Category Archives: Parenting

Challenges

There are some challenges I had not had to deal with being away from home. Thankfully my amazing man has been in the job. Now that I’m home, we’re all adjusting to me being mommy again. Some rules have changed and some behaviors haven’t.

Right now my two oldest are giving me cold stares because we had to lay down the law. I love and hate the teen years already. Puberty is a wonderful time full of chaos and confusion for the poor critters. They think they are adults and don’t want to be treated as children. They have memories like an 80-yr-ol Alzheimer’s patient and yet want all the priveledges.Teaching responsibility is fraught with speed bumps.

Then we have a beauty who’s ADHD makes her do all sorts of wrong. She is just a busy little thing who can’t control her impulses and is super” helpful”at times. It’s hard to know whether to have grace or come down hard for certain things. We are trying diet restrictions, vitamins and calming techniques but we are now resorting to meds. We pray for the best for our fantastic four and step forward with some tremidation. I know it’s all terribly normal and I am thankful for my friends and family who have gone before us and reassure me it will only get more difficult. Thanks. LOL

We are excited about upcoming holidays when we will see lots of friends and family. It should be good. You know, with 6 people in a car and all. Ha!

To the best Father I know.

Besides my Heavenly Father.I have a Dad, and he’s pretty cool. He taught me so many things, like how to sing with all of my heart, love Jesus, and care for the Under dog.

There are many Dad’s in my life that I admire, but there is one that stands out among the rest. That’s my guy, Richard. He is Superman, Super Dad and I could go on, so I will. Richard is my hero. He is faithful and true and takes care of his kidlets like no one else. He plays games with them, teaches them life skills and is consistent in discipline. He teaches ME how to be a good parent just  by his example. He provides well, feeds them lots of junk food…I gotta tell you, he learned from one of the best. My Father-in-law is pretty amazing too. HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO RICARD, MY DAD AND MY- DADDY -IN- LAW. I LOVE YOU ALL!!!

I love that man and I am so happy that I get to parent our four wonder kids with him. IMG_3793

The Have or Have-nots – June 2013

When my husband and I talked marriage, before the day of our sweet nuptials, we discussed what our roles would look like in our family. We both wanted me to be a stay-at-home mom, with roughly four children. No Problem. We agreed. I’d be the little wifey who cooks, cleans, does things around the community with the kids and volunteer at the church as whatever I felt my giftings were. I was the odd ball traditional wife, who expected that her husband would work hard, bring in the money needed to take care of his family and then be willing to help at home according to what he could do. In this day and age, this makes us extremely oddball in some circles. With women being a large part of the workforce in our society, it seems odd to be someone who’s life goal is to be a mom and not bring in an income or have a career.

The BIG problem with this was that being a one income family when you are in the ministry, well, it can be tight at times. More like all the time, but who’s keeping track? There have been many moments that we’ve wondered if we would have enough for this and that, but God has always, ALWAYS provided what we’ve needed and sometimes more than we had ever hoped for.

Before we dove into dating, we discussed what we would like to do in the future. Both of us said “be in ministry of some sort”. With being a pastor’s family we knew that we would never have a lot of things. We expected it. We wanted it. We both wanted to be open to where we felt God leading us no matter where it was or what it meant.

We live in a society where people either can afford all the extras or they put it on a credit card. Either way, our family looks poor in comparison. My kids wonder if we can have a boat or a camper or go on a Disneyland vacation…It’s hard to discuss our financial state, and then again, it’s not. We are living like we are because we made a decision not to value our lives by the things we have but by the way we love God.

Meaningless Drivel

Oh where have I been? I have been and seen, felt a bit green, and then back again. What a time it’s been…what a time…

Wandering the ever-lovin’ parts of Eastern Alberta, I have traveled down some roads I’ve never gone down before. Mostly, I got lost on roads I’ve never traveled down before, but sometimes it was because I was driving in the dark and my sense of direction goes all kind of wrong. Thankfully, I’ve had a full tank of gas in those moments. Yes, Dad, I heard what you said to me this winter. Daughters do listen to their Daddies once in a while, you know!

My tea business has taken off to places I didn’t know I’d actually see. I achieved all the Success Start goals with Steeped Tea except the last wee bit that involved a diamond ring. That’s ok though. I was so excited to have actually hit the goals that I did make. Wow!! I didn’t even feel like I worked as hard as I should have. I did work hard, though…no doubt about that.

In fact, when I signed up, I think we all just thought it was a little fad and that I could jump off of the tea train with no harm done. Well, I couldn’t jump when it was going so fast, now, could I? My whole family has adjusted to the changes that having a working (inside and outside of the home) mom involves. I love, LOVE that I can do a lot of my work from the home and I involve my whole family in it. My daughter was organizing my sniffer jars (tea for customers to smell) tonight and she was such a big help! She loved it too. It’s not often that she feels like she can enjoy something I ask her to do.

Not only have I been selling tea like crazy, but we’ve had other “life” stuff happen that has been really hard and has taken a bit of emotional and brain space. I am thankful to say that I am at peace because the One who gives me Life has it all under control and I trust Him. I am blessed to be married to one of the world’s most wonderful men and we’ve held onto each other during this rocky time. Regardless, we have waded through deep waters and we’ll continue to trust in the our Lord through it all.

I have been so desperate to write my book but it seems that time has been ever-so-elusive and I have hardly written a word since January. It seems that everything just happened at the same time and writing has taken a back seat. I used to think I couldn’t go through a day without writing something to help me get through the crazy days of early childhood parenting. Oh, those were the days!! I had so many zany stories back then. I still have an odd good one now and again, but I don’t get down to write it until it’s completely out of my memory. Then what is the point of writing meaningless drivel. Hmmm…?

It seems July will be a slower month, with my man taking some holidays and the Tea business taking a serious turn. It’s summer and I think it’s like that for many businesses. I almost don’t know how to turn off my tea brain though. June was hectic and amazing! My brain goes between tea facts to the “ear worms”, thanks to Disney’s last couple of movies, which are driving us all insane. Whenever someone (aka. ME) says “Awesome”, the tune “Everything is Awesome” goes screaming through my head. I think I will obliterate that word from the dictionary one of these days.

I have a funny story to tell but I’ll save it for my other blog…

It seems we are moving into the phase where the saying “Eating me out of house and home” becomes a glaring reality and not just a clever turn of phrase. We have seen our oldest slam right into puberty and through an alarming rate of shoe sizes. I can’t keep the guy in pants. From the toddler who would hardly eat a thing to a kid who can’t keep his belly full. Oatmeal is the food of choice. Who knew? Our youngest has never had a lull in her growth rate and has always been hungry so it’s nothing new to have her say “I’m STARVING” but just today we all noticed that she’s getting a little (not much) rounder. Of course, one of the kids had to point it out, which wasn’t very nice at all. But regardless, I think she’s stalled in the height for the moment, but not for long. I think she’s getting ready to shoot up again. I have started shopping mainly at thrift stores and super sales. How do you keep up when a kid grows out of his shoes a month after getting a new pair? I am getting tips from moms that have been here and done this. I have been so thankful for hand-me-downs!

It’s been a long time since I’ve written and I feel like I haven’t much clever to talk about but my brain does feel duller than a butcher’s knife after a long days’ work so we’ll leave it at that, shall we? Maybe next time I’ll have some clever drivel.

 

 

Rubber boots filled with snow

If anyone had been privy to the scene the other day, they may have taken my name down and called someone to intervene. It was hilarious but I couldn’t  laugh at the moment, I was too busy.

You see, spring is just around a few corners. Oh, we have had above freezing temperatures, but I’m not fooled. I know this wonderful weather will come and go and when it goes usually there is a snowstorm in it for us.  It’s been LOVELY! In fact, my kids have gotten along so well, with all the outdoor air in their bodies, that I’ve had to check to see if they are still really my kids and not aliens that have taken over their personalities. I have enjoyed and relished this week of spring in the air. The sunshine, the smiles, the trampoline antics…well, maybe not the antics because they give me such a horrifying vision of possible injuries. The kids forget every year how their poor bodies have atrophied over winter. Not really, but their core strength is not what it was when they last jumped with wild abandon and the tricks they try are scary to watch. I give the usual “Don’t do that anymore, you are going to end up in the hospital or worse!” routine. They look my way to placate me but I know they are ignoring me so I walk away and pretend they obeying every word.

Since they could walk, the melting of snow, even if only slightly above freezing, indicated that they should throw most of their clothing to the wind and free their feet of cumbersome boots. Of course, they come back inside crying over how cold they are but only after rolling about in the puddles for a few icy minutes.

The other day, with the snow melt-y but not yet melted, they tramped outside in their newly found rubber boots. Every year (shaking head in wonder) they think that the rubber boots will somehow make them impervious to the frigid water of the enormous puddles that abound.

Every year, it’s a lesson learned the fun way. This year, I smiled as I whisked them outside without jackets but wearing their trusty (and maybe a smidge too small) boots on. I’m a good mom, really. They aren’t in shorts yet (I’ve hidden them) so that’s something! Not five minutes later a shrill but long screech could be heard rounding the corner and pounding up the deck steps. I usually let the kids come and tell me what’s what when someone’s crying (unless they can’t move to come and tell me) but the sound was so desperate I figured I should really go to the door and ask. There, my youngest was yelling “COLD!COLD!HELP!THE SNOW…I CAN’T GET THEM OFF!!!!!” A little confused I wondered about what she was screaming about. She rushed inside and as she passed me I could see her boots were plum FULL of heavy packed snow. Oh, now that would burn!

I took her quickly back outside and thought it a quick task to dispense of. Those rubber boots were PACKED, simply packed to the top and apparently the boots didn’t fit as well as she said they did. She sat on the deck as I pulled and pulled and she screamed at the very top of her lungs as though she were dying. I put my foot on her tummy (and not very hard but to give me a little leverage) and pulled some more. She was frantic and as the pulling continued I started feeling for my poor little girl. My pulls got a little more enthusiastic but I wanted to be sure not to pull too hard either. I was considering dousing her in cooking oil but with her screaming freaky murder I just kept hoping the suction on the boots would miraculously give way to freedom. I smiled a bit as I realized what it must look like. Me with my foot on her tummy and pulling with all my might at her foot, all the while she was screaming like the end of the world was upon us.

The boot did pop off eventually and then we had to face the other boot.

At long last, we freed both her reddened feet and scooted inside for a pair of warm socks and a blanket. All was well in her world again and I sighed with relief.

I asked her if she needed a bigger pair of boots perhaps? She replied that she did. Not sure if it would have helped her with the boots slammed tight with all that snow but maybe? It couldn’t have hurt, that’s for sure.

For future reference I told her that maybe she should wait until the snow is a little more melted (and a warmer day) before she tries the puddles again. She did not disagree but snuggled in closer for a little warmth.

All is well that ends well.

Down but not out….yet.

English: Some old Canada Dry brand ginger ale ...

English: Some old Canada Dry brand ginger ale bottles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here we are in the middle of November! The year 2013 is almost over, relatively speaking. How is that possible? Didn’t we just go through the turn of the millennium? All was dire and desperate, not knowing if we would all be ensconced in darkness or if the world would keep on ticking.

I was so young then. Just twenty-nine years old! There a few things that I had wanted to do before the launch of the new millennium…becoming a parent was just one of those things.

Who knew that thirteen years later, life would be like it is. I would not have imagined life as it is. Like most of those in their pre-parenting years, I had dreams and ideals. My kids would never do ____. My children will be great at ______. Etc. Etc…

Many of my ideals have changed as the years pass. I would not have my life any other way.

I have four kids who are so adventurous, lively, loud, eccentric, dramatic, loving, hopeful, funny and so much more. My quiet life was soundly interrupted just after the new year of 2002 when we got the call about being chosen by a couple. That call changed our lives.

Today has been an odd day. It’s been filled with coughing, sleepy children. One of my children caught it almost 2 weeks ago. We were fairly alarmed when he just lay down and didn’t want to get up for a week. It wasn’t mono or anything serious…unless you call the flu serious. This one could be for those with compromised systems. The fever lasts for DAYS without relief. The fatigue trumps all wish to do anything other than lay down. The sore throat and muscles…well, it’s just a really nasty bug.

Oddly, I have found that I have enjoyed the “relaxation” that it has brought. Most of the kids are as tired as I am and, while this is alarming in and of itself, it has been really nice. We’ve snuggled until we’re too warm to stand each other. When I lie down I know that most of the kids are laying down too. The house has almost seemed eerily quiet.

The hero in all of this is the man who I married. I am humbled by the love he shows us so very often. His thoughtful gifts of Ginger Ale, a rental movie, and Tylenol have been happily consumed. The fact that he can do most of his work from home with a computer and a phone (for a couple of days) has been a godsend to us. There is little worry of interruption because we are all lying half comatose in our beds or on the couch. I married a good, godly man.

Unfortunately, even heroes have their weaknesses. The fact that my man is human makes him susceptible to this flu as well. Tonight he was saying that he was so glad that God gave him two sermons this week because he may be getting sick.

I only hope that when my man gets sick that I will be as much of a godsend as he has been to us.

Let’s all raise our antibiotics and ginger ale and toast those that surround us in times of need.

“Cheers!”

Why I would Home Educate my children

education

education (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

I have never been a great teacher. Truth be told, I never wanted to be a teacher….ever. I planned from early on to put my kids in any school that would have them. That was back in the eighties when everything was (ahem) awesome and safe. Oh, and before I had kids.

That being said, I learned that being a mom is absolutely also about being a teacher. I stand by the fact that I am not great at teaching. I cannot teach my kids how to organize anything worth a 2 cent penny. I hope that more pressing issues are being conveyed by my unconventional teaching way and that the Spirit of the Living God is at work in their lives to confirm this as well. Otherwise, they are up the creek without the metaphorical paddle.

As many of you may know, we decided to take our oldest child out of public school, last March, due to his many social and educational issues that have haunted him from the beginning. He is a truly wonderful child and loves to be with his friends. If you know anything about Asperger Syndrome, you know that friends are hard to come by when you have a social disorder. He has had some loyal friends in school who he considers close. There are others in the school who have not understood his “quirks” and have made his life a living nightmare. I won’t go into any of the details but suffice to say that the last straw was a very big one and we knew, without doubt, that it was time for full-time home schooling.

He has only ever talked about missing a few of his friends as being the biggest regret about home schooling full-time. Apart from that he has expressed many times how much he appreciates being at home and not having the pressures of living the nightmare that was school for him. I need to give credit where it is due and say that the teachers he has had over the years have done all that they can to make life as good as possible. However, there are limits to what a teacher, or even the administration, can do. Unfortunately, we live in a place where special issues are not valued and it has been highly frustrating for us to advocate for him for these past years. A huge load has been lifted from ME (much to my surprise) as my need for being his ever-present advocate has dwindled to talking to myself instead of the powers that be. Talking to myself I can do

If I were to take my other children out of school, and it may come to that soon, we have listed various other reasons about why we would make that decision despite my terror at the thought of having four at home with me all the time. Having them at home with me is not the problem, it is being organized enough to carry out the task of teaching them.

I am a Christian, who believes in the Bible as the Word of God. The public school has long been separating Church and State. A part of this was taking the Creation of the Earth and eradicating every part of the “theory” from the halls of education. I’m not sure why no one remembers that Evolution is also considered a theory as well? While I am not fine with this, I was living with it as a reality and making sure we taught our beliefs at home. When it comes down to it, I’m really not ok with this anymore. I believe that God made Science and he can peacefully coexist with it as the Creator.

Sex education has been taken to new levels in the public arena so I have also seen to it that we started early in teaching our children our values. I believe that God made sex for the enjoyment of a husband and a wife and that faithful marriage is where it should take place. I am not going to argue any semantics or theology with anyone and whether it makes me a such and such. All it makes me is someone who loves God, believes that he is LOVE and that he created us all for a purpose. We are teaching our kids to be loving and kind as an expression of our devotion to God. The schools do not have to ask parents for permission to talk about the many issues that arise in regards to sex.

There are SO many children out there being exposed to way too many things that children should not be subject to seeing or hearing. I am not being a prude when I say that. There are ratings on movies and games for a reason and I’m pretty sure most parents do not care to put their foot down when their children want to play or watch something. I won’t even speak to the stuff that parents are watching or playing in front of their children. This has affected our society on so many levels and it is clear in our schools. Kids are saying things to my kids in grade ONE that no child should know or have to hear.

While I think we are to be lights in this world of darkness, there is coming a point where I think that our children should just not have to deal with that mix of crap on a daily level for hundreds of days a year. I have been a big proponent of guiding children through the bumps and bruises that life brings them and I know that what doesn’t kill them can make them stronger…but what if it does kill your child? What if they come to the point of wanting to end their own life? I am betting that you would do almost everything you could do prevent that from happening to your child. When the spiritual darkness becomes so pervasive that it comes and steals your child’s soul without you even knowing…? Well, I don’t want it to happen on my watch.

To sum it up, we are becoming certain that we don’t want our children constantly exposed to things that we believe are lies. Everything we value is being devalued. Truth is relative…which means that if I believe it it must be true, no? Oh wait, I believe that there actually is an absolute truth.

I know that my children will eventually grow up and make their own decisions without me. I want to give them every tool they can acquire to handle this gnarly world when that happens. If we do decide to home educate them I will be happy to do it, despite my lacking abilities. I am pretty sure I am not too old to learn a few new tricks.

I don’t know when this will happen. I do know that it probably will. I would rather send them to a school that has at least some semblance of a balanced (and preferably biblical) worldview but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Disclaimer: Just because I have these particular views doesn’t mean that I judge others that have a different opinion than I. I am not the Judge. I am glad that our world has so many takes on similar subjects. It makes life interesting. Just know, that if I think you’re cool with your ideas and points-of-view, than cut me a little slack too if I think differently. Just sayin’.