Monday, December 22, 2008

Out of the mouth of babes.

Tonight S and H were sitting on the bed watching little J for me while I brushed my teeth and got ready for bed. I could hear them talking and S was telling J a story to keep him happy. She told him the he was a special gift and that mommy was so happy when she had him. Over and over she kept telling him what a special gift he was and then she added that H and herself were also special gifts that mommy was so happy to have. I smiled thinking how right she was and how happy I am that she knows it. It made me pause and think that we are all special gifts! Each one of us is a special gift. I think as adults we forget that too often. So I hope you will remember how special you are! God created you, to be you, "in His image". How wonderful is that?

Great Understandings

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Yesterday evening we said good-bye to my great-aunt. She had married one of my grandmother's brothers. The two couples lived next door to each other for years on land homesteaded by my grandmother's family. After both their husbands died they continued to be in-laws and friends. They were actually more like sisters. They checked on each other frequently and helped each other out. When I moved in with my grandmother to attend a local college, I entered their world. Funny how a young college age girl could have so much fun with these two. I would take them to Wendy's almost every week and we would eat 99 cent hamburgers and frosties. Then when Steve and I got married we would take the two of them out to eat with my other great aunt! We really had fun. I have missed those days for years now.

Now for some funny stories about these two women. They were OLD school. Men were the answer. No matter the question! They would ask me things all the time and never believed me. They would ask me several times and change the question around as if to trip me up or interrogate me! Then finally I would catch them asking Steve. Even when he answered the same way I did, they acted as if they had never heard that information before. Honestly, I don't think they heard me!!!! Drove me crazy! Steve and I would laugh and laugh later! I think it gave him a big head!

My great aunt was convinced that the water tower by a hospital was really nuclear waste or medicine! I was never able to convince her otherwise and I don't think Steve was able to change her mind either. She would talk about it EVERY time we drove by it!

The most shocking moment came when they found a book I was returning to the library. I had read almost everything else this author had written and was surprised when it became very graphic. I was sitting at Steve's office and was so embarrassed that my face must have glowed bright red! I was sure everyone knew what trash I had just read! I slammed the book shut and took it to my car. The plan was to return it to the library the next day. Well, that was not before my grandmother and great aunt went somewhere with me. My grandmother spotted the book before we even left the driveway! I quickly explained that it was not suitable reading material and I was returning it! That was all these dear Godly women needed to hear! They giggle and my grandmother opened the book to a horribly graphic section and began reading out loud!!!! I was so embarrassed! They were just laughing and laughing and reading and reading! I could not believe it! I think they really enjoyed my embarrassment! I have never read another trashy novel again though! (I think that was their point exactly!)

So I too shall miss this wonderful woman that taught me so many things. Checked on us if she did not see our car or lights when she thought she should. Called me to tell me I was mowing way to late and how I surely could no longer see! Made sure we took good care of our dogs. Lived as a Godly example. And simply loved us as extended family.

Anne I was honored to assist you in your last days and moments! You will be greatly missed.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Not quite a Hallmark moment!

I guess I have watched too many "Little House on the Prairie" shows! I have been looking forward to decorating for Christmas for days. I have pictured in my head hot apple cider, cookies, Christmas music, happy cute children and smiling adoring parents all decorating the tree in perfect harmony. I think we are even dressed nicely in the dream. Well, that is not how it unfolded for us! First of all S ran out of hot water while showering tonight which caused a rather loud ending to the shower (she was all soapy!). Then H was just too tired and excited to listen to ANYTHING! J broke at least one ornament because the one that couldn't listen did not know we were telling him not to put the ornaments on the floor in big piles! So Josiah proceeds to walk on them to get to the one he wants to play with. Daddy was not in the best of spirits by this time and I was completely tangled in garland, lights and ribbon that I was trying to get on the mantle. (I also had this dream of a beautifully decorated mantle...) So in the end we have a half decorated tree and mostly decorated mantle and three fairly happy children. We will get to finish the project over the next couple of days and that will make them happy. Maybe Thursday night I can manage the hot apple cider and cookies!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Saga continues still!

Did you see the last post with our pretty smiling faces? Well I guess that was the eye of the storm! The strep returned for a second round and somewhere in there I have had mono! No wonder I am too tired at night to post! I was falling asleep as soon as the kids went to bed! But the worst part has been the baby. He had RSV and we drug him to TN! He was a trooper and really did not act all that sick. We got home from a great weekend of shopping and fun on Wed. night around 10pm. We had company the following day for Thanksgiving with turkey, dressing and the trimmings. (I even used the china!) Then the following day he ran 105 fever. Yes 105.0! I panicked! You would think I know nothing about medicine with my own kids. The problem is I know all too well what it might possibly be (all the million really bad things!). Well his seems to just be an old virus and he is recovering. He is very cranky now and I suppose he is feeling well enough to complain now. So.. here is to hoping - AGAIN- that the illnesses are at their end! I have scrubbed this house from one end to the other! (Not that you can tell at the moment!) :-)

But seriously we are pretty good. We have missed a lot of socail engagements but it is nice to be home as well. I have been working hard on organizing. We have a free garage "sale" coming up this weekend so I am cleaning out closets and toys. It just seems to make such a bigger mess during the process! But our house is the potty break house so I have to keep it fairly neat!

Monday, October 27, 2008

One of those days!

You know what I am talking about. Every once in a while you get a storybook day! Well we had one of those days yesterday. My sister and her family invited us to join them and their church for a family day at a local farm. So we all wore bluejeans to church and headed out immediately after. We arrived a little late and most people had already eaten, so we gobbled a few hot dogs, chips and cookies while fighting the neighborhood bees that had gathered for the sweet occasion. Then we set off to enjoy nature and man-made country entertainment. We took a hayride, played in a haystack, visited the pumpkin patch, rode the "John Deere 2000Express" (little carts pulled by a John Deere lawn mower) took canoe rides, rode zip-cords in the woods, and swung on an old wooden pole type swing where you push the swing around the pole and then let it go! The kids had a blast. They found baby chicks (half grown), rabbits, puppies, and kittens in the petting zoo and horses in the corral. They ran and played with their cousins with the freedom a country farm and church friends permits. The weather was perfect and the leaves are beginning to show their beautiful fall colors.
When we came home, after stopping for ice cream, I cooked dinner including cooking a pumpkin pie from scratch. This meant baking a pie pumpkin and mixing all the wonderful smelling spices together! The kids played outside while Steve played on his new tractor. Then we had happy bath times and Steve helped me finish the laundry! I went to bed with a wonderful smile! I hope you have a storybook day soon!
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Could it be my profession?

Well, I think someone has been ill in our house for at least 3 months. Steve first battled his diverticulitis, which he seems to have licked. He has avoided surgery - so far. They say he has an 80-85% chance of it returning and if it does then they believe he will have to have the surgery.
Then I got sick. Now not to give you TMI but it was tummy issues and not of the throwing up kind. The kids got it as well and it lasted for 2-3 weeks. Then the real stomach bug ran through the house with the whole works. I think we all got several hours with that nice little bug!
Then poor baby got it. He had diarrhea for 3 weeks with some interspersed vomiting. One night he had to have a diaper change every hour. His little bottom was so red! We tried every diaper cream you can imagine. Finally his pediatrician suggested A&D ointment, Nystatin, and hydrocortisone cream. This alone smelled so bad he stunk whether he was dirty or not! Then he stopped drinking all together. He got so dehydrated he couldn't take 2 steps before he fell. So we went to the hospital and got IV fluids and lab work done. Over the next couple of days he improved. Finally today he returned to Mother's Day Out. But still would not eat much for them. So as mommy I felt sorry for the poor hungry guy and thought I would tempt him with a powdered doughnut. Well it wasn't that he was to sick to eat, but that they did not feed him doughnuts! You should have seen him laughing and cramming them in his mouth! So for diner he got spaghetti, green beans and squash! And he ate all that as well. So I think he is one the mend.
But we don't end the saga there. Sunday Sarah woke up complaining of a headache. We went on to church and then worked in the yard (that's another blog!!!) for a little while. When we started getting ready for church Sunday night she began looking sick and became clingy. She had a fever so I kept the kids home noticing that my head hurt a little and had a scratchy throat. In the middle of the night Sarah woke me up and said her throat felt all knotted up, just like mine. But the next morning she seemed much better and get this, begged to go to school. So like a good mom/nurse I let her and went to work myself. Well today when I couldn't eat, I go ingeniously thought I should have a strep test. So I wait until after the morning was over and had the nurse swab my throat (I hate that!). Yup - it's strep. So now Sarah and I are on antibiotics and hopefully will feel better soon. I really hope this is the end of the illness, but I am not holding my breath. They should really tell you about all this as you apply to nursing school!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Why I don't use the library or watch debates!

This week I spent $10.00 on 5 little quirky DVD's I helped my kids check out from the library. For $10.00 I could have rented 3 new releases from the local video store, I could have paid 2/3's of our monthly netflix bill for as many movies as we could watch and mail! TEN DOLLARS and the movies were just recorded cartoons!!!! Aughhhh! I have always had terrible luck with the library. I am trying to teach my children a love for reading. I am trying to set a good example and open up their minds while mine remains slammed shut! I once paid $20 or $30 dollars for an outdated house plan paperback book that my puppy simply put teeth marks in. I was honest and expected to pay a small damage fine. Well was I ever wrong. I was required to purchase the library a new house plan book and then pay them to do it! The crazy book was around $10.00! I was so mad it was years before I darkened their doors again. I have countless stories like this! So what did I do about my late fees? I paid them when the kids were in school! They get to enjoy the movies another week now! Hopefully they won't learn my deep rooted resentment at a great American establishment.

Which leads me to the next subject. Debates. I really do not like them. I try to listen but find myself blogging or daydreaming or sleeping! I feel like they sound like little kids tattling on each other. Ask any kid that knows me very well and they are likely to tell you I do not like tattling! Go outside and duke it out, but don't tattle to me! Use your skills to work things out, don't tattle to me!!!! I get so tired of the "he said, he did, but I was so much more wonderful routine"! I can listen to talk radio but struggle with debates. Oh well, I know who I am voting for anyway! I think she could run across the stage necked and I would cheer her on!!!! I love her!!!! I wish I could be more like her!!!! Who cares what the boys are arguing about! HEHEHE!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Can you believe it is October?!

Time in this house just flies by. It seems I wake up and whole weeks have gone by. I remember in the August heat thinking and October day would feel so good. Well those days do feel great but where did September go?
I am keeping the windows open a lot right now and suffering with allergies because of it but we just can't help it! I have an attic fan in this house and LOVE it. I know there are a million and one reasons not to run one, but I can't help that either. I throw caution to the wind (literally). I open the windows and turn the fan on and just stand there and feel the cool breeze. It is absolutely glorious. It energizes me so much that my house is fairly clean! Amazing I know. I have 4 big trouble areas right now and am working on a plan to tackle those since the holidays are fast approaching.
Ouch, did I just mention holidays? I did and I have started my shopping and don't have a clue when or where anyone will celebrate, but have decided on which china set to use! Now that's the important part right? For Thanksgiving I am going to use my grandma's aka Minnie. It has a sweet pine branch and pine cones on it. The color is white with kinda brown pine branch and cone with some light blue. I used to think it was out of date and ugly and now I love it. It will be nice to use with the pretty blue stemware my mom and sisters got me for my birthday a few years ago. For Christmas I think it will be mom's china since it has the most and it just seems right. I think I feel like she is some how present when I use it. I guess she is represented. Her china I white on white which makes for a very pretty Christmas table. I miss them both terribly and treasure their things.
Now before the holidays and after the cool weather begins something monumental happens at this house. That's right remember the leaves. I do! I am trying to get the yard in order to receive the bountiful colorful leaves that will soon grace it's surface. The grass is being mowed and sticks from the hurricane are being piled high. I am hoping to make raking/blowing easier this year. I also think I will do a little along the way instead of waiting until it is done to start. Poor Steve has helped where he can but just has not had a good couple of months. I hope he is better before the onslaught!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Blankets, Blankets, and more Blankets!

I just came back from Bartlesville, OK again! I returned to volunteer at VOM with two other friends. Once again we had an amazing time. The freenzy of the Pray for China bracelets was over and things were much more calm. We actually went to eat and had some free time. We meet more interesting people that come to volunteer.

But one of the best things this time was helping one friend take all her blankets. 86 to be exact. This amazing lady collected 86 blankets in 6 weeks. Washed, folded, sorted and packed enough blankets to completely fill the back half of my van. VOM sends these blankets to the Sudan to refugees. Sometimes the blanket is their only possession. If they are fortunate enough to have other possessions then they often use the blanket to hold and carry everything in. The people that distribute the blankets say it is truly a blessing to these people. If you would like to help my friend with blankets let me know. They request $2 per blanket to help with shipping cost.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Doing Better

Well, Steve came home and for the first time in about 6 weeks reported no pain! I have not ever seen him down for this long. For a couple of weeks he would go to work for about 3-4 hours and come home and go to bed. He has lost 12 or so pounds and is just now eating better. I know he is tired of potato soup! I have peeled lots of them lately! Anyway, he is now trying to decide whether or not to follow through with the surgery. He had two docs say they won't have it until it came back again. But the surgeon says it is recommended that he have the surgery before he has a bad bout and needs emergency surgery. Risk factors go way up if you are sick enough for emergency surgery. So since he was one step away from surgery this time and sick for so long, I think he is leaning toward the surgery. We shall see though because he gets dizzy and sweaty just talking about the surgery! MEN!!!

I am headed back to VOM this weekend. Two other ladies from the last trip and I are going together. We are looking forward to the time together and of course volunteering. One of the girls has collected over 70 blankets to donate. They send the blankets to the Sudan for refugees. I just hope we can get them all in the van! Once they are there though they will have a smooth ride. I had to replace front and back brakes, front roters, get 4 new tires and a front end alignment this week! OUCH! Fortunately the van is paid off, so that makes repairs a little easier! It drives great again though!

Sarah is loving 2nd grade and Hogan is adjusting to K. He likes it just not EVERY day! They have both made friends and are doing well on the school work.

Josiah is walking! Can you believe it? He is good enough now to bend over and pick something up off the floor, stand back up and not fall! It happens so fast! He says mama, dada, bye, uh-oh, thank you and ohhhh. Too cute!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Quick update

I am sitting here barely able to keep my eyes open so this will be brief.
Steve just got home from the hospital tonight. He was admitted Wednesday afternoon for severe abdominal pain. He had been undergoing treatment for diverticulitis for the past 4 weeks. He would get better then worse and never well. Monday he had his 3rd CT and then on Tuesday he had a Barium Swallow Upper GI with small bowel follow through. Tuesday night he had enough pain that we almost went to the ER. So Wed they decided to admit him. The colonoscopy looked like things were healing. He is still having pain, but not as severe. They changed his medicine and sent us home. We are glad to be home and grateful that he did not have to have emergency surgery. They are recommending surgery when he gets well. We are just hoping the getting well comes quickly. Please pray that his pain resolves and he heals completely.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gag a maggot!

Okay, I don't even know how that little phrase resurfaced in our house, but I revived it one evening! Steve and I were sitting around talking about the conversation I had with the babysitter that day. You know how you think you are still young until you talk to a real young person! Well the age gap was really in my face! To begin with she was not even born when we got married! Then she tells me that she just recently learned that Toby Mac (one of my favorite artist) was in - are you ready for this- DC Talk! I laughed and said yeah that's where he started. I told her about the open air concert they did in our small town my 1st or 2nd year of college. So of course that was before they made it big! She thought that was cool and then insulted me to the bone! She said yeah and the Newsboys are another old group!!!! Can you believe that! The Newsboys are not an old group - at least not in my book. Now Keith Green, Larry Norman, Dallas Holmes,Striper or even Amy Grant I could understand that comment. But not the Newsboys and especially when compared with DC Talk!

Well, I digress, we were talking about gagging a maggot. As we talk we look up several of these "old" groups on iTunes. There was one in particular that my boyfriend (stay calm Shannon, it is only a reference here)at the time loved. Well, I could not stand the guy's voice. I called him Elmer Fud! Steve had never heard him so we pull him up on iTunes and play several seconds of some songs and after about the 3rd or 4th song this old saying just jumped out of my mouth! We both got a good laugh that old music could conger up old sayings so easily. I guess it is like groovy and 70's music - which by the way is old!!!! Heehee!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I love Sunday!

Sunday has become my favorite day. I love our church and our pastors. I love praise and worship and then just listening to these men preach! Every sermon seems to be just tailor made for me. Today was no exception. Kyle preached on how powerful God is and that He still heals. He talked about how God is our everything. God is my everything. He is the giver of all that is good in my life. How grateful I am. He had an alter call and prayed for people while annoiting with oil. There were some really powerful prayers prayed that are not heard in many churches anymore. I wanted to jump up and down shouting my love for my God! I thought about the highland people jumping up and down shouting thier praises to God in the "Underground Reality: Vietnam" video I posted about a few days ago! I can not tell you how badly I want to be involved in that type of worship. I have experienced similar praise before, but it has been so long. It almost feels like not having a drink of water in years! God is so good to us, why do we act so stiff? It reminds me of an apathetic, spoiled child that has too much. I so do not want to be that way. I want to express my joy and thanksgiving. I want to worship, praise and dance like David! God is doing a mighty work - watch out!

17 years and counting with the love of my life!

Today was our 17th anniversary! I can't believe it has been seventeen years since we walked the aisle. We were so young and clueless as to what it took to make it as a couple - a happy couple. Well, life has a way of teaching you the lessons doesn't it? We have been through many ups and downs in the last 17 years, but I must say we are a happier, stronger couple at this point. We have gained wisdom and patience. I think it is so cool to know we love each other more now than on that exciting day in 1991! God has truly blessed me with a wonderful Godly man. He is my earthly rock and right hand. And he gave up the debate tonight to take me to dinner and the movies!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pray for China

That was our theme during our Voice of the Martyr's (VOM) trip. You can find out more about the theme here. I don't even know how to begin to tell you about all that God did during those few short days. God started on me several weeks before the trip. He began dealing with me about complacency and how I as a "good Christian girl" I seem to be too afraid or lazy to fulfill the Great Commission. The list of excuses is a mile high and oh how it must reek in His presence. He also began to remind me that we fight a spiritual fight with a very real and powerful Satan. Fortunately, He is much more powerful than Satan, but we have to tap into His power through the Holy Spirit. I was also struggling with the fact that I have my kids in public school when most of my friends have theirs in either private school or home school them.

Well, fast forward to our trip. We leave the church around 1:30 after a quick prayer. We travel and visit getting to know each other better. When we go through the toll booths, we have exact change, but we decide to actually go through the booth with an attendant and tell them to "Pray for China"! We stop to eat and tell our waiter a little about our trip, I give him my prayer bracelet and we find out he is in college to be a missionary! His friend comes and asks for a bracelet too!

I get up early the next morning to read my bible (really trying to read everyday!). I get ready and also take a walk. I am so excited I can't see straight. I have wanted to make this trip for about 10 years! I walk and pray and sing and just enjoy God's presence, His sunrise and the exercise.

First we go to the main office for a tour. It is so fascinating to see. An Eagle Scout made a room into a replica of an underground church meeting room. There are pictures of persecuted Christians and their stories everywhere. We receive a lot of material and ask question and buy material in the book store. Then we arrive go to the warehouse and find out that we will be working on prayer bands for China. We begin taping the little grey bracelets to cards to be stuffed in envelopes and labeled and mailed. We tape and tape and tape then we stuff and stuff and stuff....! We lose a lot of steam after lunch. There are 9 of us and about 4 other volunteers that we are getting to know. We break for dinner and decide to come back to the warehouse and work late. When we return the room is full of local volunteers! This is so exciting it re energized us and we worked quickly again. We talk to so many new people and start meeting staff that work in the main office. We soon realize that we have come at a very unique time. There is such a demand for the 750,00 bracelets that it is taking all hands on deck to get them out before the Olympics. Staff is pouring in to help. We are able to sit and talk to these incredible people for hours. And talk we do. They are probably so glad we are gone!

I can't post everything we talked about because so much of it is sensitive! But I will say that God put each of us at strategic places. He seemed to meet our needs so specifically and individually. I was blessed to sit by some incredible people. God really opened my eyes to how complacent we really are. Here I sit so comfortable and happy. I have no threat to my Christianity except my own mind. There is no danger in me telling other people about my God or what He has done for me and I shy away so many many times! We begin hearing story after story of people that risk everything to go to a church meeting or endure more torture to tell the persecutor that God loves them too! That evening I walk and cry as I pray.

The next morning I miss the sunrise but walk and pray and praise God. We then go to devotion with the VOM staff. It is incredible. I read the poem I posted last week. Then we pray for several highlighted persecuted Christians. I want to get on the floor and lay prone and wail and pray! The presence of the Lord is so strong it is palpable! Then we listen to Tom White, the President of VOM, talk about evil, and modern day safe houses and numerous other things. I feel so humbled, guilty and motivated! Then we go tape, stuff, and label. And we get another glorious day with the staff. We again work late.

The last morning I walk and pray. We work and dread leaving that afternoon. We had a great ride home though. We handed out more prayer bands and told everyone we saw to "PRAY FOR CHINA". (We fully expect there to be revival among OK toll booth workers!) We laughed and talked about all God had done and sang praise songs. Our favorite song came off a DVD we watched featuring 8 kids that smuggled bibles into Vietnam. When they went to deliver the bibles to a very remote village, the people were gathered together praising God at the top of their voices singing, "Alleluia Amen! Alleluia Amen! Alleluia Amen! Alleluia Amen!" It was the most incredible worship service I have ever seen and I long to be a part of that kind of worship! You can check out the video here.

Keep praying because God is not done yet!!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

God knows EVERYTHING!!!!

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This adorable face is the one God blessed us with one year ago on the 8th. If I had had my way, I would have been sucessful in talking God out of this great blessing. I am ashamed now that I ever thought I couldn't handle such a priveledge as raising a third child. Oh, I had my reasons and I lined them all up before God. But you know, God looked beyond my immediate crisis and smiled knowingly and sent this little guy into our lives. Now, we all smile when this little one looks at us. It is so great that God knows more than us! If only we could get our little ideas out of the way and trust God! (I am working on this with great determination!) So,Thank you God, for sending such a wonderful blessing our way. I praise you for the joy you have added to our lives in such abundance. I pray we will be faithful to raise him for your service. Grant us wisdom for his sake. Watch over him and keep him close to you and your protection. Give him a deep desire and longing for you all his life. Guide his steps and guard his heart. Forgive me for my doubt. Amen.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wow and Wow!!!

I am currently in OK serving at the Voice of the Martyrs! I am exhausted and my spirit is so full I can't even begin to tell you! I won't post much tonight, but have a poem that I read in devotion today. God has so been dealing with my heart on this subject and I was really struck today as I read. Maybe it will speak to you as well.

I Stand by the Door
by: Samuel Shoemaker

I stand by the door.
I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out,
The door is the most important door in the world-
It is the door through which men walk when they find God.
There's no use my going way inside, and staying there,
When so many are still outside and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where a door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind men,
With outstretched, groping hands,
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it...
So I stand by the door.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lazy Day

Today we are staying home. It is a rare occassion that we stay home all day long! But today is that day. We have watched way too much TV (all animal rescues by the way for our little animal lover). Some of us are still in PJs (not me:-) ) I am actually hanging laundry out to dry today and we have scavanged our lunch. The kids are in heaven and I am relaxed. I am considering slipping over to the pool with the kids when the baby wakes up for a quick swim. (Our neighbors have a pool we get to use!!!) But other than that there are no plans! It feels great! I think Sarah needs this day more than anybody. We have limited her activity, but she has still been out everyday for a few hours with me. We have made a point to come home an rest everyday, but she needs a little more down time still. She is wanting to return to the farm, so I figure resting more is the way to regain her strength quicker.

I am planning a quick trip to OK in a couple of weeks. I have been a huge fan of Voice of the Martyrs for many years now. I read their magazine from cover to cover as soon as I get it. I wear their T-shirts, have organized few action packs with a previous church group and talk about them all the time! Well, a group of ladies from my church are going to their headquarters in OK in August to volunteer for 3 days and I get to go! I am so excited. I will be working in the warehouse and could not be happier! I can't wait to meet the staff and see their place. I feel like I am going to work at the White House or something! But I believe their work is far more important than most things that happen just about anywhere else. I am grateful for our government and our freedom in religion. We take for granted the protection we have. I tell you all about it when I get back.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Posted by PicasaI knew when I called Sarah and told her I thought I should come and get her early from the farm and horse riding and she said okay that she was pretty sick, I just did not know how sick! She had left on Wednesday and had complained of a tummy ache for a couple of days. I just thought it was excitement. She loves the farm and the horses. She lives, breathes and dreams of horses and has since she could talk. She likes riding them and caring for them including mucking the stalls! So when her aunt called and said she was not so thrilled to be cleaning the stalls I assumed it was the heat. They were getting up at 5:30 AM (that time does not happen at our house!) and working cows until late at night. They would rest in the heat of the day. But still it is pretty hot even at 10:00AM here. Then she was not responding to instruction, sitting in the truck instead of helping and then she told me she threw up. So on Sunday when her aunt called concerned that she was not eating well, I thought it was best to bring her home. They had work to do and Sarah would most likely slow them down like this. Within 30 minutes of telling Sarah we were coming to get her, another call came that she had a temp of 103. So we stopped to get more Motrin on the way.
She was burning up when we got there. We visited briefly and came home. She did not complain on time about leaving early. Once home she told me she had vomited several times. I was not sure I believed this since her aunt had not mentioned but once and it was more like she drank too much water too fast in the heat. So I asked her to tell me where she threw up and she proceeded to tell me exactly where and how many times. She said she did not tell anyone she threw up!!! She also complained of a sore throat. So, Monday morning I took her to the office and did a strep screen. It was negative, her exam was normal except the fever throat and tummy/headache. I did not even have the doc I work with look at her. I figured we would do some penicillin to cover for undetected strep, but assume it was viral. As we were leaving the doc came out. We briefly discussed her and she said check for mono. Well, the best way to do this way by lab draw. I was not going to test her myself. I don't like my kid stuck any more than any other mom. But the doc spoke, so I dutifully held her as she cried while having blood drawn. Thinking all the time, there is no treatment for mono. I'll know if she gets a rash on penicillin or if it does not get better and she sleeps a lot. We left and as we were driving to Sonic for a much needed treat, I began going over everything in my head again.
Suddenly, I remember the ticks! Seven as a matter of fact. All in the same day. Sarah had gone to the Adventure Camp at the local state park and came home with seven ticks one day. I call the office and ask if they have enough blood to run the titers. Not enough to run them all. So what is most important and will we have to do it all over again because I did not think of this before? (Why you should not treat your own kids!) So I tell the nurse to ask the doc and she starts her on antibiotics and picks two tests. Bingo! Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever was the word on Thursday! Praise God for good antibiotics and great docs! This is such a scary disease and my little girl was working cattle and not complaining on bit! This has made her daddy more determined than ever to try the horse thing here. This fall we will probably build a barn. In the meantime, Sarah is getting better by the day. She still is not eating really well, but asks for food several times a day now. She has not had fever since Wednesday and takes her medicine very reluctantly but obediently. She still tires very easy and we are keeping her in for the most part. She did go swimming tonight and will go to a birthday party tomorrow. Her little friend is spending the night and they have played with makeup and the Wii all afternoon. It is so good to see her laughing and talking and batting her eyelashes at her daddy with makeup smeared everywhere! Several years ago we might not have been so fortunate!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Wedding Bliss

WARNING: This post is extremely long!!!
Okay, I think I have rested up from the wedding and the holiday weekend that followed. I didn't know I could get so tired just planning and hosting a rehearsal dinner! I don't know if it was the stress of hosting the bride's family and wanting to make a good impression, or the stress of wanting to make this a special event for both bride and groom, or just planning a dinner party for 50 people in a place I had never laid eyes on in a town 1 hour away from home. But boy was I tired! But of course we had a fabulous time. We got to see so many friends and family members from out of town. The problem is that there is never enough time to visit with everyone!
So, let me run down all the activities as briefly as I can. All week before I organized, planned and double checked supplies, lists, etc. etc. The Friday morning was crunch time. I loaded the kids and luggage. First we dropped Sarah off for her last day of Adventure Camp. Where she has learned about animals, edible plants and bugs! Yes, she ate them! Friday was the big day to hike the mountain and have a picnic. She went with two of her cousins so we had them to drop off as well. The Hogan, Josiah and I began the errands. We drove to pick up tons of table linens, last minute items at the grocery store, last minute clothing details etc. Then we raced to the church (remember 1 hour away!) My poor van was so stuffed the kids were all but hanging out the windows! Now don't overlook the fact that I had not ordered flowers for the center pieces because #1 I am cheap, #2 I thought flowers from grandma's plants would be so touching and #3 I just don't know what I was thinking! Anyway, you can guess, all the beautiful flowers on the plants at home were gone! So all the way to the next town, I am scoping out flowers. Anna even ran across the street and made a dear neighbor stop cutting another neighbors flowers so we could have them! She was yelling, running and waving her arms! (Desperate times call for desperate measures.) I swiped some from work and we even picked some from the side of the road! All in all it was Anna's mother-in-law who saved the day by bringing in the perfect colored crepe myrtle blooms!
At the church a friend meet me and we began moving tables setting them and putting together center pieces. The caterer arrived and brought the most delicious food ever! And Pam brought not one but two cakes for dessert. One was Josh's favorite, fresh apple cake and the other was Italian cream cake. They were both 3 layers tall and decorated like wedding cakes! Beautiful and delicious also. Then another friend arrived and helped me pull it all together and serve. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL, if I do say so myself. And do I have a picture, no! :-( Maybe someone else will.
Finally back at the hotel, the 3 sisters take all the kids swimming while the brothers-in-law take Josh out for a bachelors night out. (They are so wild, they went to Starbucks!!!) Anyway we let the kids swim until about 11pm, big mistake. My precious little girl came undone! She cried from the time I got her out of the pool, through the shower and until she fell asleep! Anyway, we all had a blast so I guess it was worth it. Next morning we get up and Steve has errands to run for Josh and himself so I get all the kids ready and myself and head to the reception hall to check on the groom's cake and punch. Pam brought the cake and had it set up before I got there. It had a De Loren model on top. Now I tell you that because for some odd reason (uh, I mean good reason) Josh sent the gold model. Now everyone knows De Loren are stainless steel which means silver. Well, gold is the color he sent. So in order to match the car to the cake stand, I had to get an enormous size stand. So we have a nice size cake on an enormous stand. But it matches. So we do like any normal person and fill in the space with grapes, strawberries, and chocolate covered strawberries, and of course dollies. All in all it was really nice. Then we help the bride's team do a few things before racing to the church, just in time for the wedding.
The flower girls, are Sarah and Brianna, and Makalya and Emily. They are so cute. Sarah takes Brianna by the hand and they take about 5 steps when Brianna decides she does not want to leave the flower pedals on the ground. So she whips around and begins to pick them up. Sarah of course removes them from her hands and throws them back down. So now Brianna thinks this is a game and gathers more petals from the basket, throws them down takes a few steps then returns to pick them up. By this time Sarah is tugging on Brianna's hand trying to still smile. So Brianna sits down (I assume so she has more leverage to keep from being drug down the isle) and dumps all the petals out and carefully begins to put the back in the basket. By now, I am involved trying to negotiate and do so discretely. We do manage to come to some agreement and they slowly make it down the isle. Well!!!, Emily has been watching this whole thing and begins her own throw and pick up routine. Fortunately, she is easier to convince to go on down that isle!
The wedding was beautiful. The church was beautiful and of course Monica was beautiful. Then to the reception which was over the top! More wonderful homemade food than you can shake a stick at, a live DJ and dance floor and lots of friends and family. Monica danced with her dad to a sweet tear- jerker. Then it is Josh's turn to have a dance. So I go to the floor with Josh and he thinks we are going to dance to a nice slow song as a replacement for the mother/son dance. Well, no way! I am not dancing and having everyone think it is sad mom is not there. So Monica and I had been talking (maybe more her idea than mine!) And as we get to the floor "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" by Madonna begins to blare. Now my sisters are behind me and we all make absolute fools of ourselves. (None of us are good dancers!) Josh was reported to have called us evil at this time, but it was light hearted, cute and so about us girls!
The reception lasted a long time and finally they couple decides to leave, or at least go stand outside by the car. In most weddings, the couple runs out as you pelt them with bird seed, the groom opens the door, shoves his cute bride inside and races around the car to book it to the hotel. Not this couple! They race past all the bird friendly rice only to stand around and talk to every one for at least 15 - 20 minutes. We are all finally saying "his is when you leave, good bye!" So they do leave and we clean up and go swimming!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I just may eat fleas!

Surely they can't taste that bad. They are so tiny. But do know what they might contain? Tapeworm eggs! Do you know what tapeworms do? That's right - cause you to lose weight! I am so sick of being hungry. At least with a tapeworm I would be eating everything in sight and still losing weight, although I think you would most likely be hungry still. Did you know they used to sell diet pills with the eggs inside them? I don't guess the FDA liked that very much. But honestly that sounds better than eating fleas! And you know they make medicine to get rid of them, so what is there to lose? Mom was on a diet as long as I can remember. I guess I was lucky enough to inherit those genes! She joined Weight Watchers years ago and now I am following in those footsteps. I am slowly getting used to the hunger and it is actually working. So I really don't have too much to complain about, but I think worms would be easier.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Summer at last!

We are officially on summer break and boy are we glad! I got to sleep in just a bit this morning and it was wonderful! It is so irronic that the kids will continue to awaken fairly early like they are used to while I beg for them to roll over and go back to sleep. Then the week or two before going back to school in the fall guess what! They finally get the whole idea and begin to sleep in! I am just hoping that they will learn the lesson earlier this year!

So what is on tap for summer? Extra work for me:-( at least for this month. One of the offices I work in is closing. The owner is retiring and we are closing our doors. Lots of people are really sad about that and I am too. The other office will pick up the slack for me though. I am glad I have backup!

We are planning a weekend trip to Branson with some friends. I hope to get the kids in a VBS program since our church is not doing one this year. Sarah will probably attend a day camp or two and visit her aunt with horses. Hogan gets to go to grandmothers all by himself for a few days for the first time! Steve and I have a trip to Vegas later in the summer with his work.:-) Looking for sitters! Hint Hint! And I may (hopefully) am going to OK to volunteer for a few days at Voice of the Martyr!!!! This is really exciting for me since I have wanted to do this for years. A group of ladies from our church are planning a trip. It will be nice to meet these other ladies as well.

And the big one, Josh will marry at the end of this month! It is hard to believe it is just a few weeks away. The problem with being so much older than your sibling is you feel they are just a baby, when in fact he is older than I was when I got married! (I must have been so much more mature haha!) Anyway, we are very excited to welcome his fiancee into our family! She is so sweet and puts up with Josh! (Gotta love that huh!) They are already getting their apartment ready. I remember how exciting and scary that first house is. And they are in an apartment, so they will have neighbors to listen to all their first year "discussions"! Don't we know how those go! Even mild mannered Josh can get his dander up occassionally!

Well, that's all for now! The shower is calling!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Busy little beavers.

We seemed to have been so busy since April. I hope this is not a precedent for the summer. I hope it is just trying to squeeze everything into spring and nice weather! Steve and I have been very busy remodeling the "shop". It has served as an unfinished junk room for the last several years and we had begun to finish it out for mom's business. Well, when we moved here we began talking about what we wanted to do with the half finished "shop". We finally decided it would serve out family the best for now as a playroom. Steve takes Jui-Jitsu and has mats he wants to put in there to wrestle on. (Honestly, I think the mats are why we are making it the playroom!) But I will be glad to have a place to keep all the kids toys. It is not in the house but just off the kitchen. I think it will be a room where we sort of live. I plan on putting a couch and TV in there and maybe my scrap booking stuff. I think it will be a great hang out location. And it may serve as an escape when we begin the house remodel! I'll be sure to post pics when it is a little more finished. You won't believe the colors!

Then there is always the yard! Lots of it too! I am not doing to well keeping up with all the mowing right now. It keeps raining here! By the time it dries out it rains again! We also have to keep our other house's yard mowed. It is still on the market. We are praying it will sell soon. I hate that it is just sitting there. I hope someone will fall in love with it soon. It needs a family in it again. Right now I call it the most expensive bathroom in town! If I am out shopping and I need a potty break, I stop by and check on things, change and feed the baby, then go back to my errands. I will miss my private bathroom, but I will not miss the extra mowing!

Steve took Hogan on a special father son vacation last week. They went to the cabin and fished, hiked and hung out. They went to play minature golf and go cart riding. Sarah, Josiah and I all joined then several days later. I shopped just a little, and we hiked, fished and played for a few days. Steve's dad was able to join us for a couple of days as well. It was a great getaway.

Saturday we had our annual cemetery clean up day this weekend. We raked leaves and mowed grass and visited with family. It was really hot, but so nice to see everyone. We ate lunch afterwards and ended up having dinner with most everyone as well. Anna says when our generation is in charge we are going to hire the work done and have the reunion at the park!

Well, I can't think of much else right now. I'm kinda tired. So off to bed!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Rice, Cucumbers, and Orange Juice!!!!

You may wonder what in the world those three items may have in common. Well in my mind just about nothing, but to my dear husband and poor innocent son apparently they spell dinner! Yes that is what I said dinner... rice, cucumbers, and OJ. Nothing more, nothing less! Don't ask me how they arrived at this decision, I was not involved or consulted and thankfully did not have to partake! You see they are away on a father-son weekend. I have always wondered what these were like and after I got the menu, I knew I was very glad I was born female! They are not even roughing it! They are staying in a nice cabin in a busy town! They weren't even desperate and eating only what was available. They went to the grocery store and purchased the lovely combination of culinary refinement! I am still shaking my head and laughing. Makes my dinner of shredded wheat sound 5 star-ish!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

My Dancing Queen

Last night was one of my favorite nights of the year. We go downtown to a big auditorium and watch my baby girl dance her little heart out. She has prepared all year for this night in the spotlight and she loves it! She loves the costume, make-up, hair, and attention. For the first time last night she was nervous. She has performed for the last 4 years and has never seemed nervous. But she was very brave once we prayed together and never missed a step! As I was watching her last night I was remembering all the other dances. The first year she was only 3 and her daddy had to play a horse for her! Poor guy had to be on his hands and knees on hard ground in front of hundreds of people. But she looked so cute sitting on top of his back blowing her kiss to the audience! Then the next year she was a cute ballerina in tu-tu and all. The third year she danced to "Achy Breaky Heart" which was right up her little cowgirl alley! Then this year it was "Dancing Queen"! I just laughed when I found out what their song was going to be! Not that I love the song, but it was from my time and the title so describes my daughter! She used to literally spend hours dancing in our living room for us. She loved the colors of her costume this year. I think the costumes in the past were cuter, but I think she thought this year's was more grown up! :-( Her daddy gave her a dozen long stemmed red roses after her performance as well. Once again reflecting on years past...the first year she danced, we ALL gave her flowers. She was so tiny standing there in her red cowgirl costume with an arm load of flowers! She was completely overwhelmed and for the life of her, she could not figure out why we were making her hold so many flowers while we took 2 million pictures! Last night we saw another bewildered little girl with an armload of flowers while about 15 adults stood around with flashing cameras and I just laughed to myself!
These dances require a lot from both mom and daughter. On Thursday we have rehearsal. I check her out of school just a little early and go get gas. I then have to run my car thought the car wash because we will see everyone we know! In the car wash I have her change into her costume! Then we race into town. Once at the auditorium we find a place to sit and wait. Once her class is called up they practice several times and we get last minute costume inspection and instruction. Then we have to wait at least 2 hours so we can practice the Finale! So we get to bed late this night. Then again the following day, I check her out just a little early and we head home for a bath and hair washing! We get her dressed up in a cute dress and apply heavy stage make-up by the very specific instructions, put her hair up still wet and practically glue it in place. Then we grab a snack and drink and head to town again! This time we go straight to the dressing room and change there (on performance night you can't wear any part of your costume in the general public!). We take several pictures and make last minute costume adjustments (I take needle and thread!) She is then taken with her class to wait in the wings and entire hour before the show begins! We then head to find seats (Grandmother is with me and helping me this year!) We meet daddy and the boys and everyone else coming to see our little DQ. She is about the 6th dance and after she is done, I run to the dressing room to meet her. More pictures. Change into cute dress taking even the ribbon out of her hair. She comes to out seats and sees everyone and watches a couple of dances with us then she and I head back to the dressing room and get back into costume. This year I watched 1 too many dances and we are the last one to change. Her whole little class is ready and yelling "hurry Sarah, hurry!" Never mind we have at least 9 more dances before finale. We get back into costume in record time and she joins them as they are going upstairs again to wait in the wings. I head back to our seats, finish the show and race once again back to the dressing room. We change back into the cute dress for the last time! We gather all our stuff and head back to the seats to rejoin everyone for more pictures. Finally we head to a restaurant to eat and rest!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Welcome Eden Marie!

Jana and Brad welcomed their second baby girl into the world last night at 9:26! She was born after a frustrating day for mom and dad. Jana began having contractions at 9:00 that morning and sometime after 10 they decided it was time! They got in the car and Brad asked Jana to tell him when the next contraction began. She said she just sat there and sat there! Once in the hospital she had a few more then they hooked her up and she just sat there again! Finally they decided to let her go but felt she would be back soon. Sure enough just 4 hours later she was back and she was serious! Less than 5 hours later little ( ummm, big) Eden made what seemed to be an almost effortless entry! (At least effortless on my part- heehee!) She weighed in at 9# 4.8 ounces!! and over 21 inches long! She is adorable and seems to have a very mild mannered personality, but we all know time will tell the truth on that one! Emily was very excited to see her new baby sister. She was so gentle with her. I took tons of pictures, but mostly with Jana's camera. I will post one soon with her permission.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Our Easter Egg Experiment

Sorry it has been so long since I last posted. March has been difficult this year. But I finally thought, life is too short to feel so down all the time. My sadness won't change anything for the better anyway. That's not to say that I was under the covers all month, but I certainly did not feel like blogging or talking about it. I had picked out a nice blog to post on mom's site and never did. Maybe I will still do that but for now it is not there. We did go to her grave and took some daffodils from the yard. I don't go there very often even though it is just practically next door. I don't know why, maybe it is because I have three kids and had rather play with them. But it was nice to go with my family. We still have not ordered her headstone and I have been beating myself up over that one. I want it to be perfect and have not decided EXACTLY what I want to put on it. But I think it is time to decide and get that done too. We will have a family get together soon where lots of extended family come and we clean up the cemetery and I want the headstone in place before that. (Don't want everyone to think we are neglectful!)

Anyway that is just a little reason why I have avoided this spot for a while. Now on to fun stuff! See the eggs. Take 3 guesses as to how I got them so red!!! Yes they were plan old white eggs from the store. Are you ready for this! Onions! Did you guess right? I took the skins of 15 yellow onions, boiled them then steeped them for about 30 minutes then brought it to room temperature and boiled my eggs in the strained liquid! They were absolutely beautiful! We learned that the Greek tradition is to dye eggs red to remind them of Christ's blood and the egg represents new life. So we took this little basket to guys who run our wonderful local Greek restaurant. It was a great experiment and good lesson for the kids.

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Monday, March 3, 2008

New adventure!

People look at my plate and think it is overflowing on all sides. I guess that is one way to see it, but I look at it and see all the wonderful things in my life. I think I love almost every activity in it. I do complain some about being tired or too busy but I guess I am strictly a type A personality. I love projects and challenges. I love to keep my mind and body active. I hope the only casualty of my busy life is a clean house.

So are you dying to know what I got myself into now? I have just recently signed up to be a Southern Living at Home consultant. yeah yeah yeah, I know it is direct sales, but I am really excited. I went to a party just because it is the polite thing to do. While there I got interrupted by a small "emergency" and left with a quick order and a catalogue. I agreed to host a catalogue party to help out my friend that gave the party. I must have looked at the poor catalogue a thousand times. Every day I changed what I wanted. My list only grew longer the more I looked at it! I feel in love with everything they have! So I am going to try this. I haven't sold anything other than books at my book fair fundraisers since I was in high school selling ice cream at the mall. At the fundraisers I always enjoy meeting people and talking to them. I think that will be one of the real perks about this new adventure.

So, if you get an invitation for a party, just know I am only trying to share one of the new interests in my life with you. I promise not to be pushy or sneaky. Just excited! Oh, and if you want to host a party (wink, wink) I'll be thrilled!

You may check out my web page at
You can actually browse the latest catalogue and order online from my homepage! Just click on the "Our Products" link on the left. The entire catalogue will come up and you can browse each wonderful page!
Happy shopping!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Can you tell it is flu season?

I have been so busy lately. I seem to have very little time to do anything but stick swabs up noses! I know we say this every year, but this has been a bad season for us. All three of the docs I work with have gotten sick this season and I have had to fill in more than usual. One of them had flu and then pnuemonia a few weeks later. I feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop and for my family to get sick. Then of course we have been swamped. Today, by the timeI finished seeing the patients in the first two rooms, I had to send them both to the ER because they were so sick!

I think Josiah just got over his second bout of pneumonia as well. I say think because he had x-rays that looked okay and progressively got worse until we started antibiotics almost a week later. My poor kids have to be on their death bed before I give them antibiotics! And of course we were out of town when he got so sick. Steve stayed up all night in the hotel watching him one night. We didn't come home early because I was scared to have him on the road sounding like he did. Anyway he is much better now.

So I hope you all are staying well. Wash those hands! Cover that cough or sneeze and remember Tamiflu only helps if started within 48 hours of onset of symptoms!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1: 3 (NIV)

Isn't this the sweetest picture? Steve took this Sunday after Josiah's dedication. We just went out in the backyard and took several shots. There were a lot of good ones, but I like this one the most. If you look close you can see the cross embroidered on his little outfit.

Dedication day is so important to me. I really think this is one of the most important days as a parent. We put a lot of prayer and thought into his "life scripture" and prayer. It is so hard to pick out just one scripture that you desire to represent what you hope for this child. Steve and I consider it a great privelege to be able to raise these precious little ones. They are such a blessing. They bring joy and laughter to the adult world. They bring innocence, love and trust. They are very special little people. I pray that we raise them the way God desires.

Father, thank you for the privilege of raising Josiah. We pray that your Spirit will live in him everyday of his life, and that his passion will be to seek and fulfill your will and calling in his life. That he will proclaim your Word to others, and that his life will create a legacy of faithful service to your Kingdom.

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Tiger!

Well it is not exactly his birthday. That was a few weeks ago. But yesterday we celebrated his 5th birthday. So why did it take so long to celebrate? We had a joint party with his best friend. They are about 6 weeks apart in age and we tried to pick the middle. We rented the local inflatable jumping house and invited all their school friends and family. I think we had close to 30 kids there! It was a zoo, but so much fun! He has wanted to have a party at this place for some time so he was on cloud 9. He grinned all day long!

Hogan is my "life of the party kid". He lives life to the fullest. He loves just about everything and everybody. He stays on full throttle as long as he is awake! He reminds me that life can be fun, I mean lots of fun! Give him a bad situation and he will make lemonade from lemons! This little guy is teaching me to love life by just watching him. I think he will set the world on fire someday. He has the energy, tenacity and the bravery to do it! Now if I can just survive his raising to see it!!!!

We have called him Goose since he was an infant. He made this little noise as a newborn that we said sounded like a goose. Well it stuck and we have affectionately called him Goose for 5 years. Well a few months ago he said, "Mommy me not goose, me Hogan." I was stunned but very politely ignored it. Then a few weeks ago he told us he did not want to be called goose anymore, just Hogan. My heart was crushed, but we are trying to respect his request and not call him Goose anymore. I say trying because old habits are hard to break. We called him Goose as much or more than Hogan, at least at home. So this is my Hogan.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

He said WHAT?

Tonight riding in the car Sarah began talking about a classmate of hers. They have recently rearranged their desks and she has new neighbors. One of the little boys is in trouble a lot. She has lots of stories about what this little boy does. Well, tonight she reported that he says '"bad" words. Her teacher asks them to tell her when he says these words, but apparantly asks that they not say the words but rather tell her what letter the word starts with. So, of course, I ask her what words he says. Sarah replies the "sh word". I was glad it was dark because I am sure my face changed! I am thinking no way is this little boy saying that in school. I know, I know it happens all the time, but not here in the bible belt! I work with some of these type kids everyday so I should not be surprised, but I am alarmed. I really don't want this child sitting next to mine. I don't want her to hear these words. I don't want her to even know they exists yet! Well she interupts my thoughts with the answer (just before I decide to pull her out and homeschool the sweet thing). She whispers the word "shut up". Wow, what a relief not at all what I was thinking. Then she says he also says the "d" word. Again a cascade of thought interupted by a quiet "dumb". What innocence, isn't it grand! Don't you wish you could go back to the days where shut up and dumb were curse words. I don't mean go back physically, but go back to that innocence. It is such a sweet trusting time that is never repeated in our lives. This conversation did give us the chance to talk about how we handle these situations and why we don't talk "that way". So if you are jaded by life, know that there are still sweet innocent children playing on playgrounds in America!

Monday, January 28, 2008

I need a shrink!

Okay, let's start by thinking about scary movies. You know the scene: a beautiful young barely dressed lady is about to do something that will put her in harms way. You know what you do: you yell at the TV telling her "DON"T DO IT!!!" Well, today that beautiful young lady was me, except I assure you I was fully dressed! I am thinking about procuring food and realize I can not remember the last time I had a Big Mac! So what do I do? Yeah, place myself in danger! I go directly to the drive through and order one! The whole time I hear this voice inside my head shouting "Don't do it". Why am I so good at ignoring this voice? This has actually happened to me twice! I ate the whole thing both times and was sorry I did. I have just lost my taste for them. This is such a good thing and I keep pushing it! The good news is I think I have only had two in the past 3 or 4 months! (We won't talk about my new found love Chick-fil-A! or my continued addiction to cokes!)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Imagine That!

Well January 1st came and went and I am still the same old me. I had such high hopes this year that I would turn into Ms. Perfect as soon as the ball dropped. I was going to exercise multiple times a week, keep the most clean and organized home, cook wonderful healthy meals every night, and spend hours playing with my children and read my Bible daily. I don't know why I thought I would be able to do all this but it was a good goal. I have done some of all of it, but not in the large amounts I had dreamed. Why do we hold perfection out there for us to strive for? I feel like the proverbial donkey with a silly carrot hanging off a stick in front of my nose. The problem is that someone made the stick too long! In my case the stick is comprised of too few hours in a day and "want to". Some of you may call it lazy. I just need to sit down occasionally and that really eats into the too few hours problem. Now I will admit I don't sit down a lot, but apparently I should sit down less. I already eat my lunch standing at the kitchen counter most days. I often eat breakfast in the car so I guess that counts as an okay time to sit down. Dinner is debatable, but usually we try to sit down together as a family. I sit down to nurse the baby and don't really want to give that up. So I have given up some computer time! I check email less frequently and only cruse my friends blogs a few times a week. But this still doesn't get it all done. So I think I will combine my goals. If I run while cleaning and read while nursing and make cooking a game maybe I will become that woman yet!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A good reminder

I am very tired but just wanted to check in and tell you a little about my day. I kept a friends two kiddos today. She has gone to care for her parents for a few days and her husband had to go to meetings today. They were really good and played well with mine. It actually made for a very nice day. I had to take them to run several errands today. While driving down the street we passed a cemetery. One child spoke up and said look at where those people die. Of course I am just driving and had not even paid attention to the cemetery. So this statement wakes me up and now I am looking for dying people on the side of the road! The other child says, "No that's where they just lay their skin." Now the wheels are turning in my head. I have been missing mom terribly lately. I keep wanting to tell her something or ask a question, but mostly just chat like we used to. You know that comfortable idle talk we girls like. So this statement came at such a good time for me. It reminds me that mom's skin is there but she isn't. It made me remember some things I tried to keep my mind on when she first passed away. I would think about what I thought she might be doing in heaven at that very moment, who she had breakfast with, what life long question had she finally found the answer to today. This simple statement reminded me that this life is only dress rehearsal. Our "final act" is in fact eternal. She is now living in God's presence. How awesome is that?!
Thank you dear little friend for pulling me back to reality and reminding me of our true hope!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Christmas Report

Well, sorry, my computer ate the words on my last post. I was so frustrated that I just turned it off and played Wii! (New favorite past time at our house since we still don't have TV! I have learned how to watch old Law and Order episodes on the computer!LOL) So let me try this again.

My sisters and brother and their families all decided to make Christmas a little easier on us this year. (No one wanted to clean and cook!) So we went out to eat at a Chinese buffet instead. Don't ask how we chose Chinese! Nothing really Christmas about that to us Americans! Anyway, afterwards we did go to Anna's for dessert and presents! Of course the kids had a blast. They just love getting together and playing! It is a wild and loud house with 8 cousins running around. My family draws names and we added the kids to the name draw this year. It was amazing how much there was even with that! We found gifts for the kids in mom's closet when we were cleaning out this summer, so I wrapped those up and each of the bigger kids got a gift from Mor-Mor. They were all very excited. (We didn't give Josiah one since he here when she would have been shopping.) We also found mom's collection of Santa Clauses. Several years ago she started a "dirty Santa" game with Santa Claus figurines. She just happened to have 8! So we wrapped these up and played the game this year with her collection. We had the same laughs as always. There always tends to be at least one ugly Santa and one everyone likes. But this year we had the added difficulty of already having some of the Santa's in our own collection. In the end I think it turned out so everyone was pretty happy. I actually got a very pretty one this year. I always end up with the ugly ones for one reason or another!

Then Steve's brother, mom and step-dad came and stayed with us for Christmas eve and a couple of days following. We really enjoyed having them and it was Grandmother's first year to be present first thing in the morning. She got an up close and personal seat since we do not have a guest room and everyone was camped out in sleeping bags and couches! Hopefully we will have more room next year!

As I mentioned before I did a lot of cooking and was quite tired in the end, but it was a great Christmas. That seems really weird to say being this is the first Christmas without mom. It was hard on all of us without a doubt. I don't think you can lose someone so important in your life and it not be felt for a very long time if not forever. I felt like I was waiting on someone else to arrive the whole time. I caught myself looking out the window or over my shoulder. I used mom's recipes for all the food. It was comforting to at least have her food present. I think Jana also used a lot of mom's recipes this year in her cooking. We are really fortunate because a few years ago mom and her friend Francine put together these wonderful recipe books for us. She had recipes from all our grandmas and mothers-in-law in there. We never knew it would be such a treasured book so soon. But I still wanted to ask her questions. I think I talk to her a lot in my head. You know, something will happen and I think "mom, you would..." or "can you believe..." I used to call my mom several times a day so I guess it is hard to break that habit.

Several days before Christmas, my daughter was talking to a cousin and told him that since Mor-Mor died mom has cried. I smiled almost embarrassed and said yes I do cry some. Her eyes then got really big and wide and she looked serious and like she knew something I didn't and quietly said "a lot" and added a little nod. So I determined then and there that I would not cry on Christmas. I didn't and I was rather pleased with myself. Well said daughter was not fairing as well as I thought. She had been cranky before Christmas and I just thought she was tired, excited, loaded on sugar etc. Then a few days after Christmas a couple of friends came over to play and she was VERY CROSS. I sent her to her room and followed to have a talkin' to. As we were talking she suddenly burst into tears and collapsed on the floor. She looked at me and said she had been wanting to go to Mor-Mor's but would remember that she was not longer there. So we sat on the floor and just cried together for some time (thank goodness the friends were caught up in a game of Wii). After a good long cry she relaxed. I asked what she wanted to do: visit the cemetery, write Mor-Mor a letter or draw a picture. She said no to all this and simply stated "I want to go ride". This means ride one of her favorite horses. So we did. I took her to Steve's aunt's and she rode in the freezing cold for a couple of hours. Her little joy has returned and she is much sweeter. Now, we are going to work on doing little projects that remind us of happy times with Mor-Mor. I told her we would do some things that mom used to do with us such as tea parties in the living room, making play dough, chocolate chip pancakes, cooking in the kitchen together, etc. She also promised me she would tell me next time she was sad about mom before she gets cross like that again. It must be really hard for the little ones to process loss. They don't have the vocabulary or friend structure that we have. I must remember to include her more in my grief process.