mothers' day blues

I sit on Stacie's porch and enjoy the quiet and beautiful North Carolina nature show. I will sorely miss this quiet-time spot when I go home in a few days. This is a foretaste of heaven. I'm so thankful for the reprieve from real life. It's Mothers' Day. I'm thankful for all the mothers who have positively influenced the way I mother. Mama! I'm thankful for the hurdles she overcame and/or at least wrestled, to bring us up with values, conviction, humor, work ethic, warmth and smiles. She taught us manners which I didn't really appreciate until more recently. She modeled prayer and Bible reading and it was a powerful model and I'm grateful. Now I'm ear deep in raising teenagers and appreciate Mama's efforts more. Mama reading to us, 1971 or '72 I am so disillusioned with motherhood. I want my kids to know my deep love for them.... Read more →


emergency room talk

(My sweet boy Christopher and me, 2009) Deborah and I are going to Arkansas for a couple weeks in September. We are excited. Deborah hasn't been for six years and she has a real spring in her step since learning she's going. We are very happy. One night on my last trip down we shared emergency room stories, two having worked in the ER. It was this evening that I learned that sniffing silver paint can give a man an erection that WILL NOT go away no matter how he tries to turn it off. "It" turns black and the erect guy screams in pain for over 24 hours. (What do you talk about over dessert in your family?) As we heard about this horror, pain and the shots that our blessed nurse had to give "it", we were sobered and momentarily speechless. Silence was broken when John Mark flatly... Read more →


christopher is 21 today

Today my young son turns 21. It seems a fitting day to re-post what I wrote about him when he turned 17. originally published February 20, 2006 Today is my only son's 17th birthday. Everyone should have someone in their life like Christopher. He brings delight and joy wherever he is. He weighed 9.3 when he was born; a chunky, beautiful, fair-skinned bundle of love. For the first few hours he was naked because the nurses couldn't find a "hospital-issue" sleeper big enough for him. Dr Mesko gave the babies he delivered a t-shirt that read "Delivered with Love by Dr. Mesko." From Christopher's first breath, he was too big for that t-shirt. (But I still have it.) He was a very contented baby who slept lots, was pleasant when he was awake, was easily entertained, and who smiled lots and lots. Everyone loved Christopher. At church, people gravitated to... Read more →


my son, oh my son

Twenty years ago today a whopping 9.3 pound beautiful boy entered this world and my life. When the nurse placed him in my arms I was so struck with awe, all I could say was “My son, oh my son.” Like a stuck record.“ My son, oh my son.” It’s still a theme for me. Sometimes I look at his picture on the piano or my desk at work and say aloud, “My son, oh my son.” Sometimes when I hug him I hear the mantra slip out. Some of my favorite memories of his toddling days are seeing his hefty body stuffed into padded feet pajamas. I adored that chunky form, his rolls, his creases. Smiles came unbidden when he entered a room. He loved homemade bread. I always sliced the bread with an electric knife (yes, I know, a curious compulsion). I knew of his love for fresh... Read more →


holy christopher

A Calgary story... It was a Sunday evening and we were going out to eat before church. However, we let time get away from us as we discussed where to eat. Gordon wanted one place, I wanted another and Stephanie wanted another. Time passed and it was pretty much too late to have a meal before going to church. We were getting to the place of agreeing to skip church so we could eat more leisurely. Christopher wanted to go to church. With his holiest 6-year-old tone he said, "I don't care where we eat, I just wanna learn about God." To this day, when we are being indecisive about something, one of us may drone, "I don't care where we eat, I just wanna learn about God." Read more →


two lives

I'm having a great time with Stephanie and John Mark and, of course, Romie Boy. Steph, JM and I have laughed lots. Romie Boy is so cute, cuddly, and sweeter than honey. He has definitely charmed this Beppie. Stephanie is a woman, a real woman. Wife, mother, nurse, cook, cleaner,... I'm so thankful that she is able to be home with Roman most of the time. She only works a couple nights a week and Roman is with John Mark during those times. I'm proud of them for their priorities. I went to Christopher's last weekend. I enjoyed him enormously. I went to his football game and mourned that I couldn't go to more. I got a tour of his dorm room and a quick tour of the campus. My time in Arkansas is coming to an end soon. Stacie will be here in a couple days. I can't wait... Read more →


stephanie's on a saturday

I'm having a great time in Fayetteville. Christopher is with us now and we are laughing lots and watching lots of football. The guys are on their third football game today. I didn't know three games a day was something people did. But these men are definitely hooked. We had lunch with my sister Diane yesterday. When I mentioned the football enthusiasts to her she said, "Football is like a cult here." A while ago the kids were talking about a publicized incident that happened on a school bus on the way home from a soccer game. Stephanie and I got pretty fired up about it and John Mark and Christopher seemed to think little of it. Stephanie ranted, "You guys don't know what goes on on a school bus." Christopher, who's ridden lots of school buses to and from football games, calmly said, "Stephanie I know exactly what goes... Read more →


shark

Today Rachael had cat food samples to deliver with her papers - two cans per house to be exact. It was a sizable increase of work. Deborah was up for the challenge and Rachael promptly hired her to assist. Deborah isn't the most work-oriented child I've seen. I praised her ridiculously much just to get her to complete the task. But admittedly, it was quite a task for such a little one. Deborah had on a sundress I made for her last summer. She's grown a lot this year. As she struggled with her bag of cat food cans, I couldn't help but smile. Her dress is approaching mini-skirt length, her flip flops looked a bit floppier than they should, her skinny legs reminded me of toothpicks. Her hair was sweaty and sticking to her head. She has a bit of sunburn and her red face glowed with heat and... Read more →


backwash

When Stephanie and Christopher were eight and four years old we took a road trip from Cranbrook to Edmonton, a bit of a journey. Along the way we bought treats to keep them occupied. After finishing his treats, Christopher asked Stephanie for a drink. She kindly obliged and he took a hefty drink. With marked annoyance she complained, "Ugh, gross! Look at all that backwash. Who would want this?" Seizing the opportunity, Christopher optimistically piped, "I WOULD." Read more →


18 years ago today

February 20, 1989 I have humbly observed that every mother thinks her pregnancy, labor and delivery is the only one the world has ever known. Logically, women know otherwise, but when it comes down to the bare bones, yes, she alone has experienced true labor and delivery. I have tried my darndest not to be that kind of person. Not that I'm not that kind of person, I actually am. I truly believe that MY pregnancies, labors and deliveries are really much more significant and colorful, than anyone else's. However I have tried not to act like that is what I believe. When women sit around and talk about dilation, mucous membranes, episiotomies, stitches, ripping and tearing, I have, for the most part, let them have their moment of fame, pretending that I actually believe that their's, not mine, was the more interesting. Today all of that changes. 18 years... Read more →


pokie finger

(My little gentle man Christopher. 1990) I just laid with Rachael as I tucked her in. She loves it when Gordon or I do that. Her love language is definitely spending quality time together. As I lay beside her I wondered a few times if her eyes were open. As I wondered this I remembered a little habit of Christopher's when he was wee. He too liked me to lay with him. I'd lay very still hoping he'd fall asleep before I left him. He laid very still wondering if I was asleep or awake. Ever so slowly he'd raise his hands to my face and gently stick his finger in my eye to see if it was open or closed. He was such a wittle cutie. Read more →


cute kids, silly moms

Kids are cute. Mothers are silly. Mothers smile at the ways their children pronounce, or mispronounce, words. It's one of those things that makes mothers mothers. When Christopher was little, he couldn't say the L sound. His L's sounded like W's. He was such a wittle cutie. He carried his yewow wasso with him taking wuv and good feewings everywhere. Until Gordon entered the picture. Gordon began gently tutoring Christopher on luh, luh, luh. All the while I was nearly crying because my baby was about to learn how to pronounce his ls. Soon enough, Christopher grew from a wittle boy to a little boy carrying a yellow lasso. I was secretly annoyed that Gordon had moved Christopher from wittle boyhood to little boyhood. Once Christopher made me a picture. I bragged and thanked him for the picture of the dinosaur and he replied, "That's not a dinosaur, that's a... Read more →


a christopher moment

(Christopher, 6-ish) Yesterday we recalled and laughed about an incident from years ago. I'm guessing Christopher was around seven. He made a summer friend named Aimee. She wasn't very cute and was very much a tomboy. They played daily. After playing steadily for weeks, Christopher overheard someone remark about Aimee not being very pretty. Someone said, "Poor thing, she can't help how she looks." Christopher was very shocked. With great animation in his face he said, "SHE?? You mean he's a girl?" Read more →


happy canadian thanksgiving

Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy. - Jacques Maritain Today is Canadian Thanksgiving. People ask me often if my countries celebrate Thanksgiving the same way. Yes, they do, but it's a bigger deal in the US. In my ideal world, our family celebrates both. Admittedly though, it's unusual for Gordon to have both days off, making it near impossible to celebrate both. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and because of that, I do make a bit of effort to pull off two celebrations. One of our traditions, and one that I look forward to from year to year, is our prayer of thanks before we eat. We go around the table thanking God for the things that mean the most to us. It's simple, but very meaningful. Every Thanksgiving, I set aside some time to write out things I'm most thankful for. I could write for hours about... Read more →


a praying dog

Lucy and Christopher, 2005. I haven't been able to train the pets to pray. Someone, unfortunately unidentified, was. Oh to be that spiritual! However, I do think my dear Lucy is related to this spiritual dog. Lucy is a unique blend of Bassett Hound, Dachschund, and Corgi. This spiritual dog appears to be the same blend. I bet they're sisters. Lucy didn't get the religious gene though. Do you see t he striking resemblance? Pray for Lucy, she's not where she should be with God. She doesn't pray. Read more →


growing up

(Christopher, 7th grade) When my nephew CJ was a small fry, he didn't want to grow up. When asked why, he responded, "Grown-ups just sit around, drink coffee, and talk." That certainly didn't look fun to him. Well, Hannah surprised me yesterday with a not-wanting-to-grow-up comment. "I don't want to grow up," she said. When I asked why, she grimaced and said, "I don't want to get bum hairs." Several years ago when Christopher was going through puberty, he proudly showed me his armpit hair. There were four or five, and he started pretending he had named them. Rattling off names as fast as he could think of them, he said, "This is Huey, this one's Dewey, this one's Louie, and this one," he stammered as he tried to quickly rhyme a 4th words, "Is Pubie." Before he had a chance to amend his mistake, I offered, "I do believe... Read more →


generic cereal

(Stephanie and Christopher, 1990) Of all my children, Christopher has the kindest and most thoughtful disposition. The others have developed (or are developing) the same, but it came with training. Christopher seemed to be born with it. When Maddox Grocery came into our small town of Mena Arkansas, it brought with it my first exposure to generic foods. I quickly discovered we could easily settle for many generic items. I always bought generic cereal. The boxes were yellow with black lettering. The name of the cereal was usually a twist on whatever cereal they were replacing. “If you like Lucky Charms, you'll love these,” the writing said. There were two types I always bought. One was the AlphaBits imitation, the other was the Lucky Charms copy. The thing with generic, at least back in those days, you really never knew for sure what you were getting. Once both of my... Read more →


christopher is 17

Today is my only son's 17th birthday. Everyone should have someone in their life like Christopher. He brings delight and joy wherever he is. He weighed 9.3 when he was born; a chunky, beautiful, fair-skinned bundle of love. For the first few hours he was naked because the nurses couldn't find a "hospital-issue" sleeper big enough for him. Dr Mesko gave the babies he delivered a t-shirt that read "Delivered with Love by Dr. Mesko." From Christopher's first breath, he was too big for that t-shirt. (But I still have it.) (1989, one of the best days of my life.) He was a very contented baby who slept lots, was pleasant when he was awake, was easily entertained, and who smiled lots and lots. Everyone loved Christopher. At church, people gravitated to him so they could enjoy his gummy smiles. Mike Holder use to get in Christopher's face and say,... Read more →


thanks

(Our family in 2001. The little guy Stephanie is holding was our foster child, Markie Boy.) Psalm 50:23 "But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me." --Gordon, I'm thankful for Gordon, my husband. We don't always see eye to eye, and sometimes we fight, and sometimes I wish he'd not treat me like a child, ...... But I'm still thankful for him. He is a "family man" and since it's my family, I find that very attractive. He is intelligent, honest, hard-working, an excellent daddy, a good provider, committed and faithful. --My Children, I'm thankful for my children. I have 5. Stephanie and Christopher are my first litter and Rachael, Hannah, and Deborah are my second. Stephanie is 20. Her life turned me to God and I will never get over the impact she had on me. I didn't know it was possible to love so much and... Read more →