Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jesus Up Away

Just when Carrie Ann was learning that hot air balloons go "Up, up and away," she came across the story of Jesus' Ascension. Ever since, her favourite story has been "Jesus up away." She even asks for it when we are thinking of a song to sing! So, finally, I wrote a "Jesus up away" song for us to sing when Carrie Ann asks for it. She sang along on the chorus right way when I sang it to her! Here is a recording with Carrie Ann, myself, and Bethany joining in about halfway.

Jesus Up Away

Frank's comment was that it sounds like I'm singing the alto -- so I asked him to write the melody for me! So one day I may come out with an improved version. For now, it is fun to sing it along with Carrie Ann!
Jesus went up, up and away,
He will come back, one day to stay.
Jesus went up, up and away,
Look, he'll be back, quickly!

Jesus was born, lived as a man,
Later he died, but rose again.
He told his friends, "Go tell the world,
I will be back at the end."

Jesus went up to make a place,
In His big house, is lots of space.
There's room for you and room for me,
For all whose hearts are made clean.

While He is gone, the Spirit comes,
To do His work, 'til we go home.
Here on the earth, He'll clean our hearts,
Finish the work of rebirth!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fall pictures

Deb, Brad and Caryn have been posting some awesome pictures of Aria and Silas, so I thought I should catch up on my pictures! For all the pictures, see the link at the side for the Family Picture Album. In the September folder, I added pictures of our trip to the beach:

Next is a folder from our trip to Calgary with Homelinks. We visited the zoo, Glenbow Museum, and Science World.

In the pictures from October, we had lots of fun playing in some beautiful maple leaves in the park.

And yesterday, for Sabbath, Frank got out the kites and we had a wonderful time flying them together!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Deb posted a request to respond to one of Brad's blog postings, "Failing All ‘Round?" and I had enough thoughts to justify a blog post of my own rather than a super-long comment.

The question, in a short nutshell, is "Can I succeed at work and family both, or do I have to pick one, and if so, which?"

I guess I fall pretty strongly on the "Choose family!" side. Perhaps this is partly because I am a woman (we tend to be more relational (ie family) and less idea/object (ie work) oriented). Perhaps it is partly because in my life I have chosen to give up a career and most hobbies in order to do a good job raising my family. The following is some of the thinking which has gone into my choice, and my continuing choice to stick to it. (By the way, if you notice a typo, put it down to the concussion. I've been making about 5 times as many as usual tonight.)

First, the eternal perspective. Naked we came into this world, and naked we will leave it (Job). The only thing we "do" on this earth which we can take to heaven with us, is people. Anyone converted by my Spirit-inspired efforts will be my friend for eternity. Furthermore, since I became a parent, I have responsibility before God for the souls of my children. So any work I do toward saving others needs to come after the work for my own family.

Second, Mom's example. All her life, Mom mourned her missed chance at a career. Until she got sick -- then her testimony was that it was as if God said to her, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" -- not because of the counselling job she never had, but because she raised four god-fearing children. (I can't tell if that is a sentence or not. Oh well.) And Mom did lots of unofficial counselling on the side, as we saw from the amazing turn-out at her funeral.

Third is my own experience. At one time, I thought that every action of living up to the certain standard I set myself was a necessity in my relationship with God. This made my life an un-ending pressure of duties and tasks, each equally as important as the other. A friend astutely pointed out to me that "You're having trouble balancing your roles as wife, mother, daughter, sister, church member, and child of God." She was right. You know what? On this earth, we can't do everything.

One of the most important things I learned in highschool (by experiment, not in class) was the 80%-20% rule: For 20% of the effort, you can get 80% of the result. If you want the next 20% (up to 100%) of the result, you need to put in the rest of the 80% of effort. In other words, you have to put in four times more effort for one-fifth the additional quality. I use this rule to great effect in mothering. For example, if I wanted to cook perfectly, I would have to put in 100% of my effort and would have no time or energy for cleaning, schooling, child-rearing or "the rest of the family". So instead, I put 20% of my energy into each area, and get 80% of the possible result. I'm not a perfect house-keeper, but I also homeschool. I'm not a perfect child-raiser, but I also share my life with the rest of my family, cook, clean, etc. I have learned to accept this -- that I can only do 80% of what I could do in any one area -- because of the following.

Priorities. This is what it really comes down to. If your work (may it be in saving souls) is your 100% priority, then I hope you don't have children. The second part of my experience was from a book by Elizabeth George, where she shared the following priority scheme (from memory, from 3 years ago): God -- spouse -- children -- home -- job -- relatives/church/volunteering. I don't remember the order of the last three. This finally brought sense to my life. If I don't have time in my life to spend with God, reading His Word and praying, then how can I really call myself a Christian? If I make my children more important in my time than my spouse, my marriage will fall apart (the demands of children are never-ending) -- and that's not much help to the children! If my home is in chaos, that will carry over into my job and prevent me from working effectively. If I have more loyalty to my church than to my spouse, my marriage will fall apart over a minor difference of doctrine! On the other hand, if I give my relationship with God priority, he will give me strength and wisdom to balance the rest. If I give my spouse priority, he will be a strong support for my work in the home and with the children. If I give my children priority, they won't distract me from my job when I have to work. And so forth. Her book was directed toward women, so I don't know how the priorities would change for a man.

Who do you want to be? Mozart, who died of excess at 35, or Heinrich Schutz, who composed some of his best works later in life and live to 87? (Please, if you pick Mozart, don't have kids! It's just not fair to them.)

God needs people who are 100% dedicated to him, in all that we do. If we have children, they are a big responsibility, and will play a big role in the work he wants us to do (but must not become our idols). Jesus left nothing concrete behind when he was done his work -- only 12 ill-prepared disciples. His greatest accomplishment, was to die at odds with the law. Yet, that was what it took to win everything. As long as we are looking to him, we don't know what it will be -- our job, our hobby, our kids -- which will make an eternal difference -- but we can know that he knows, and will guide us to the place he wants us at the time he needs us there. So be 100% sure to look to him!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Well, I saw the other doctor again on Friday, and he said, no, it is a concussion, not just an infection. I felt nauseous and dizzy again after Tuesday, and he suggested quitting the Advil (ibuprofen), which helped with the nausea. So I am slowly getting better, toe and head both, and getting used to spending lots of time in bed (I can't even read because it is hard to concentrate for long). God must have a reason for allowing this to happen, but I sure don't know what it is yet!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Well, I went in to the hospital yesterday because my toe suddenly looked quite infected. The doctor there was convinced that the nausea, dizziness and shaking were entirely due to the infection (which must have started days earlier and been hidden until then). So I am feeling better now, on antibiotics and ibuprofen. It is looking good!

Carrie Ann was wiping me out (in the midst of this all), by nursing every hour and a half for a couple nights. So I finally told her she only gets two sides (not left-right-left), and has to wait at least two hours until she nurses again. Well, the result of this is that she doesn't quite fall asleep nursing -- and that means when she wakes up at night, she doesn't think she should still be nursing -- so she goes back to sleep instead of crying to nurse! In the last three nights, she slept 6 hours, 6 hours and then 8 hours! (She's never slept 8 hours before!) I hope she keeps this up! And I hope soon I will be feeling better enough to sleep 8 hours too -- so far, because of resting during the day, I've been waking up at 2 or 3 and not able to fall asleep again for a couple of hours. So I haven't entirely benefited yet from Carrie's extra hours, but I'm sure I will if she makes it a habit!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Number Two, Number One!

Yay! Today Carrie Ann told me "Mommy, poopine", which usually means she has just peed, pooped, or farted. I asked if she wanted to go on the potty, and she said yes, and after a bit of work produced some "number two", for the first time! (You won't understand how excited I am until after you've changed a couple hundred poopy diapers!) This is also the first time she's used her potty since the first day -- when she peed in it twice. So I am excited and hope this is a trend she continues! (It's a trend of three now, Rob, right?)

In other news, my toe is feeling a bit better (dull roar rather than on fire) as of Saturday. However, that made me realized that the nausea and shivering was entirely related to the head injury, not the toe operation! So Frank and I figure I probably have a mild concussion, but there's no point in going to the hospital on a holiday weekend (wait for hours, then go on an 1.5 hr ride to the next hospital, ouch!). I will stay mostly in bed, walk around with my head "wrapped in cotton balls" (so to speak) when necessary, and see the doctor when he's back in the office -- provided nothing more serious appears. As long as I move my head and eyes slowly, and avoid sudden or sustained loud noises and tugging or pulling on my hair (poor Carrie Ann), I feel almost fine. Otherwise, dizzy, woozy, nauseous, with a little pain and fatigue. Then I go back to bed! Please keep praying for me. I am also asking God why this happened. Is there something he wants to tell me by it?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ups and Downs

Good news first! Yesterday we went swimming for physiotherapy, and all the kids did a super great job! Carrie Ann, with a pool noodle under her arms, was able to move through the water independently, at least a foot at a time (I remained within arm's reach at all times, of course)! Bethany swam across the width of the shallow end, coming up twice for air and swimming part of the way heads up, without touching the bottom at all! And Matthias finally overcame his fear of letting go, and pushed off from the wall about one foot, then swam under water back to Candace (about one foot). It seems like a little distance, but it is such a huge step for him to try moving through the water without holding on to anything or anyone! Wow, it is so amazing to watch these three precious children grow and develop!

Now the bad news... I had a badly ingrown toenail, and I went in to the hospital this morning to have the sides of it cut off and cauterized. Well, I fainted while he was anaesthetizing my toe, and managed to sit up and then fall off the bed before he could catch me! It was quite a shock for the doctor! I woke up with two faces bending over me, and said, "Where am I?" (Just like in the movies!) So I was on oxygen and a pulse monitor for a while, then went for head and neck x-rays. Good news is, nothing was seriously damaged. However, I had a long day in bed today with a sore neck, head, and foot. Please pray for my complete recovery!

I've been quite concerned with the news of the partial collapse in the USA lately -- I think it will get worse, friends, and if you are living in the city, I recommend that you move out as soon as possible (especially if you live in the States!). Prepare for a reduction in standard of living -- stock up on rice and beans (and learn to cook them). Make sure your heart is right with God and man. Don't store up your treasure on earth -- we may have more time in Canada, but I don't think our economy can survive when the US goes plunging. Keep the Sabbath holy, and don't support any religious legislation (church and state should stay separate!). You are all welcome to join us in Creston area if things get worse in your area! At least we have fresh water and agricultural land here. Ask God what you can do -- and as soon as he answers us, I will let you know where we are headed!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

More Talking

Carrie Ann's favourite new word is "Sorry!" -- it works like a charm for making mad, sad people happy again! (For example, after she bites them....)

Frank got my microphone working again (Yay!), and Carrie Ann cooperated very well today, repeating words and not eating the mike!

Bethany and Carrie Ann on Sept. 24 '08 -- Carrie Ann still had trouble keeping the mike out of her mouth!
Carrie Ann and Matthias on Oct. 5 '08 -- he prompted her to say computer words like "web browser", and she cooperatively repeated all of them! At the end, I ask her to say "Finished", and she says, "Nope, more talking!" So we went on:
Bethany joined them, with a toy telephone -- notice how nicely Carrie Ann says "Sorry" and "Thank you".

Let me know how the sounds are, I'm still learning how to edit... Thanks!

Toilet Training

On Friday, I finally washed up the new (second-hand) potty a friend passed on to me, and as soon as I had it ready, Carrie Ann did two pees in it! She has sat on the toilet before, but never managed to put anything in, so I was really excited! Her first pee in the potty! Unfortunately, she loves to sit on the edge, which makes it tip, so this morning she didn't want to sit at all and peed on the floor instead! Like Deb said, it's not linear progress -- there will be ups and downs, but we will get there eventually! Matthias was toilet trained at 4 and Bethany at 3, maybe, hopefully, Carrie Ann will decide to cooperate and be done at 2?!