I spelled out to them their consequences........Seth was to lose his lego-making privileges...(it was his current passion) INDEFINITELY. Hannah was.......well, to be honest I didn't name her consequence because I didn't think she would be the issue. But I did let her know there would be a consequence if she disobeyed her Great Granny.

I then went about my thirty minute grass cutting task.

When I came in they *conveniently* disappeared downstairs. I asked my Granny if they obeyed her. My Granny likes to stick up for her poor, little great grandbabies if she fears for, so the fact that she very willingly stated that they "didn't listen to me at all" is a very strong statement to their disobedience. Apparently they shrieked and screamed and pushed and wrestled (all things that are okay at times and in certain places if it's in fun.....but they know it's not to be done at Great Granny's house because it bothers her).....Great Granny hollered and yelled for them to which they remained intentionally oblivious to her pleas.

I FOUND them downstairs. I told Seth his legos were currently history. I told Hannah that she was not allowed to read any of her NEW library books or ANY of her own books at all until further notice.

I suspected this could be a very effective method of discipline based on the reaction I got from my daughter. I was, after all, *TAKING HER VERY LIFE AWAY!!!* sniff, sniff.

I went upstairs to visit with my Granny. A while later, Seth came up and handed me The List. From his sister. A list she made because of the dire consequence of her *inability to read*.

1) I cannot read the Bible.

2) I cannot play the piano. (Because of course that involves *reading* music).

3) I cannot type on the computer. (Because she was practicing typing using paragraphs of...BOOKS.)

4) I cannot read to my brother.

and my personal favourite.......

5) I cannot cook or bake........(Because of course she would have to read instructions of some kind.)

I laughed. They were pretty good actually. And I knew I had hit on a potentially awesome consequence.

And I assured her she could still read the Bible. And all of her future cooking instructions could come verbally, of course.

Now I expect a full gourmet meal from this.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I walked in the house after work tonight (I work a couple of short shifts two evenings a week at a doctor's office) to my son yelling at me from the bathtub.


I hadn't even taken my shoes off.

I went to the door. He looked at me gravely, then told me to, "Sit down mom. I must talk to you."

Very curious by this time, I sat. He began his story.

"Mom. You'll never guess what. We watched a video tonight about someone in THE MUD! IN THE MUD, MOM! Can you believe it? Mom, it was SO gross that I had to stop watching it! I thought I might ACTUALLY THROW UP, MOM! I mean, they put their FACE in the mud, mom! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! THEIR FACE! I mean, couldn't they DIE if they ATE MUD?"

Refraining from smiling (although I was laughing inside) and rolling my eyes (using my inside-eye-rolling instead), I reassured him that no, you did not die from eating mud.

"When I'm older, mom," he continued, "I'm going to VANQUISH all mud baths, all mud bath pictures, and ALL MUD BATH VIDEOS!"

Vanquish. Yep. Eugene Meltzner the second. I went into the living room to ask his dad what they were watching, and found out they were watching volcanoes - his current passion - which turned into mud volcanoes, and then mud baths.

When I tucked him into bed, he began talking about the mud bath again, only to stop very abruptly.

"Mom. I have to stop talking about it because then I can't help thinking about it and I don't want to think about it! When I get married, I am going to be asking my wife to erase ALL mud bath pictures and videos!"

Smiling, I asked him why he couldn't erase all of them himself.

"Because mom, I am going to need help spelling ERASE MUD BATH VIDEOS AND PICTURES. That's why."

Well.....duh. Now why didn't I think of that?

I went into the kitchen and whispered this conversation to Dave. We laughed hysterically.

Some stories just have to be documented. That's all I can say.

Oh, and one last thing. I kept myself together quite well in front of my son. I think I deserve a medal.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Just when I think I have seen everything.

Today, in Sydney, Australia, there is a "Slut Walk". Apparently to protest against men......that the *lack* of clothing on women should NOT cause men to think they get to have more *liberties* with women.

So, let me get this straight. Feminist women are ticked that some men don't exercise self-discipline - when half their cleavage is sticking out - but think that they have all the right to NOT discipline themselves in the way they dress.....

This world is getting more wacky every day. I just came across an ad (on my online newspaper no less) for a prime time TV series about professional, beautiful, successful LESBIANS, living a filthy, vile, lifestyle. Each episode (because I read about it) contains graphic lesbian sex scenes. This is on PRIME TIME TV.

As a non-feminist WOMAN, I am offended.

I have grown to despise what Lady Gaga stands for. She is the epitome of evil; a woman who has sold her soul for fame.

And, as humanitarian as Ellen Degeneres is, I truly believe she is one of the main reasons lesbianism AND female sexuality is so out of whack. BECAUSE, she is one of the nicest, most seemingly normal women. Therefore, her sexuality must be okay.

Women have sunk to new lows. And they lay too much blame on men.

And, one more thing while I am ranting......I am sick and tired of seeing pictures of so many perverted stars or singers WEARING CROSSES AROUND THEIR NECK.

I'm done.......for now.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Done With School

I am tired of school. Taking four weeks off (for our vacation and ensuing sicknesses), I am trying very hard to get finished so we can take a much needed summer break.

I have tried to change my methods of teaching and base it on my children's personalities and strengths, but I must confess to struggling with this. When one child thrives on movement, noise and music and it distracts the other, and the other doesn't want to be alone in their bedroom (and peace and quiet) to do their work because they're "lonely", then I find myself at a loss. A genius I am not. More than that, patient I AM NOT.

Today my son surprised me by getting up, getting dressed and doing his chores without any prompting from me. Thinking this was the start of a very good day, I soon found out I was mistaken. Previously walking normally, he went into the bathroom and from there started complaining that his leg hurt. And needed my help. And whined. And whined. And whined.

I understand that I have not been effective in getting this blasted habit out of him controlling his tendency to whine. I am trying very hard to change that. I have obviously mollycoddled him far too long. So, I informed him that he could camp in the bathroom if he wanted. I was not coming in. His leg was fine prior to this. And I got up (he was in our ensuite with the door shut), shut my bedroom door and went into the living room, where my daughter was practicing the piano - thus effectively drowning out the noise.

It worked. He quit crying and *miraculously* walked out of the bathroom.

Now on to school. With my son, a ten minute assignment takes at least an hour. And then he has the nerve to whine that "he doesn't want to do school anymore". Today I had enough. He went to bed every time he whined. Consequently, he was in bed......a lot. School dragged on. He got up, did a bit, and ended up back in bed because he "forgot" and whined.

Eventually he got the picture, I guess because I held out long enough (which is my biggest problem.....obviously). He finally came out, sat down, did his school diligently. I told him I did not want to hear about his leg at all. I told him that because he is a master exaggerator and whiner, I tended to not believe him when he whined about some pain here or there, and that one time he really was going to have a true problem and I wouldn't believe him if he kept on whining so much.

This is what came out of his mouth instead:

"Ouch.......(then catching himself..)"

"My leg is trying really hard to make me cry, mom," he informed me with a ((smile)).

He then began to LAUGH at the pain in his leg. Yup. Laugh. Cuz if whining doesn't get you attention then surely LAUGHING will. I had to STOP his laughing.

And I really don't want there to be NO LAUGHING in this house.

To all my dear friends who so kindly read this blog, will you please pray for me? I do write this while laughing, but truly, I do need God's inspiration. I need to effectively handle my son without.....SNAPPING.

And I truly need summer vacation. God bless.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Lame Man

It begins like this.

Because the kids have been sick for three full days with fevers; because they have been house bound for those three days; because I did their papers on Wednesday (while grandma babysat) because they were sick; AND because they are on the mend today with their fevers gone; THAT.........

Dad very wisely suggested that they needed to get outside today to do the papers. It didn't need to be rushed. It could take however long it needed to take, but the fresh air would do them good. I wholeheartedly agreed.

Immediately following this announcement, our poor, young son discovered that he was lame....{{sniff, sniff}}.

BOTH of his legs, directly below his knee caps but above his calves, were "hurting really, really bad".

"You have NO IDEA how bad my legs are hurting, mom!" he wailed.

He got out of bed to go to the bathroom and COULD NOT HOLD HIMSELF UP! Imagine! He landed on his bum with a wail, proclaiming his inability to stand. I heartlessly told him to crawl to the bathroom then. He continued to wail. Dad came into the bedroom to talk to me. We completely ignored the invalid. We talked ABOVE the wails for at least five minutes. The wails grew louder. I stepped over him to go to the kitchen. The crippled boy got on his belly and pulled/pushed himself on the floor to the kitchen, proclaiming that his "belly hurt in that position!" I.......very kindly.......turned on the bathroom light for this poor child (because there were monsters there in the dark you understand) and told him however he had to bring himself to do it, to get to the bathroom. I was NOT lifting him up. He managed to pull himself into the bathroom and shut the door. And continue to wail for another five minutes.

If Hannah is the drama queen of the house, Seth is MOST definitely the drama KING. In fact, he wins the overall prize for drama in our house.

Dad finally opened the bathroom door (after we stood in our bedroom laughing for a while......these things require a sense of humour to keep your sanity) and convinced him of the need to go to the bathroom. Truthfully, I honestly didn't care whether he wet himself. I wasn't helping him. I have been stuck in the house myself with sick kids and my patience was EVEN LESS than normal. What were wet pajamas and a wet floor? I would just get Junior to clean up the mess anyway. That was my attitude.

After he managed this miraculous feat, he came wailing out of the bathroom, still proclaiming his inability to walk. So, dad offered to *massage* his legs. Lest anyone thinks this was harsh, I was witness to it. It wasn't too hard at all, but it was such that Seth did not like it. Dad continued to *massage* his legs until Seth agreed to walk his pain away.

Back and forth down the hallway, our poor, weak child shuffled. Back and forth. Back and forth. Wailing the whole time. We told him he could quit walking when his *pain* was gone. So, of course the pain didn't leave immediately. It took about 15 minutes of walking AND WAILING for there to be a noticeable improvement.

When I finally had enough, I told him that his legs would definitely get more strength if he STOOD IN THE CORNER until the whining ceased.

He stopped. (Maybe we should've thought of that first, I don't know. Sometimes you just have to try things out though....).

While our miraculously-healed-lame-boy was eating his breakfast, eyes swollen, he was surprised to find HIS MOTHER - on her hands and knees - crawling, and whining, and moaning, and wailing down the hallway........


Needless to say, the morning ended up.....funny after all. My son even wanted me to repeat the scene. Both of my children were totally surprised that I could/would crawl ALL THAT WAY on my hands and knees down that *mile* long hallway, and laughed hysterically.

(How insulting is that! Maybe they should BOTH go in the corner!!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Laugh Of The Day - 2

Two in one

My son (again) asked me very seriously tonight while I was tucking him into bed if I could "please teach Hannah how to make *good* jellyfish (translated grape jelly) sandwiches so that when I die ( in ME), she will know how to make them for.....him."

Yep. Awesome, comforting questions. I did inform him that HE could learn HIMSELF how to make those "awesome jellyfish sandwiches" because his sister was NOT his slave!

Needless to say, Dave and I have had a few chuckles today because of our son.

Laugh Of The Day

Question from Seth:

"Mom, was Jesus powerful because of His hair?"

Thinking he must be confusing Jesus with Samson, I told him no, and then asked him why he thought that.

"Because there's power in the MANE of Jesus," he said, "and I know what a MANE is. It's hair," he said, completely serious.

Aren't children just amazingly awesome?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Family Fun

It began with request from my son to read him the classic Three Little Pigs tonight, which I have not read in eons. As a joke, I called it the Three Piddle Ligs instead. This prompted my husband to google the Three Piddle Ligs, which turned up scads of spoonerisms.

If you have never read to your children using spoonerisms, try it. We had one of funnest evenings in a long time.

Dave read Cinderella and the Gairy Fodmother. Then I read the Three Piddle Ligs. I honestly thought my son was going to wet himself, such were his lelly baughs. Particularly when I read that the wolf : "chimed the climney and dropped tail first into a boiling stot of POO!"

Talk about deeding nepends!!

Ha Ha! Nood Gight!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Praise To A Faithful God

Dear Jesus:

I have a lot on my heart that I wish to thank You for. I am in awe that once again, You have proven your kindness to my family. I really can't begin to express my gratefulness.

While we were on the highway today, driving home from Edmonton, I almost *didn't hear* your gentle whisper to "just slow down a little". I questioned why on earth I would even think I needed to - after all the roads were great and it was still light out, AND we were only 30 minutes from home - but then surmised that there must be radar up ahead. So, actually thinking I was a *little crazy* for slowing down, I set my cruise control to 10 kms slower.

Until I came across THE ACCIDENT.

The accident that involved at least FOUR vehicles.

The accident that had a police car AND ambulance racing toward the scene FROM the opposite direction - the direction of home.

An accident that there is more than a good chance our family could have been involved in if I did not slow down *just a little*, because of Your nudge.

I can't quite describe the feeling that I had when I came upon it, but then, You know my heart anyway, Lord.

I know, Jesus, there are many times that You take care of us that we don't even know about. For all of those times, I truly thank You.

There are other times, Jesus, when You let us know in little ways that Your hand is on our lives. That everything that happens is entirely in Your plan. That You protect us. You have shown me that today. You showed me that while on vacation in all of our travels. You particularly showed me that during the "sneaker wave incident" involving my daughter.

So, for all the times You have protected us, Lord, I give you praise. I pray, Lord, for the people involved in the accident, for which I have not heard anything about yet.

And I pray that I NEVER forget to be thankful.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


After being away for two weeks and two days, I have discovered a few things that I am VERY thankful for:

1) I asked God to please keep my Granny healthy while I was away. I found it very difficult to be so far away from her when I couldn't quickly get home if I needed to. God was so good. My Granny was fine.

2) I asked God to "pretty please keep the highways safe", particularly from snow/blizzards. And you know what? He did just that. Every single one. We either just missed a storm, or were ahead of it. Thank you, Jesus.

3) I thank God for being able to go to the excellent services in Spokane, WA for three days, as well as a very nice church in Eureka, CA for prayer meeting and my previous pastor, Bro. Bow's church for one service. I HATE being away when I can't get to church.

4) I thank God for helping me every day to drive carefully. Wonderful God that He is, He did.

5) And finally, although not the least, I thank God that he kept my family safe. In particular, my daughter when at the ocean (as I previously blogged about). I cannot really express my gratitude enough about that.

Truthfully, I had a difficult time on this trip in general, and I needed help from God every day with my attitude about it. I did not want to be so far away from home for so long, driving so many miles. Every day He helped me, and I felt a noticeable difference with His help. Today I am home. In my own bed. And I am grateful for such a kind, caring God.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Seven Years

**I tried to post this on the day of my son's birthday, from my laptop, while on vacation. But my laptop is possessed and would NOT HAVE IT. Here is a tribute to my son....**

Today, he is 7.

I am not sure there is much I can say that I haven't said a kajillion times. But today, he is 7. That I have NEVER said before.

We tried to make the day as special as you can make it when you are on vacation and have driven endlessly. When you are currently staying in your FIFTH hotel room in EIGHT days.

Today we stayed put. We are in the coast of Oregon, heading North, eventually making our way home. We spent time at a wild animal games park which my son really enjoyed, because it was the type of park that allowed the tame animals to wander free through the park. He got to pet rams, goats, sheep, donkeys, burrows (there IS a difference between the two, which I didn't know). He tried to get close to the deer and peacocks, but they would have none of it. In addition, he got to pet a baby Bengal tiger, a possum, a coon, a ferret, and even a de-stinkified skunk.....which turned out to be his favourite. What a surprise.

His first phone call this morning was from his Auntie Laura. She told him to take lots of pictures of the tiger so she could scrapbook them, which he promptly replied with: " are *destroying* my sense of humour!"

All day his milked his birthday-boy status. "I think, since it's MY birthday, that we should go to the park," or "Do I get to pick a place to eat, since it's MY birthday?" He did pretty much get his choice of everything, too.

He told the kids at the park it was his birthday. He coloured a picture at the restaurant we were at, put it on the window facing out so the "cars passing by could see what an awesome job he did".

Yep. That's my boy. NEVER wanting to be the centre of attention.

He is still such a stinker. He is still so stinkin' lovable. He is the kind of kid whose personality I have always enjoyed tremendously IN OTHERS. Maybe God saw that and decided that's the kind of son I needed.

Whatever the case, I sure am glad he's my son. Even at my most frustrated, I know deep down inside that I wouldn't change him if I could.

I'm thankful to God for seven wonderful years. Oh how I love that boy!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What If?

Every once in a while something happens in life that has great impact. I suspect these things happen to teach valuable lessons. I certainly hope that I've learned mine.

Today, as part of our vacation in Northern California, we decided to visit Patrick's Point. Patrick's Point is a part of beach that is known for having agate rocks. An agate rock is a rock that, when held up to the light, you can see right through. People from all over the world come to Patrick's Point to collect these rocks. Upon reading this history, my daughter had her heart set on finding some of these rocks.

After spending several hours hiking in the Trees of Mystery and going on a gondola ride, we made our last destination Patrick's Point. What we didn't know is that Patrick's Point is, in fact, a cliff that overlooks the Pacific, and that to get to the beach a person has to climb down the steep embankment for quite a ways. It's not that the trail is terribly treacherous, at least not until the end, but it is long and I knew in my tired brain that meant it would be a much harder climb back to the top. At the beginning of our descent, we watched the angry waves come crashing in for a while. It was a rainy, windy day, and the ocean did not appear forgiving. A fact that should been a warning to us.

The roar was loud as we descended. We took our time, fully intent upon walking on the beach, trying to find Hannah's precious rocks and a seashell or two. At the bottom of the climb, we came across a California Coast Guard. She warned us that the ocean was at high tide and that, if we decided to continue, there was a chance we would be caught unaware by a "sneaker" wave. She said that if we came back in an hour, the tide would be going back out and we shouldn't have to worry about them at that point. Dave and I stood in indecision. We watched the waves for a while, noticing that we had a good amount of sand where the last waves came and the rocks of the cliff where we could look for agate. I watched what I thought were "sneaker" waves coming in, thinking "what's the worst that could happen? So a wave comes a little further and I get my shoes real harm done". And the thought of climbing back UP, only to return in an hour and again have to climb back UP.....well, for this out-of-shape, fat body who already spent hours hiking - it was just too much. So, Dave and I made the decision (which in all fairness he probably made because of ME) to chance a little ol' sneaker wave and stay.

We spent a delightful 45 minutes collecting what we only think are agate rocks, along with the odd seashell. Then we headed back to the section where we were to begin our climb. We wandered quite a distance down the beach, enjoying the sound of the waves crashing, feeling completely safe. We reached a section that, right in the middle of the sand, had a little stream flowing. I had Seth with me, Hannah and Dave were following. I jumped over this "little" stream and grabbed Seth's hand to help him jump. We both weren't successful and ended up getting a little wet. While my back was turned away from the ocean, a little "sneaker" wave caught us unawares. This "little" wave wasn't as little as I thought it would be, however. It soaked us past my ankles, and totally upset my son. I turned back to look to see Dave and Hannah holding onto a log, cheering us on.

I took my crying son around the last cliff before the ascent, when we were hit yet again with another "sneaker" wave. This time it soaked Seth to his knees and me mid-calf. My son was hysterical. I rushed him to the stairs as I tried to comfort him.

I waited a ways up for Dave and Hannah to catch up. That's when I saw that they were totally soaked. That's when my heart stopped. I did not realize that as I was calming my hysterical son, trying to get him up the stairs, Dave and Hannah got hit with a wave. Dave was in water up to his WAIST and Hannah was in water up to her ARMPITS. Hannah lost her balance and Dave managed to catch her and hold on to the log. My daughter was crying. My son was crying. I was in shock. Dave was quiet. My son cried for 15 solid minutes.

We drove about 15 minutes back to our hotel room. We cleaned up sand in four pair of shoes - none of which we could throw in the washer at the hotel because it was against the rules. We cleaned sand in pants and skirts and socks. We had baths. We comforted our children. We talked and talked and talked about it. After once saying that we needed to stop talking about it, I realized the unfairness of that because my daughter NEEDED to talk about it.

We hadn't eaten since breakfast, so we finally found a restaurant and sat down to eat. And talk more about THE INCIDENT. Dave and I had been avoiding the "what ifs", but really, I think it's impossible to totally avoid them. Sometimes I think they're even necessary because they make you more thankful.

"What if I wasn't right beside Hannah?" Dave asked. Or, "what if I would have seen this and screamed when I saw my daughter in deep water? Would I have screamed and intensified the situation?" I asked. "What if I didn't suddenly feel a rock holding me up?" Hannah asked us, instantly sobering Dave and I.

"What if I would have crossed the little log first, as I was intending to, and then reached for Hannah to help her, only to have the wave come when I was on the other side?" was Dave's last question. And then I watched as his eyes filled with tears.....and he tried to hide it.

The fact is, we should have NEVER gone out on that beach in high tide. We will both always regret it. It was a stupid, stupid mistake that we will never repeat. We will have to take the kids both to the ocean in the days ahead at LOW tide, just so they don't develop an unreasonable fear of the ocean.

The fact also is, that God was merciful. When Hannah asked where the "rock" suddenly came from, well, I think we all knew Who the Rock was.

And I ask, "what if" we didn't really KNOW Him?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Half and Half

She wasted time tonight looking for her little blue puppy that went missing because she "just couldn't sleep without it". "She is the littlest of all my animals, mom, and if I don't find her she'll be....lonely."

That's my girl. Still a child in so many ways.

Today she is 9.

She reads books about the famous, historical men of Greece and Rome. She constantly gives me little bits of trivia after she has read these books, which is the third time for each one.

Her interests are that of a girl much older than 9.

She runs her legs off around the racetrack while I play volleyball. In between her laps she (and her brother) stop at an area with a platform and play office, school, church, and any number of games. They then carry on running around the track.

She is a 9-year-old girl again.

She picks my brain about geography, history, Japan, tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes.....all in a DAY. Not a week or month. Her intelligence is greater (I believe) than the average girl of her age, simply because of her insatiable curiousity and thirst for knowledge. I tell her constantly that when I was nine, the only thing I cared about was sports and television. I NEVER read.

She seems older than her age.

She encloses herself in her brother's bedroom so the two of them can form their own band: Drums, xylophone, flute, tamborine......all the toys I have stupidly neglected to remove from her brother's room. Yet.

She is once again a carefree girl of 9.

She works hard. She earns her own money delivering flyers. She keeps her little monthly allotment in her purse and carefully chooses what she will spend it on. She is beginning to understand the value of not throwing her money carelessly away now that she has actually earned it herself.

In that regard she is more mature than a lot of adults.

She cleans a part of her room......she runs to the piano to play a tune......she sneakily reads couple of pages in one of her latest books.....she helps her brother fix this or that......she runs down to the freezer to grab me a loaf of bread.....she runs back to her starting point - her bedroom - to try to accomplish a little more.

She is fiercely determined to figure things out on her own - like her dad. She is just as determined to throw in the towel when she hits a road block - like her mom. It depends on the situation and her self-belief.

She is a paradox.

That is my girl. Half child and half teenager. Forgetful AND organized. She walks around in a dreamy state AND compiles lists to help remember things. She loves her brother to distraction AND fights with him passionately. She obeys me most of the time AND completely disobeys......very occasionally.

I get tears writing about her. She is everything my mother's heart could ever hope for. She is loyal. Affectionate. Smart. Determined. Beautiful. Warm-hearted. Kind. Compassionate.

She is 9 today. Jesus knows - I love her so.

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Crush

"I luv Deesree Frum Seth"

(Desiree is a sweet girl at church whom my son had a crush on for months. He drew her pictures and wrote her notes regularly.)

Somewhat surprisingly, yesterday Seth crept into my bedroom to tell me this secret.

"Mom," he informed me very seriously, "I plan to marry either Julie, Shawna, or Cassandra."

And thus his first crush has abruptly.......ended.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Granny's Amaryllis

(Photo courtesy of my niece, Rachel)

This wonderful, classy lady is my Granny. At the end of March, she will be 90 years old. Because many people from the church will be gone in the next few weeks to Israel, we decided to have a birthday party for her early so everyone could be there, and so celebrated the wonderful woman who is my Granny this afternoon at the church.

Is she not the most beautiful 90-year-old lady you have ever seen? We went shopping yesterday and bought her that beautiful new light blue jacket you see in the picture and the white shell underneath. Her one request was that her hair be done "special" for the occasion and, since Granny RARELY makes any requests, her favourite hair-doer, Lana, came over especially early to fix her Granny's hair. She was simply stunning.

And now I have a heartwarming story which I only hope I can do justice to.

About a month ago, Sister Dehod was having a chat with my Granny. Knowing how much Sister Dehod loves flowers, Granny told her about the amaryllis she received from one of her sons and how wonderful it looked in full bloom. My Granny told me of her "chat" with Sister Dehod. Several times in fact.....because unfortunately she has become more forgetful lately - as anyone her age would.

"Sister Dehod would like to see my amaryllis," she would tell me. Or, "Sister Dehod might try to plant her own amaryllis after hearing how well mine is doing."

She is very fond of Sister Dehod.

This afternoon at her party we talked about my dear, wonderful Granny. We told stories about some of the things she has experienced in her lifetime.

And then Sister Dehod hit a grand slam.

She ended with her version of my Granny's story. She told us how inspired she was to plant her own amaryllis after hearing about how well Granny's was doing.

And then she brought out the amaryllis she planted - just one month FULL BLOOM....and presented it to my Granny as a gift from her. My Granny's eyeballs were a sight to behold. "Is that really for me?" she asked.

This is the heartwarming part of the story: Sister Dehod has been nurturing this plant for a month. She was not sure if it would bloom on time or even at all for this event today. Then, just a few days ago it broke out in full bloom. In a week's time they leave for Israel.

If it didn't bloom when it did, Sister Dehod would have either waited to give it to my Granny, or chosen to present it to her without the beauty of it in full bloom.

And, although my Granny would have appreciated it one way or another, there was really nothing quite so special as seeing the look on her face when she saw the beautiful, fully blossomed plant.

And personally, I think God did that. Just for my Granny. Because my Granny is special and HE loves her.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Just About My Boy

This post is about my boy, whom I've been neglecting in my posts recently. I actually found him funny today. Maybe my vitamins are kicking in.

He began the day teasing Hannah, telling her that "all girls want a beard", which of course got an outrageous reaction from her. I secretly laughed. He so easily knows how to push his sister's buttons.

After overhearing a discussion I was having with my daughter (who is very inquisitive and was asking me about how the white people took the land from the natives, which turned into the very sensitive topic of Residential Schools and how mistreated the native people were at the hands of white people.......), he informed me that if it was him that was taken out of our home, put in a Residential School, the first thing he would request is to go to the park. Then, after the trip to the park, he would turn and THROW STONES AT THE GOVERNMENT!!! Then after that, he would find a digger to come and "dig a home out for us" (because he would leave and find his parents after all) which would, of course, be conveniently located across the street from the park.

The night ended with the discovery of half of his stuffed animals hidden in his coat sleeves, hanging on a hook in his bedroom. I went to get his coat and found it very heavy. As I removed his beloved animals, I couldn't help but chuckle. I could imagine him saying, "wasn't I tricky, mom?! HA HA!! I sure tricked you, mom, didn't I?!"

But then again, maybe he was just trying to take them along to his next destination. You never know.

If this post isn't funny to anyone else, that's okay. It certainly was to me and even more than that, is somewhat of a celebration that my sense of humour just might be returning with regard to my boy. I needed that.

Monday, February 28, 2011

What Really Matters

This last weekend Dave and I attended the homeschool conference. This is my fifth conference and I can honestly say that every year I glean something worthwhile. I find it very refreshing to attend an event with so many likeminded people. People who totally understand where I'm at and why I sometimes get frustrated. People who embrace homeschooling as normal.

As is typical, I discussed the conference at length with my pastor's wife. She and my pastor were very active in the Saskatchewan homeschooling organization when their kids were younger. I am very thankful for their (among others) contribution to the cause because they have truly made my path so much easier. Provincial legislation as well as the funding I receive is currently the best it has ever been, and I was told this weekend that presently Saskatchewan is considered the easiest province in Canada in which to home educate your child.

My pastor's wife and I have never been similar in our approach to homeschooling. She embraces the unschooled approach. I embrace the ducks in a row, regulated approach. However, I have changed a lot since I began and, although I don't think I will ever be totally unschooled in my approach, I have come much more toward the middle. I at least understand why someone would choose the unschooled approach. The unschooled approach is really suited to a laid back personality. In someone like me, who is far too intense, it would create grey hair and early baldness. And extra heart palpitations.

My pastor and wife have three tremendous kids. They are thriving and successful. They are excellent Christians. You really could consider them to be the poster children of successful parenting and homeschooling. As I was reflecting on the conversation I had with my pastor's wife, I tried to imagine myself following their exact prescription of homeschooling AND parenting because, quite simply, YOU CANNOT ARGUE WITH RESULTS.

And I had an epiphany. Maybe I'm just slow.

I realized that even if I did my best to follow their exact methods, there would be no way I (we) would have the same results.

Because I am not my pastor's wife.

Because my husband is not my pastor.

Because my kids are not their kids.

And, because sometimes I get myself worked up over my inadequacies, I felt like God dropped this little thought into my head and told me to "just relax".

It's not the unschooled approach. It's not the legislative approach. It's really not about education at all.

It's whether the parents are bonded with their kids. Loving them. Praying for them. Teaching them. Guiding them.

It's whether the parents (and not the peers) have their children's heart.

And within the context of our own unique family, God is the centre. He knows that with all of my little stinky pitfalls, my heart's desire is that my kids fall in love with Him.

After all, that's what really matters the most.

Disclaimer: I do understand that even when all of these essential elements to parenting are completed perfectly, there are still some children who make choices that break our hearts. All we can do is our very best.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Return Of The Valentine Box

Last week I asked Hannah if we were going to get our Valentine Box out again this year for Valentine's Day. She had no recollection of what I was talking about, so I pulled up my story, The Valentine Box, and had her read it. With a smile on her face, she decided she was going to make this year's Valentine Box. She is not very artistic, but she happily constructed this from Seth's Thomas The Tank Engine lego box, carefully cutting a big slit in the top for cards and other delightful surprises.

The box sat outside her door for several days. Despite an attempt by Seth to restore HIS Thomas The Tank Engine box back to its original state, it did manage to survive the week. My girl would sneakily stuff things into the box. At times she would coax her brother to do the same. I waited in anticipation.

This morning at 6:15, a pre-planned time because Dave leaves for work at 6:30, a sleepy-eyed boy and a wide-eyed girl convened in our bedroom to open the box. Treasures galore were in the box: home made pictures, a tiny box of beads, cards, treasures from the kids and treasures from mom and dad. I was spoiled by everyone.

I managed to find something little for the kids. Scooby Doo is Seth's favourite dog right now. Several years ago he received three electronic Scooby Doo books from an aunt which he memorized. He periodically drags the books out, practices the theatrics, and then puts on a skit for us. So, when I found Scooby Doo for only $5.00, I knew I couldn't pass it up. He was ecstatic, and his reaction was worth enduring a morning of "Rall right rom! RI'm roming!"

I found a little stuffed pink poodle, which was inside a miniature pink purse for Hannah for very cheap. She promptly named her poodle Lucia, calling her Lucy for short, and spent the day cuddling her and teaching her obedience.........:-) She put a belt around her neck and used it for a leash. When she got in the shower tonight, she tied her to the chair leg. She explained with a smile that she didn't want Lucy to "get away".

I am told I have wonderfully unique kids.

Tonight Dave and I went out for dinner. It wasn't fancy. It couldn't be called supremely romantic. All of those restaurants were packed and we really didn't want to spend any more money than we already had. We used a coupon and went to an average restaurant where it was just the two of us without the kids. That's all we really needed anyway.

One last thing, something I must bed time Seth - my wonderfully unique son - always gets his bed ready. He cannot simply just jump in bed and get under the covers like other boys. That would be too simple and un-unique. Plus, he has too many animals that he sleeps with. So, he arranges them in exact, perfect order, every night. At times I have pulled his covers back and tried to arrange his animals, but I always manage to mix some of them up - which totally ticks this boy off.

Here is what I am talking about:

He sleeps in a rectangle, with his animals surrounding him on all sides. Not an elephant out of place.

And so ends another wonderful Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I tried to reach my sister this evening. Several times. I knew she was off work but she was not answering any of my texts.

And I became impatient. Harrumph.......!!!!!!!

Then it struck me how different the world is - with ME being a very guilty culprit - because of technology. How astoundingly........IMPATIENT. In the days prior to cell phones, a person would actually have to wait until someone was AT HOME to call them. How novel! It is becoming the norm for people to cancel their land lines and carry a cell phone only. And you know what that means? That a person can be reached AT ANY TIME, ANYWHERE. It means that a person carries their phone 24/7 because heaven forbid we should miss a call. Or a text. Or not be able to surf the net. Instantly.

Sometimes I sit and wonder what it would be like without any of this *garbage*. Tonight I imagined myself living on an acreage - just one or two acres is enough - just outside the city limits. With only a land line. No texting. Maybe even.......{{gulp}} internet. Having my own garden with fresh vegetables (that I absolutely detest taking care of but perhaps I would push myself to do). Maybe even a flower garden if I got REALLY good at gardening.

One, maybe even two dogs that ran wild outdoors.

No cats. They are detestable.

Room for my children to run free and play outside. Ride their bikes without worry of traffic.

Taking life slow.

Learning the art of true patience in an instant society.

Maybe I could start a new movement: Apostolic Amish Society. I can't help but smile. (Maybe I'd even trade in the car for a horse and never know).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Gracious God

I've been praying for my daughter a lot more lately because she needs the Holy Ghost. Tonight, in God's gracious lovingkindness, He showed me a glimpse of her heart.

On the way home from church, she brought up Solomon and we discussed him. Then she said to me:

"You know mom. If God ever asked me what I wanted more than anything else like He did Solomon, I really wouldn't want anything in this world. You know what I would want?" she asked me. "I would want Him to take away the pride that seems to keep me from praying and worshipping in front of other people."

How is that for an honourable desire? She knows that she is hindered by the thought of anybody either staring at her while she is praying or worshipping, or by the thought of somebody helping her pray. We have had many conversations about this and she has finally come to the understanding of the root of the problem.

I was so thrilled with her response, I told her that God heard her request. Right in the car. Then later when we were having our little chat at bedtime - I was rubbing her back and she was lying on her stomach - I told her that WHEN she got the Holy Ghost, I was going to pray that she become an altar worker. That she has a desire to pray with kids AND adults at the altar because, quite simply, she has the heart for that. In her silence, I heard her smile.

"You are smiling right now aren't you?" I asked.

"How did you know?" she asked with a GREAT BIG SMILE.

"Because you can ALWAYS hear smiles when you listen close enough," I said.

And we both smiled.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stark Honesty

I've had writer's block lately. Except that would insinuate that I'm a writer, which I'm not. I simply like to put a few sentences together in a blog. I guess that means I have blogger's block. Added to that, I am bone weary. With winter. With ongoing situations. With homeschooling (which normally happens in January/February of the school year).

It's not that I don't have any writing material, either. Many times I tell myself that I have to blog about a particular incident, but by the time evening comes I can't seem to get it out. I have thought about shutting down my blog, an option that I am still considering. It may be time to simply stop my stories and compile the ones I have. Time will tell.

Frankly, I am struggling telling anything about my son because I don't know how to tell it in a positive manner. I love that boy-o-mine to distraction, but he is driving me stark, raving mad and at times I feel guilty about that. I am not sure how to deal with his constant craving for attention and am troubled by it because when I look into the future I see an attention-seeking boy and I wonder what lengths he will go to for attention. I shudder to think of him in public school because he is such a FOLLOWER. I suspect of my two children, he is "the crowd's" favourite because he is so funny and charming. They don't know my loss of sleep, or my extra worry lines in my forehead (hmm....on the other hand maybe they do.....) and several hundred more grey hair. Because I am concerned about the FUTURE of this boy.

I know He's in God's hands. I just struggle daily to leave him there. Maybe I should be better at trusting. Truthfully, I'm not. That's stark honesty. I know of better parents and better Christians whose kids rebel against them when they are older.

I don't worry about my girl in the same way, although I do worry. She is going to get her heart broken continuously because she sets her heart on things. For example, yesterday we went to the library, just her and I, after her piano lesson. We went to a different one than we normally do because we were in a different area of the city. This was the first thing to set her off. She wanted the "main" one. What was her undoing, however, was the fact that THIS library didn't have Thea Stilton books. She was pinning all her hopes on Thea Stilton. Boxcar Children wouldn't do. Our Canada books wouldn't do. American Girl books wouldn't do. Hardy Boys books wouldn't do (she's read the Nancy Drew books several times over). Only Thea Stilton would do.

She pitched a fit. She shocked me by it because it really isn't typical of her. She DEMANDED to know why we couldn't go to the "main" library! Harumph! She began pleading and begging - in the middle of the library - to drive to the other library. None of this was done very loud, but it was a public display nonetheless, and I had to tell her three times to stop. When we got into the car, I told her how very displeased I was with her behaviour in public and that in no uncertain terms would we be going to the other library after that display. She was so distraught that she told me that I "PROBABLY DIDN'T EVEN LOVE HER"!!! (That was a first).

I laughed out loud. I couldn't help it. (Does this make me mean?)

She sulked for a solid hour. Then she pulled me aside (we were at granny's house) and apologized to me. I thanked her for her apology, but asked her if she thought that meant I was taking her to the other library. She was honest (I love this about her). She told me that yes, she hoped I would, but she understood if I didn't and that she was still sorry.

We went today to the "main" library to get her beloved Thea Stilton books.

One last note.....since I'm on a role that may not come again for a while.......about my son. A couple of days ago he wore his clothes to bed. UNDERNEATH HIS PAJAMAS. He showed me them in the morning. He was "being sneaky", he said. We had a good laugh over that one. I have no idea how I could have missed his bulk.

And I just realized that, at least for a short time, I became unblocked. Good night all.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Teacher

She patiently reads to her brother, often encouraging him to read and helping him sound out words.

She shows him how to do house work, teaching him more patiently than her mother does.

She helps him with his school. In fact, it is her delight to do so.

Over the last while, the conviction has crept upon me - slowly, I might add - that my daughter is a born teacher. In fact, although it is too soon to say for sure, I wouldn't be surprised if that is her life calling.

A few days ago, quite out of the blue, she asked me what I thought she should do when she grew up. Truthfully - and this will be met with some opposition I am sure - I am of the opinion more than ever that as a female, she needs to *first* plan her future to be at home, raising the children God gives (should He decide to bless her). All other future plans should revolve around that.


I asked her the question: "If you decide you want to further your education, what would you do if you got married and had children? Would you be willing to forsake your *career* to be the nurturer of any children you might have?" Because, quite simply, I believe this to be one of the reasons women (yea....even APOSTOLIC women) are often tempted to hold part-time jobs and give their children up to a babysitter. They don't like their two year, four year or even longer *year* education GOING DOWN THE DRAIN.

To this end, this is what I advised her (yes, I know she is only eight but it is NEVER too early to guide my she doesn't have to work a minimum-wage paying job all her life if she doesn't get married):

That since she loved teaching, even THRIVED doing it; AND all indications are that she excels playing the piano.........that she concentrate putting the two together to teach piano. Because teaching piano pays excellent, is something she could do while pursuing more education, while single, while married, while raising and nurturing her children to help out financially if necessary, as an empty-nester, and even in her retirement. In a nutshell, it is something she could do at all stages of her life.

It is also something she could contribute to children who could not afford lessons by donating a little time each week to an inner city school teaching kids. I said this last point because my daughter......BLESS HER SWEET, LOVELY HEART......asked if teaching piano was something she could do to help those in need.

I tell this next story with full permission. My youngest niece, Jenna, who is 19, just began piano lessons. Tonight she completed her second lesson and came over, much frustrated. I give her full credit for trying. I tried in my early 20's to take lessons and quit after a month. I found it extremely frustrating after playing by ear for years (and not very well at that) to try to "unlearn" all my bad habits and start at the beginning playing Mary Had A Little Lamb. She has the same teacher as Hannah, and we are discovering him to be a bit "out-of-the-box" in his teaching style. I think ultimately it will be good for Hannah because he is pushing her out of her comfort zone. For Jenna, he is trying to get her to play songs that are not beginner level. It does seem as if he is putting the cart before the horse.

So, much to Jenna's credit, she swallowed her adult pride and asked Hannah for help. For the next hour or so, Hannah - very patiently - went through one of Jenna's songs, teaching her things that it seemed her teacher skipped. Step by step. Line by line.

Precept upon precept. Here a little, there a little. ((smile))

I was in the kitchen listening. Hannah never lost her patience. Jenna never got mad at Hannah. I marvelled at Jenna's occasional "OH, I GET IT'S!!" until eventually they played Jenna's first song duet-style - Jenna playing the left hand and Hannah the right. In one hour a whole lot of progression was made. It was beginning to click for Jenna. Hannah was in her element.

And I was in the kitchen teary-eyed.

My daughter is born to teach. In what capacity in the future, only God knows.

But the piano is a wonderful place to start.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Thought About Teenagers

Just found this quote that I want to share:

"The idea that kids must first be teenagers for seven years of their young lives, and in many ways their most ambitious years, before they can be adults in our society is absurd. I have not found a place in the Bible that says anything about this teenage time. What I have found is this: "When I was a child I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish things behind me." (1 Cor. 13:11). Why aren't children maturing the way they should?"

This came in my homeschooling journal today. A woman was doing a book review on John Taylor Gatto's Weapons Of Mass Instruction, and was stating her opinion. Since I have not yet read that book, I am not sure if she was reflecting the view of John Taylor Gatto.

What do you think? I have never thought of it this way. I definitely will be pondering it......

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Music Of My Heart

With the passing of well known pastor and singer (amongst apostolics), Brother Murrell Ewing, I have been thinking a lot about music. This has come about because, like so many others since Brother Ewing's passing, I have listened and watched him on youtube. I have been touched by his thorough, unabashed love for the Lord and anointing, both in preaching and singing. Whether or not one liked his musical style, nobody could deny that he was anointed.

In one of his videos, he was telling the congregation that when his daughter Vonnie Lopez (also very well known for her musical ability among apostolics) was a child, she did not appear to be musical at all. His son, Landy, from a very early age was obviously talented, so he and his wife, Joan Ewing (fabulous songwriter) found themselves praying in earnest that God would bestow this gift upon their daugther as well. This is where the video clip ended, but it is obvious that we know the end of that prayer, for we know the talent of Vonnie Lopez.

I then watched the archive of Brother Ewing's homegoing/funeral service online. Near the end of the service, they played a clip of the last time their family was together for Thanksgiving. At this gathering, in the midst of their family's usual singing and playing, Brother Ewing started unexpectly praying. They were blessed to be able to get his praying on video and played it. I have transcribed a portion of his prayer, particularly the part he prayed about music:

"I want to thank You for the beautiful, beautiful family that You not only gave us in these yesterdays of my mother and daddy's life, I want to thank You for what You've given Joan and I. And let me say thank You right now before I go any further with this prayer, let me thank You that You gave our family the knowledge and an ear to be able to hear music. So many people cannot enjoy music like we are enjoying this tonight. They just don't have an ear to hear it. It's kind of like Jesus said about some of his followers, He said, "You just don't have an ear to hear." And that's so true in so many people's lives. But You've given us not only the ability to hear music, You've given us the ability to harmonize and make music ourselves, and enjoy what we can produce. And we can get the blessing from that as well."

Let me say this right now: I think I have a new revelation. I guess I have always thought that God just chose whom He chose to have musical ability. I didn't know why He chose whom He chose. It is my belief (and remains so) that if God chose to give a person musical ability that they need to be very serious, careful and not big headed about it. Because of this, I have never been one to flaunt my own ability (at least that I know of).

What is a revelation to me is that a family can so enjoy music, bask in the wonder of it, talk about it, be well known because of it, and still be totally ANOINTED, CAREFUL AND HUMBLE about it. My brain has a hard time mixing the two. Although those in our family that are musical have gotten together and had fun jamming, none of us really talk about music outside our own family. We talk about it if we're asked, we sing if we're asked. I'm not saying that is bad, but I am saying that I almost feel like we've been scared to ENJOY IT TOO MUCH. And although I regularly ask the Lord to anoint my singing, I am ashamed to admit that I haven't often thanked Him for the ability to sing. Somewhere in my pea-sized brain it almost seemed to me that that prayer made me less than humble. (If you wonder where that came from, your guess is as good as mine).

What's also a revelation is the fact that if you ask the Lord, He may just make a previously non-musical person turn musical. Like Vonnie Lopez. Which again is warped because, come on, this is the Lord we're talking about.

And you know what? I've been asking like I've never asked before. I have a daughter who has surprised me by her piano playing ability. She has been told now by several people that she is advanced. She loves it. But she had never been able to sing. Although she is only eight, the singers in our family all could sing quite well much younger than that, so I assumed she would not be a singer. However, in the last few months she has been expressing a genuine desire to sing. She has been trying to hear harmony parts. And, since I've got my new "revelation", I've been praying for her. And you know what? Tonight in church (as she has done for the last few services) she is listening to me sing harmony. She sang harmony with me (we're talking high tenor) and for the first time tonight when I heard her singing it fairly effortlessly, I changed to soprano to see if she could keep it on her own.

AND SHE DID! FOR QUITE A WHILE! And she could not wipe the smile off her face when I gave her the thumbs up!

And you know what, I now have dreams of duets with my daughter. She could even play the piano and sing harmony at some point in the future. And you know what else?

I AM NOT GOING TO BE BASHFUL ABOUT IT! Although I won't flaunt it, I will enjoy what the Lord has done, REJOICE AND BE GLAD about it.

I am going to start praying for my son in earnest. He can't carry a tune in a wet paper bag.


Although tonight after the first song, he nudged my arm and informed me, very seriously, that:

"Just thought I'd let you know, mom, that I was singing the low part of this song."

And I grinned. You gotta love it. God is good.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Normal And Daring

I don't think it's daring, I think it's normal.

I recently read this statement on someone else's blog in defense of their belief. Since then, the comment has stuck in my brain and has made me think of the things that I think are normal. Some of them are very distinctly MY OPINION.

I found this person's belief very interesting, so much so that I believe given the opportunity, I could be "swayed" by their belief. Thus, on this New Year's morning, I decided to compile a list of things I think are normal. Things I am firmly convinced of and the roots of belief run deep. This is not to condemn those in disagreement, but is meant to cause thought. As well, I would be interested to hear what other's view as normal. I love giving thought to something I have never before thought about in a certain way.

Here is a list of eight things that come to mind as being normal to me (in no particular order):

1) I think it's normal to homeschool my children. I think it's daring to send your child to a public school.

2) I think it's normal to breastfeed. I consider it daring to to try to replace mother's perfect-for-their-baby milk, with a one-size-fits-all formula. (Although this is pretty much a societal norm).

3) I think it's normal for a mom to stay at home with her children and for a dad to be the breadwinner. I think it's daring for parents to put their children in daycare.

4) I think it's normal for children to have two parents (a mom and a dad, more specifically) and very daring for a mom to intentionally choose to be a single parent (for the sake of having children).

5)......and we're getting more controversial here.......(bearing in mind there is no malice intended..) I think it's normal for parents to be the main influence of their children....NOT PEERS. This means that I think it's daring for children and youth to spend too much time with other children and youth (yes, even youth groups) because it causes conflict of "influence" between the parent and the peer.

6).....more controversy......I think it's normal for a woman/girl to be distinct from a man/boy in dress and conduct. I think it's daring to blur those lines even a little because of the danger of.....INDISTINCTION.

7) I think it's normal to go to church for every scheduled service. I think it's daring to miss (except for sickness, of course) any of the scheduled services quite simply because we're human and humanity is CARNAL.

8) I think it's normal to have close bonds with your "blood" relatives (despite stinky quirks or traits). I think it's daring not to give special consideration to your family (over friends.....for the most part) because we reap what we sow, and we can fully expect to end up lonely and alone in our old age (because if anyone will stick with you to the end, family will BEFORE a friend). That is a FACT.