March 2009

Okay. This is why March is my least favourite month of the year. March is a tease. You think Spring is here and then, WHAM! March yanks the rug out from under your feet and you are back to winter again.

We have had a doozy of a week. Started on the weekend. Sunday it started to rain. It, in fact, poured. And then it snowed. Needless to say, the morning brought some interesting challenges for Lyndon. Usually he leaves around 4:30 in order to get to work in Regina by 7:00. Yep, that’s A.M. Last Monday, however, he took one look out the window and came back to bed. He did try to leave around 6:00, but he got to town, which is about 3K, and turned around and came back home. And came back to bed. He did leave later in the day, but he had to take the Dodge. So, the boys and I have been stranded all week. There is no way the Chev will be going anywhere until the weather clears up a little.

Our housebound week has been nice in some ways. The boys have had to miss karate, and I missed Spanish and my Bible study. But it has been nice to hang out at home with no rushing to be anywhere.

I have spent a little time this week looking at online schooling programs. I actually signed Carter up for a 100 lesson reading program. I think the fun and interactive format will be helpful for him. And I am considering an online math program for Colton. He is struggling some with the program we are currently using. We’ll see.

I am also trying out a kid-safe internet site called Kidzui. I would like the kids to be able to spend time on the computer doing research or whatever, but I have not allowed them to do that independently because, well, it’s the INTERNET. So far I have been pleased. It is a free service, although you can pay for additional features. The kids are loving being able to look up gorillas, or guitars, or whatever. And I have peace of mind.

Lest you think we have been spending all our time on the computer, here are some of the other things we have been up to lately. (It’s been awhile, I know, since I posted. I blame that on March, too.)

1. We are reading another “swamp” book. This is the fourth book (I think) that we have read lately that is set in the Okefenoke or the Everglades. This has not been intentional, but rather…serendipitous. I told Lyndon that I think we are being prepared for a trip down there!

2. We are also reading about Eric Liddell, the Scottish Olympic runner from the 1920’s who wouldn’t race on Sunday. It has been interesting.

3. We have hit WW11 in our history studies. The boys are so interested in it all, as am I. Pearl Harbour was attacked yesterday.

4. The boys are into movie-making. Tyson has a movie feature on his digital camera and the boys have made dozens of movies. Everything from stop-action animated dinosaur flicks to ninja battles. Yesterday, they got out the face crayons and turned themselves into…something?! And then filmed themselves doing…something?! Carter still has remnants of this artistic adventure on his face. That stuff is not easy to get off.

5. Guitar is BIG around here these days. Lyndon found a used guitar which he brought home on the weekend. He actually bought it from a lady in the parking lot of a music store in Regina. She was about to trade it in on a different guitar. Anyway, both Tyson and Lyndon spent hours on it (the guitar) last weekend. Apparently, it is much easier to play than the cheap guitar we had originally bought. Tyson has been working on a few little ditties to play for his dad when Lyndon gets home this weekend.

6. I am going to a conference at Briercrest (a Bible college near Moose Jaw) this weekend. Really looking forward to it.

So, that is what the Rosses have been up to lately.

Wow. Time flies. And all that.

Outside, the snow is melting. The temps are climbing. Joy!

Inside, life goes on. As per previous post, life is busy these days. We did take a bit of a break last week, however, and skipped karate. I was going to ditch my Bible study as well, but felt too guilty. So I went, and it was wonderful! I was so glad I hadn’t missed it.

Several women friends are getting together on Wednesday evenings for a Believing God study by Beth Moore. This is the first time I have participated in one of her studies, and I am absolutely loving it. I love how deeply into the Word she takes us each week. We just finished a section on Hebrews 11, and I gleaned all kinds of stuff that I hadn’t thought of or seen before. I AM struggling with the homework. I usually manage to do three days quite well, and then rush through the last two days on the afternoon before the class. Oh well.

On my mind these days is a challenge that I have accepted and am excited about. I was asked to facilitate a workshop at the Christian Women’s Trail Ride in June. Yes, I’m nervous about it. But really pumped, too. As I said to a friend, I have been praying for God to provide opportunities of service, so if He opens a door I’m not about to close it in His face! Even if I don’t feel completely adequate to the task, so to speak. Anyway, more on that later.

It is definitely spring-ish around here lately. The snow is disappearing. Lyndon took the Ducati out on the highway a couple of times this weekend. Everyone feels lighter! I even saw someone wearing capris the other day. Looks a little odd when there is still tons of snow around, but hey, whatever!

I feel like I am living in an old movie. You know, where the camera focuses on a calendar and the pages start flying off, faster and faster. And the worst of it is, I’ve brought it on myself. I have no one else to blame.

I made a mistake. I know it now. I should not have signed up for a Spanish class and a Beth Moore Bible study at the same time. Combined with the kids’ karate classes, church stuff, friend stuff, house stuff, and the inevitable random things that come up…honestly, I am really ready to get off this treadmill. Because I am not giving the proper attention to nor getting the most out of any of the things I am scrammbling to do.

One of my pet peeves, however, is people who are constantly whining about how busy they are. So, while I take full responsibility for the chaotic state of my life right now, I am determined to get the most out of each day that I possibly can. I commit to the challenge of focusing on the important things, not just the immediate or urgent things. In other words, the kids need to come first. Don’t misunderstand me. They have been in the Top Ten. I’m not a total failure as a mom! But they and I are all feeling the effects of not enough time, conversation, or fun with each other. I have been saying just a minute, or I’ll be there later, or I’ll be back in a couple of hours way too often lately.

That being said, we did have a wonderful weekend. We left Friday around noon, stopped in Moose Jaw at Walmart for a pee break and a snack, stopped again in Regina at the Southland Mall to do a bit of shopping, and managed to get to the hotel around supper time. We ordered pizza, the kids spent a couple of hours in the pool, followed by snacks and the Discovery channel in the hotel room. Lyndon had told us about a show called Survivor Man, and it happened to be on that night. This guy (alone, no camera crew), gets dropped off in some desolate place and has to survive for a week with, basically, very few supplies. He has to make his own shelter and find his own food, and film himself doing it all. This time, he ended up in Utah somewhere. In six days, he only ate one squirrel, and could only find puddles to drink out of. It was pretty interesting.

That evening, Tyson pulled his gi (karate outfit) out of his bag to hang it up. Mom, it’s blue, he said. What? I said. Sure enough, the normally white suit had a bluish tinge, like those old ladies who get blue rinses put in their hair. It didn’t take long to deduce that there must have been something unexpected in the laundry when I washed the whites. I was horrified, but Tyson took it all in stride. He reassured me that it wasn’t that noticeable. He is the coolest kid!

Saturday morning, after a lovely continental breakfast at the hotel, we headed to Balgonie for the tournament. We arrived around 8:30. The little boys and I found seats and they broke out the gameboys, and then the drawing paper, and then the books. It was quite a wait, but the little boys were very patient and it was interesting to watch the competitors. Finally, Tyson’s group was called. Yep, he was definitely blue. He did well, though, placing third in his forms. He didn’t place in sparring.He was finished by about 1:00, which gave us time for one more quick stop at the mall for lunch and some last errands, and then we headed for home.

We drove into Moose Jaw to find a bathroom. On the way out of town, we were stopped by a train. This has never happened to me in Moose Jaw before. It wouldn’t have been a problem at all, except I was driving the big Dodge, and we were stopped on a hill. And, there was a car six inches ahead of me and a car six inches behind me. And the Dodge is a standard. And it had been a long day and I was tired.

No problem. At first.

I’m sitting there, left foot on the clutch and right foot on the break, thinking this won’t take long. And then, with two cars to go, the train stops. The minutes tick by. And then, every so slowly, the train starts to reverse! Now, I am starting to panic. My clutch foot is cramping and my thigh muscles are starting to burn. I was ready to get Tyson to crawl over the seat to try to reach the emergency break. It can’t be much longer, I thought to myself. So, in desperation, I cranked up the volume on the truck stereo and the Gaithers got me through. Finally, the train tootled by and we were able to go. Whew!

When we got home, we watched a few episodes of the I Love Lucy show that we had bought. Hilarious. I thought about getting water, but we would have had to load the water tank first, and it was cold, and I was tired. So, Sunday morning found me in the basement, scrounging for enough water to have a bath. We have a large garbage can that we use for overflow when we are filling the water tanks. It was three-quarters full, so I found an ice cream pail and spent about a half an hour bucketing water out of the garbage can and into the water tank. (I really needed a bath by the time I was finished!) I had enough water to wash my hair and splash on myself to get clean before going to church. The boys, who had just been in the pool, were inspected and pronounced Clean Enough. I did ask Colton to change his pants before church because the ones he was wearing had paint on them.

“But Mom,” he said. “This is paint from painting the school in Mexico. These pants were doing God’s work. They’re holy pants. I think God would be PROUD if I wore these pants to church!”

It was a good argument. Made me laugh, and I kind of agreed with him. But, I still made him put on clean pants.

The tank has since been loaded on the truck, water has been hauled, the weather has turned warmer…ahhh.

It was a good weekend. I truly enjoy my boys. They bless my life. And my adventure-loving Carter had fun, too. For him, anything is fun if he can do it with his brothers.