Monday, December 31, 2012

A Look Back

2012. Come....and gone.
January began with helping settle my Granny into her new private care home, which she had moved into a couple weeks prior. She struggled a bit with the transition, so we spent a lot of time with her to help her adjust.
In February I ended up in Emergency with appendicitis, which required that nasty little thing to be removed. Fortunately, the surgery went smoothly and I recovered very nicely.  February ended tragically, however, with the unexpected death of a much loved family friend, Sherri Long. She is someone who will never be forgotten by all who new her. She loved Jesus and was a Ambassador for Him. One of her greatest thrills was to bring out the best in others, and she truly excelled at this.
March is a month of birthdays for our family. My daughter reached the double digits, turning ten. My Granny had her 91st birthday with much celebrating, and my brother and sister-in-law both finish off the month with a birthday.
Likewise, April begins with Dave's birthday....he is getting ANCIENT....and then a week later it's Seth's (who turned eight). It is also a month of birthdays; my niece and brother-in-law have theirs as well.
May......we finished school. And celebrated.
In June we had three weeks of revival services with the Brother Platania. They are always a great time.  We also had to move my Granny from her private care home into a nursing home because of her advancing dementia and general health decline. Fortunately, the Lord worked it out that she was placed in the home that was our first choice and we were very grateful.  Hannah took her Grade 4 Royal Conservatory of Music in piano and passed with honours. We are very proud of her as she worked very hard for this.
In July we went for a 16 day vacation to the States: North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Colorado. We visited Laura Ingalls Wilder homesteads in three states; Legoland in Kansas City; an underground cavern in Missouri; Mount Rushmore in South Dakota; and tons of places in Colorado Springs, where we stayed for a week - including and especially Focus on the Family AND the kids' beloved Adventures In Odyssey. We also visited excellent churches, Brother Riggen in Kansas City (where we saw my good friend Rachel Goff and her beautiful family), and Heritage Conference in Colorado Springs. Heritage Conference exceeded our expectations with AMAZING preaching and awesome, Holy Ghost anointed prayer and song service. All in all, it was the best family vacation we have ever had. One which the kids will talk about all their lives.
In August my dad turned 70 and we had a birthday bash for him. However, on August 30, my sweet Granny went to home to be with Jesus.
I could stop right here and write a whole post about this remarkable lady. It was difficult to see her swift decline in just over two months in the nursing home. But, she lived a long and full life, and was going to her reward, and for that we can never be sad. But, there will never be anyone like my Granny.  There is a big hole in my heart - and my family's that only she filled. How I miss her!
In September we were able to go amazing services in Calgary. And, my dad stopped his chemotherapy.....which was making him very sick. My dad has multiple myeloma (an incurable cancer of his bone marrow) and had been on chemotherapy for almost a year. It was found it wasn't helping anymore, so his chemo was stopped. He has the option of restarting a different form of chemo in 6-9 months, but the doctor gave him a life range of 1-3 years. This, of course, is very hard news for our family.
Good news in October though, which will always make it a special month for of celebration. On October 28, Hannah was filled with the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, and on October 31 was baptized in Jesus' name.
November began with our church's annual Fun Night. And cold winter. With LOTS of snow.
And now we are on our last day of December. The month and the year flew by. Much has happened. Much has changed. Loved ones have been sick and some have gone on to meet Jesus. New babies have been born into the Kingdom. And, personal goals have been set in my own life, and some of them have been attained.
So, it is with new confidence that I begin this new year.....for in 2012 I conquered. And, although I am far from what I need to be, I am determined to keep this momentum going forth into the new year.
Happy New Year and much love to all!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Don't They Miss This?

Today, this is on my heart:

Many people I have known once knew this Truth.

Some got offended and left.  I ask:

Don't they miss the Holy Ghost?

Some just got carnal and wanted the world.  I ask:

Don't they miss the Holy Ghost?

Some got worn out with the struggle.  I ask:

Don't they miss the Holy Ghost?

Some have been seduced by false doctrines and lies from the devil.  I ask:

Don't they miss the Holy Ghost?

That is the biggest question I have of all. Regardless of offense (and I have been offended), regardless of carnality (and I am - more than I care to admit), regardless of the struggles (and I've had my share), regardless of the appeal of an "easier - *grace-filled* way" can one who TRULY experienced the Baptism of the Holy Ghost function without it? I tried - for just over a year when I was 15 years old. I couldn't. I will never forget the complete, utter, desolation without the indwelling of God's spirit, and the ability to be refilled with it over and over.

There is one thing that cannot be denied about this Truth: The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is an undeniably real, irreplacable experience. I never, ever, EVER want to live without it again.

And I ask: How could anyone else?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Just Like Dad

We've had some really good preaching lately. Not that is hasn't been in the past, mind you, just that maybe God is actually.....getting through. Amazing.  One of the messages my pastor preached was about "improving our position". Since then that phrase has been on my mind regularly.
One of the ways our family has "improved our position" is in daily Bible reading and Bible study (I mean as a family). This should have been done a long time ago and I am ashamed that it hasn't. However.....we are "improving our position" and can only go forward from here. Each of us have picked a book of our choice and we read one chapter a night until that book is finished. Then we choose a different one. Consequently we have several different books being read at the same time, but it's been fun and changes things up a bit. The other thing we have been doing is having the kids learn different foundational truths in the Bible and memorize where to find them. Right now they are learning about the gospel, what the gospel means according to the Bible and where to find those scriptures. My son can actually tell me the gospel that Paul preached and the gospel Jesus preached, where the scriptures are, and summarize what they say.
The most exciting thing for me so far, however, is how our daily Bible reading has affected my daughter. We don't just sit down and read. We sit down, read, and dissect. There are some chapters that every few verses, my daughter stops to ask what something means. I am not the Bible *expert* in my family (ashamedly). Dave is. Really. I have yet to ask him a question that he hasn't been able to answer. If he doesn't know the answer, at the very least he has studied it in depth and gives possible answers. However, there are some nights that Dave isn't home yet....he has been called in to work a lot lately on emergency calls....when my dear daughter asks her questions.
With the electronic age, Dave reads his Bible on his phone. We had been reading my little "purse" Bible. How could we forget Dave's Thompson Chain Bible? We dragged that out last night and I tell ya, it felt like Christmas.  Second about Absalom and Joab and David are chapters that beg for questions and....I found some answers. We finished our reading. My daughter, however, had more questions. She took dad's Bible, did research, and came and told me several things she found out.
And this is really what this post is about.  I am so impressed to have a girl that is like a bulldog when she wants to know something.  She holes up in her room and digs for answers.  If she isn't satisfied with an explanation, she WILL find the answer. 
In this way she is just like her dad.  And that makes my heart happy.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me

Today is my birthday. I am becoming rather.....*age-ed*.......:-)

There are some things I know for sure when my birthday comes around.  I know without a doubt that I will be woken up at some UNearthly hour. This is carved in stone....a tradition started by my husband from the beginning of time. I was thankful, then, to have the stuffing scared out of me only 15 minutes earlier than the usual time I arise this morning. The kids and Dave came - bearing gifts - to my bedside and yelled, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!".  Dave knows my mornings have not been coming easy lately. Thanks, Dave...(I think....).

I also know for sure that my kids will be plotting something in secret, although this year I actually wondered if they remembered my birthday. Only because Seth usually can't keep his mouth shut and this year nary a word was said. Maybe he's growing up???????

I also know it's a sure thing that we will go out to some restaurant as a treat.

But first let me tell about my morning.

After being startled awake.....and trying to open my eyeballs, my son....jumping up and down with boundless energy (where does he get it at this hour, I think??) hands me a gift bag. In the bag are three cards. I should mention that this is another "sure thing"....three cards, one from each. Of course I had to open up my son's first. I was very pleasantly surprised to find a SERIOUS card. Seth never picks serious cards. Cards to him are an extention of his comedy.....the funnier the card, the happier he is. For Father's Day he got his dad a card that had words that boys (and dads) love.......words that rhyme with cart, and dart and mart. You get the picture. So for me to get a gushy, mushy card from my son - that he picked out himself - about how absolutely awesome I am, well, it doesn't get much better than that. He did complete some lovely art work on one side where he was able to release his funny bone......but that only made it much more "Seth". I loved it. He also got me a gift certificate to the Bible book store. How nice!

Then my daughter.....who usually picks the mushy, gushy cards.....chose a simple card that stated her love for me, but then wrote the nicest words herself underneath. My heart turned to mush. Her gift was just as heartfelt.....she has been secretly knitting a scarf for quite a while.......and finished it yesterday! Yes, it's July and hot, but I promise you that come winter I will wear it with PRIDE! She totally flabbergasted me with it because I had no idea and because it's the best knitting she has done to date.

Then Dave got me a nice card.....he is the CARD master.......said some nice words and gave me a gift card to my favourite place. Which is the perfect gift for me. I was supremely happy.

We get to church this morning and before I even get in the door, my son, who ran ahead, goes in and tells everyone he sees that it's his mommy's birthday! I come in to church to a whole bunch of "Happy Birthday's". It was a nice very morning.

The topper......and really the most fun......came at lunch.  While waiting for our food we started games of hangman and tic tac toe. Seth's first phrase (playing with his dad) was "I LOVE MOMY!" Yup. Momy. Gotta love that homeschooled boy......  Eventually Hannah and I started writing cinquain's. If you don't know what a cinquain is, google it, but it's a simple five line poem.  Her first poem:

Running, jumping
Playing, bugging, teasing
He deserves a spanking

We laughed and laughed at that one.  Then I jotted down two quickies about my kids:

Smart, sassy
Bright, inquisitive, Curious
Very beautiful young lady


Funny, impish
Handsome, loving, kind
Always getting into trouble

We left the restaurant feeling quite content with ourselves. And I sit here now, pondering my day so far. It's only 3:00 and I'm already content. So content that it inspires one more cinquain:

Thoughtful, loyal
Kind, sweet gestures
Always pulling off surprises

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Crocodile On The Nile

It's Mother's Day. And Mother's Day will always be one of the most important "special" days to me.  I spend the day looking at my children and shaking my head that I have been so blessed.

However, the day did end with my son going to bed.  EARLY.

It happened at church tonight.  He had already not heard several times prior, and I was tired of repeating my requests.  For instance, during prayer I noticed him standing, looking behind him, making strange movements and faces, so I told him to sit down.  He is old enough now to sit, and I am conscientous of him not being a distraction to the people sitting behind me.  He had a valid reason for his antics, so I discovered.

"Mom, I was making shadows on the wall.  And this time I was a crocodile on the Nile."

And I thought, "Okay.  This is Mother's Day. Maybe I will appreciate this wonderfully funny, bright boy of mine." And I laughed quietly to myself.  Because he does make me smile a hundred times a day.

But that isn't why he was sent to bed.  I came off the platform after song service, walked to my pew, and discovered him playing Mr. Spy, or some other highly suspenseful espionage game.....slinking down hiding, trying to be sneaky.  I told him to stand up.  He didn't.  I bent down and firmly repeated my request.  He sat down with his BACK ARCHED. I felt my claws come out.

I took him downstairs for  (Really, truly.  I  On the way downstairs he carefully repeated that he "wanted his daddy".  I really have no idea why.

And so, after carrying on unnecessarily downstairs, I told him he was going to bed early.

And that is the story.

On this Mother's Day, I feel blessed. I wouldn't trade my daughter or son for anything. Both unique. Both wonderful.  Both stinkers sometimes....(my daughter leaned over to me during the preaching, while Pastor Dehod was talking about his own mother's organized, clean house and said, "wouldn't that be nice, mom!"......).

But God is good. Chaos and all.....:-).  Happy Mother's Day to all of my wonderful friends and family!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Jackpot

Today was a challenge.

We found out from my mom that while watching my kids on Friday, Seth thought it would be a funny joke to try to lock Grandma out of the house. He only did this for a short time....just long enough for his joke to be *truly appreciated*, or so he thought.

Dave and I took some time to discuss how to best deal with this. Since we were running crazy all weekend, I didn't deal with it until today. When your son is almost 8, waiting a few days won't make much of a difference. He's a smart boy with a loooonnnnng memory, and besides, sometimes the anticipation helps.

I told him this morning he wasn't to play with any of his toys, touch the computer, or play with Hannah until he "wrote lines". This was an idea given to my sister when her kids were small by the wonderful, awesome, Sherri Long. So I decided to try it.

I asked him to write, "It is not funny to lock Grandma out of the house". I wanted to stress the fact that it was NOT funny because most things Seth does is because he wants to make people laugh. I only made him write 14 lines, two sides of a paper. But to him this was the end of the world.

He threw fits I haven't yet seen from him. So, I added a different line to his assignment: "I will not scream, kick, whine, or throw a fit". 14 lines of each. A total of 28 lines.

I told him he had two choices: To write lines or lay on his bed. I told him he would be at it all day if necessary, and that he wasn't doing anything else until this was completed. I also required it to be his neatest printing and told him if it wasn't he would do more lines.

Those who read my blog know I am very frank about my flaws. I have stated them often enough. Since I am honest about them, then I will state here and now that on this day, on this occasion, I WAS AWESOME. Never once did I raise my voice. Never once did I lose my patience. I calmly stated the rules and I calmly executed exactly what I said. At the height of his tantrum.....screaming his head off in the every instinct wanted to wallop him on the area that God intended to be walloped, but I didn't. I knew I had to try something different, and I knew I had to stay calm. I left him alone until he was done his tantrum. And then I calmly told him he could lie there all day, or finish his lines.

It took him TWO HOURS to finish the first 14 lines. We had to leave to do errands after this and were gone for several hours, but I carefully explained to him that this was TO BE CONTINUED.

I guess he thought I didn't mean it because when we got home he rushed into Hannah's room, expecting to watch her solve a Nancy Drew Mystery. I reminded him that he had his new line to complete. Thus began his 75th fit.

For about 30 seconds. Amazing. Only.thirty.seconds.

He sat down and CHEERFULLY......NEATLY.......PLEASANTLY finished his last 14 lines. In less than 30 minutes. Giving me regular progress reports.

Tonight when his mouth was getting out of control, I warned him that he would be writing lines if he didn't instantly stop.

He instantly stopped.

He told his dad when he came home from work exactly what was expected of him and exactly what would happen if he didn't obey.

And so, for now, I have hit the jackpot. I understand that it wasn't really just that I came across an effective method to train him. It was really that I carried through what I said. Calmly. I have always known that.

Tomorrow I may not be so calm. But I am determined to improve. My son deserves nothing less.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ten Years

Today - or should I say yesterday now - a baby girl was born. Ten years ago. She had lots of dark hair and long eyelashes. Dark blue eyes like her daddy. She has changed very little from that first day.

She gave me a hug before bed tonight and said:

"I don't care what they say mom, you're the BEST MOM in the world!"

I laughed, I couldn't help it. She had no clue why I laughed. I don't care what they say either.....:-)

She is innocent. She is sincere. She is sweet. She is loyal. She is stubborn. She is bright. She is talented. She is beautiful. She is hot-headed. She is generous. She is compassionate. She is curious. She is analytical. She is hard-working. She is serious. She is (sometimes) sassy.

She is my angel. I couldn't ask God for a better gift.

Happy birthday, my lovely Hannah Rose.

Monday, January 30, 2012


This weekend, I was reassured by somebody (who is *much* older and wiser) to just "relax" and not to worry so much about my son. It was their opinion that my son's unlimited affection....coupled with his very early noticing of girls, so much so that he has recently stated that he has a crush on some of them, would eventually translate to a man who would know how to make his wife happy. Period.

So I will just relax. Maybe.

As well, recently I was speaking to someone whose mother is on the list of "Women I Most Admire", and they told me that as a child, at times they reduced their mother to tears. I was stunned to hear this because I could not see this Woman-That-I-Admire ever losing her composure with her child.

But it gave me hope.

It gave me hope that, after all, this boy-o-mine - whom I love to infinity - and has reduced me to tears many times in the last little while, will turn out as wonderful as this individual whom I was talking to.

In truth, I never expected it to become more difficult to homeschool him. I thought (stupidly) it would get easier the older he got. This has been the hardest year yet, and I have no idea if this is only the beginning of the "hard years". He is WAY more inattentive. He is WAY more silly. He is WAY more smart-mouthed. And honestly, if I was independently wealthy, I would hire a tutor to school him in my home. Seriously. (I say that because public school will NEVER be an option for me.)

But, since that is not an option, I continue to pluck away, holding on to the tidbits of hope given to me by others. He is not a bad boy. He is just a mischievous, lovable boy with a glint in his eye that I have always loved seeing in other children. Now it's come home to roost.

Today while at grandmas, I warned him if he didn't listen that he was going to become acquainted with one of grandmas awesome corners. She has way awesomer corners than me, so that has become the correction of choice while at her house. Did my boy tremble at this threat? Not at all. And eventually he found himself sniffing the walls.

While he was visiting this place, my sense of humour kicked in. I was trying to think of appropriate names for this corner. At first I thought of just calling it "Seth's Corner", since it is reserved just for him. Then I remembered the name of the place at the public library where kids gather for story time:

And I thought.....with a little play on words, we could make this a most "fitting" place for my son. Thus, I named his corner:

Now, his dad already told me tonight that I have to take the sign down at grandma's. He doesn't want his son to pick up this word and use it too commonly. That is understandable......I know the sign must go - really, it was just for comic relief anyway - but I do find his words of warning rather ironic. After all, it was he.....NOT ME......who used that very same word that I spoke about in my previous post.......((smile)).

But I sure enjoyed it while it lasted.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I Love You More Than........

Years ago, my daughter and I started a game we played sometimes as part of her bedtime ritual. I called it "I Love You More Than...." and in the game, one of us would begin by saying "I Love You More Than"........and finish it by saying something like "the flowers and the trees", and the other would finish it with a rhyme with something like, "I Love You More Than......the birds and the bees...." With Hannah and I, we usually got very mushy and sentimental, occasionally becoming very silly with a lot of giggling. Mushy was more the norm, however. We are females, after all.

Today I discovered this game is FAR different when played with my son. AND my husband.

With a little time to kill before getting ready to go to church tonight, Seth was bored. And Restless. Bored + Restless = PEST. So, before he got to this stage, I decided to teach him this little game. My son loves's one of his favourite things in school. But loving to rhyme and being poetic, I discovered, are TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT THINGS.

I started it off simple: "I love you more than apples and pie"........ (you know, because pie is an easy rhyming word), to which he excitedly stated, "I love you more than the AIR IN THE TIRES AND THE FLY"......or some such very silly thing.

To which he laughed uproariously, hugely proud of himself.

This went on for a bit, with each of us trading off who went first. The silliness increased. Finally I said: "I love you more than chicken soup......" and, before Seth could reply, my husband......WHO HAD BEEN AT THE COMPUTER AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN MINDING HIS BUSINESS.....((ahem.....)).....said:

"I love you more than TURTLE POOP!"

Well, can you imagine the reaction of our son? He giggled until I thought he would wet himself. So, imagine his delight when shortly thereafter, dad scored another hit when I said:

"I love you more than my two pink chairs....."

And he said:

"I love you more than the Berenstain Bears...."

Well, Seth got up excitedly and ran to his sister's room to repeat his dad's genius.

A few minutes later as the kids were having a quick before-church snack, Seth was recalling to Hannah his dad's awesome poetic talent. Again. Dad was still ACTING like he was busy at the computer. Hannah and Seth were playing the game between themselves and giggling.

Then, Seth stumped Hannah with:

"I love you more than potatoes and chicken....."

Hannah thought and thought. Seth jumped up from the table, stating that he would "ask his dad on this one". So, he repeated it to his dad:

"I love you more than potatoes and chicken....."

To which his quick-witted (truly poetic) dad said........much to the delight of us all.......

"I love you more than the nose you're pickin...."

Seth declared dad the champ. "Turtle poop and Berenstain Bears. Yup. Dad's the best", were Seth's words. And rightfully so. We had a lot of fun filling in 20 minutes. So.....if you are ever in need of a fun family game......just try "I Love You More Than...."

See if you don't end up in stitches.