Thursday, December 24, 2009

Favorite Stories

This is one of my all time favorite Christmas stories. I thought it appropriate to post on this Christmas Eve.

THE GIFT OF THE MAGI
by O. Henry

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.

In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name "Mr. James Dillingham Young."

The "Dillingham" had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called "Jim" and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good.

Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn't go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling--something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.

There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art.

Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length.

Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's. The other was Della's hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty's jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.

So now Della's beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.

On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street.

Where she stopped the sign read: "Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds." One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the "Sofronie."

"Will you buy my hair?" asked Della.

"I buy hair," said Madame. "Take yer hat off and let's have a sight at the looks of it."

Down rippled the brown cascade.

"Twenty dollars," said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand.

"Give it to me quick," said Della.

Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim's present.

She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation--as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim's. It was like him. Quietness and value--the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain.

When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends--a mammoth task.

Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically.

"If Jim doesn't kill me," she said to herself, "before he takes a second look at me, he'll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do--oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty- seven cents?"

At 7 o'clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops.

Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: "Please God, make him think I am still pretty."

The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two--and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves.

Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.

Della wriggled off the table and went for him.

"Jim, darling," she cried, "don't look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn't have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It'll grow out again--you won't mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!' Jim, and let's be happy. You don't know what a nice-- what a beautiful, nice gift I've got for you."

"You've cut off your hair?" asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.

"Cut it off and sold it," said Della. "Don't you like me just as well, anyhow? I'm me without my hair, ain't I?"

Jim looked about the room curiously.

"You say your hair is gone?" he said, with an air almost of idiocy.

"You needn't look for it," said Della. "It's sold, I tell you--sold and gone, too. It's Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered," she went on with sudden serious sweetness, "but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?"

Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year--what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on.

Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table.

"Don't make any mistake, Dell," he said, "about me. I don't think there's anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you'll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first."

White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat.

For there lay The Combs--the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims--just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone.

But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: "My hair grows so fast, Jim!"

And them Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, "Oh, oh!"

Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.

"Isn't it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You'll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it."

Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled.

"Dell," said he, "let's put our Christmas presents away and keep 'em a while. They're too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on."

The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A date with my daughter

So I needed to get some Christmas shopping done. Not something I look forward to doing this time of year, especially when I have to do it alone with three children that just want to touch everything!! So yesterday I decided I would go in the evening after Hubs got home. K has been having some attitude issues and a girlfriend of mine suggested that perhaps some of the trouble is feeling that she not getting any attention. So, I decided why not? I'll take her with me. It won't be as bad as taking all three with me, and she's big enough to walk by herself and pick out gifts for certain people. So off we went. From the time we got in the car until we got home, her little mouth never stopped. I don't know what all she was talking about, but boy did she have a lot to tell me! It was rather cute. She picked out presents for her grandparents and for her sister, and we just had a wonderful time of it. We'll have to plan on doing this more often. Today, the attitude problem is just a memory! YAY!!!! Thank you Shell :) I love the way kids interpret what we tell them too. On the way home she was talking about the gift she got for her sister, and "Do you love it mom? I want to wear it." So I told her, don't say anything to A about it, ok? It's a secret. She'll get it on Christmas.... so what does she do the second we walk in the door? She didn't tell A... I told her not to, that would be disobeying. NO she comes in and says in her toddler whisper (which is our version of normal conversation volume) "Guess what Da!! I got a pink Dora nightgown. Don't tell A, it's a secret!" Thankfully A has a rather short memory!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Experiencing cave-ins

You know how sometimes you have something that you're really looking forward to and then something happens and it totally deflates you? Well, that's been happening around here quite a bit recently. Perhaps that is part of the reason I have not taken the time to sit down and write on here. I find that in those times of despair that I don't really want to talk about it. But then I get depressed and grouchy. So of late I have been a rather depressed, grouchy, sweat-clad, mean mommy. Now you get to hear about it! I have learned that it's never just one thing that "pushes me over the edge", it seems to always be a steady drip, drip, drip on the head of my emotion. Isn't that how it goes though? We have one bad morning- step on the dogs bone in my bare feet (OUCH!!!), baby spills cereal and milk all over my freshly washed floor, hair dryer breaks and the new make-up I just bought isn't the right color- and I'm not in the mood to do anything. 'Don't feel like getting out my Bible today Lord, you'll just have to understand and make due with my "HELP PLEASE!!!!" prayers today.' Then one day turns into one week... which turns into one month.. and then two. Pretty soon NOTHING is going right. Those little cave-in's that block out that light at the end of my very long tunnel, suddenly aren't so little anymore and I am feeling VERY claustrophobic. Heaven help us all if a big cave-in happens!! If only there were an oxygen mask that would drop down from the ceiling.. maybe then I'd be okay. BUT WAIT A MINUTE!!!! There is... that Bible that I didn't feel like picking up a few weeks ago suddenly has a new shine to it. All I can do now is be thankful that it didn't disintegrate while I wasn't reading it. Isn't that awesome?? I might not be in the mood to talk to Him, but my God will NEVER let me down! NEVER... even when I'm wearing sweats :) He loves me even when I don't deserve it. So armed with my trusty flashlight of prayer, and my oxygen mask of scripture and hope, I can start digging my way out of this dark nasty tunnel. Just please people... STOP THROWING ROCKS ON ME!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"He Believes in You" ~Point of Grace~

You're not hearing the answers
You've been praying for
You try and try
Can't find an open door

You're not seeing the miracles
Not a one in sight
And the way you feel
You sure need one tonight

Your faith is crumbling
Your feet are stumbling
It's so hard to believe in Him
But He believes in you

When you're at your weakest
And hope's still burning through the night
But you can't see it
You know in your heart He loves you
But at those moments when you can't believe it's true
He believes in you

Chin deep in the water
You tried walking on
And you reach for Him
And you think He's gone

He's still there beside you
With His stubborn love
No He never left
And He won't give up

He will protect you
Until you're rescued
Oh there's nothing that He can't do
'Cause He believes in you

When you're at your weakest
And hope's still burning through the night
But you can't see it
You know in your heart He loves you
But at those moments when you can't believe it's true
He believes in you
You know in your heart He loves you
But at those moments when you can't believe it's true
He believes in you

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Doctors

I never used to be scared or nervous about what would be found when Dr ordered a test. These days it's hard not to be. What changed? I know I haven't changed anything in my diet or routine for the worse, so why is it when I'm concentrating on staying healthy, I get nervous when they need another test? Perhaps I am beginning to taste my own mortality. The frailty of my being. Perhaps it's not so much worry about the "what if" for me, but more for the "what would my family do". I have three little ones to think about now.. that will make you realize your mortality more than anything in this world! I'm just thankful that I can take that worry, that doubt, the questions, and lay them down. Resign myself to release control... a hard task for me, but doable...and let HIM drive for a while!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Where has the year gone???

It's the end of September.... C will be one next week. I can't believe that. SOOOO much has happened in the course of this year. We have had our third child, moved for the 4th time, started school with K and so much more. I feel like that blustery wind outside my window is really out of place. Isn't it supposed to be summer a little longer? We jumped from spring to fall with only a week or two of summer weather. Cold days like these make me miss Florida just a little. The leaves are changing, the air is getting that nasty little nip and I'm craving hot chocolate and a fire! It would be nice if life would slow down a little and let me catch up :) But alas, the time won't stop... that means I have A LOT to do in the next few months!!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thought provoking

I'm not sure why, but for some reason this song has been resonating in my mind the last few days. I love the message of this song. How easily we go about our lives without "being real" simply because we think it's better if no one knows the truth. We forget that it is hypocritical, and that's exactly what turns people off to us in the first place!

Stained Glass Masquerade- Casting Crowns

Is there anyone that fails
Is there anyone that falls
Am I the only one in church today feelin' so small

Cause when I take a look around
Everybody seems so strong
I know they'll soon discover
That I don't belong

So I tuck it all away, like everything's okay
If I make them all believe it, maybe I'll believe it too
So with a painted grin, I play the part again
So everyone will see me the way that I see them

Are we happy plastic people
Under shiny plastic steeples
With walls around our weakness
And smiles to hide our pain
But if the invitation's open
To every heart that has been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade

Is there anyone who's been there
Are there any hands to raise
Am I the only one who's traded
In the altar for a stage

The performance is convincing
And we know every line by heart
Only when no one is watching
Can we really fall apart

But would it set me free
If I dared to let you see
The truth behind the person
That you imagine me to be

Would your arms be open
Or would you walk away
Would the love of Jesus
Be enough to make you stay

Are we happy plastic people
Under shiny plastic steeples
With walls around our weakness
And smiles to hide our pain
But if the invitation's open
To every heart that has been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade

But if the invitation's open
To every heart that has been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade

Is there anyone that fails
Is there anyone that falls
Am I the only one in church today feelin' so small

Monday, September 14, 2009

Beginning again

Well, it's been a little while since I've posted... yet again :) In the interim we have started school, gone on vacation, hubby has hired and lost an employee and I have started working. Business is the key to preventing boredom. K started school August 25th. She's loving every minute of it. Her speech has begun to improve and she is interacting more with other kids. It's nice to see her not just turn and walk away when another kid at the park comes up and asks her to play. She's interacting better with A too. It's cute to see them get so excited to see each other when K comes home on the yehyow buh. A will run to the circle (a chalk circle I drew on the sidewalk for K to stand in until her aid comes off the bus to get her) and jump up and down until K gets off. Then they will hug and K says "Oh A, I missa you!" It warms my heart :)

We went on vacation last week.... and all came home with the flu. YUCK!! We had a wonderful time though. We went to an indoor water-park/resort called Kalahari. It's about 1 1/2 hrs from here and WELL worth the trip! The kids had a blast. The morning after we got home they kept asking if we could go back to the pool. Hubby tried to slow himself down on a body slide and thus has nasty "rug" burn on his elbows, but other than that we were injury free. We will definitely be going back.

Hubby also had an interesting few weeks at work. He lost an employee this spring and has been trying to fill the slot since. Another branch transferred someone over, and all was well. It was nice to not have to go through training. Well... after about 3 weeks, she gave her 2 weeks notice. She had been with the company for several years, but was offered another position with another company that she felt she couldn't pass up. So, we're back to square one. With everyone looking for work you'd think it wouldn't be so difficult to find someone!!

I started working as well. I'm working from home with a company called Arbonne (www.arbonne.com) We are an all natural health and wellness company. I'm loving it. I started using the products about a year ago, but felt that I was too busy at the time to do anything with the business. With a new house, a new baby, and a new dog I didn't feel I could fit anything else in! I'm glad I waited because now I'm able to totally devote myself to this company, and it's been well worth it. I'm in qualifications to becoming a district manager (the first of 4 levels) and am making my plans to get to area manager (#2 level) by the end of this year. Hubby has been totally supportive. My only wish was that I had more friends closer to me that could get involved with me. I'm making friends too though, which is another HUGE plus for me. I get lonely in my little corner of the world! :) At least I know I can bore you all..... whoever you all are! Writing a blog is a lot like talking to myself... except it's not thought of as crazy!

Well... that's that. I'm going to go blow my nose raw and take a nap!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cute conversations

Out of the mouth of babes.....

(while A is brushing my hair)
Me: OUCH! What did you pull my hair for?
A: I puh it ow.
Me: What did you pull out?
A: I puh ow da why yons.

I think it's time to cover those grays!

(while the girls are upstairs playing this afternoon)
K: A Jesus died on cross for your sins. Do you love dis Jesus A?
A: Ya, I yove J'sus.
K: I love Jesus too.

They put a smile on my face :)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Celebrations

Happy happy birthday to my darling K today. I can't believe you're 4 already! And Happy Anniversary to my hubby this weekend. Has it really been 6 years? I still look forward to the next 60 (or more) :) I love you both very much! LET'S PARTY!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The least of these

Matthew 25: 34-40 "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' "Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'

I have often been ridiculed by some for things I do for others without thinking. I guess it's part of my nature to be compassionate. One day while I was outside our apartment cleaning out our kids pool, a neighbor who I didn't know by more than his face came and asked if he could use my phone. He had locked himself out of his apartment, and needed to call his grandmother who had and extra key. Certainly. I had no issue with lending my phone. Others didn't have the same opinion. How do you know he's telling the truth? How do you know he's not going to steal it and then steal your identity? How do you know he's not trying to get into your house? Frankly, I didn't. But I knew that my Abba Father would protect me. I have a gut instinct that I like to trust most of the time. This man didn't make me wary. Many times when I reach out to people, like a woman and her son who were asking for money in the Wal-Mart parking lot and to which I gave a few bottles of water on a very hot day, I don't get immediate gratitude. Many times I can tell that they would much rather have cash from me, but I don't always have cash to give. I believe it is good for my children to know that it's ok to help people. While there are those that will try and take advantage of the "nice guy" there are others that truly just need help.

Case in point. Today I was driving from the Dr's to the mall. My girls have been asking for a couple of days now if we could go to the mall... I guess I'm to blame, they love to shop! It was raining, so I figured since they couldn't play outside, they could play at the play-place in the mall and then we could walk around a while. As I was waiting at the red light at the top of the exit ramp I noticed a rather down and out (and very soaked) man. He was holding a sign that read "Can you do anything to help me?" With three small children in my van, and being a woman alone, I was not going to pick him up, even to take him for coffee at the nearest McDonalds, but for some reason the Lord impressed on my heart that this man desperately needed an act of kindness. What do I have to give him Lord? I have money, but I don't like just dolling out money to strangers, especially when my pockets aren't lined with silver! I'll just pray, everyone can use prayer. I just needed to do more. I can't explain that, I just knew that the Lord wanted me to do more for him. It was still pouring as I looked down at my umbrella. That might do him a little good, but I have three kids to get from the car into the mall as quickly and dryly as possible! Ok Lord, you can stop the rain. As the light turned green I determined that I was going to do this. My kids were listening to a CD of Patch the Pirate, and at the moment I started to head toward the end of the ramp, and this man, a song came on talking about the little kindness that we can show. We show Jesus when we are kind, He is in the little things. I roll down my window and hand this man my one, the only (in my van at least) and best umbrella. As he looks at me a genuine smile creeps on his lips and into his eyes as he says "Thank you ma'am". I smile back and say "You're welcome. Stay dry!". As I pull away a feeling that I can't explain washes over me. From the top of my head to the tips of my toes I am tingling with joy that only the Lord can bring. I know I did the right thing. I showed Jesus in that one small kindness.

And you know what He did for me then? Just as we pulled into the parking lot it was pouring. I'm not talking about a nice "let's go walk in the rain" kind of pour, but the cats and dogs type that everyone, even the most storm loving person, hates. We pull into a spot relatively close and I start to determine my plan of action... which kid will be carried... who in the stroller... etc. It stops raining. Just like that. It didn't lighten, just stopped... completely. I rush to get the kids out of the car and get the stroller set, not a quick task on my best day! We hurry as quickly as possible up to the entrance of the mall. As soon, and I mean the instant we were under the portico, it started pouring again. :) My God is AWESOME!!! And you know what? It happened again! When we were getting ready to leave it was raining. Maybe not quite as hard, but raining still. But it stopped when we opened the door. Didn't start again until I was back on the freeway heading home.

So, no matter how much heat I take for my little acts of kindness, I will continue. I will press on and show my awesome and precious Jesus in every little thing I can do, even if it means possible discomfort to me!

Just for Ali

:) I'm writing... does that make it better Ali? Seriously, I've been crunched the last few weeks. July 4th I was seriously looking forward to heading to a friends party, but wouldn't you know it, the kids all woke up with runny noses and coughs. So, being the good mommy that I am, we opted to stay home and watch the fireworks on TV... so not the same! The next morning, no one was better, but we had obligations at church. We stayed home in the evening though because everyone was miserable. By Wednesday no one was really any better, but C woke up with a 103 fever... by 6:30 (even after dosing him all day with Motrin and Tylenol) it was 105.8. I called the Dr, she said if it doesn't go down in an hour (after bath and more Tylenol) to call. Well, it didn't go down, so I called back. Of course, now it's after hours, and the on call nurse decided that I didn't need to talk to the dr, I just needed to stay calm because this isn't unusual for infants. YEAH RIGHT!!! Don't tell a mother that has been dealing with three sick kids for several days, to "stay calm". We went the the urgent care. His fever was still above 104 when we were there so they gave him a HUGE dose of Motrin. Then we saw the dr and he looked in C's throat to find blisters down his throat and on his tonsils... fun! No wonder he wouldn't eat! Well, apparently this is a strain of the common, hand, foot mouth desiese. Just let him get over it and try to keep him hydrated. Finally on Thursday his fever broke.... but that night A had a fever. By Friday her's was above 103 and she was miserable. On Saturday K woke up with a fever and a weird rash. We went to the Dr and found out that her eczema was apparently aggravated by the fever. It was much fun trying to keep them all happy and hydrated. On Sunday I woke up with the fever. I stayed in bed all day and my wonderful husband took care of the now perky kids. Monday I didn't feel much better, but at least my fever was gone... but then Tuesday hubby woke up with the fever. AHHHHHHHH. It was starting to feel as though we would never get better. But here we are, two weeks have passed from that last fever, and we are all still healthy.

The summer has passed me by it seems. We got home from vacation just in time to get sick and we have recovered just in time to prepare for school (which starts 3 weeks from Tuesday!). What happened to my "I'm going to get a tan this summer" goal??? Well, I guess I can blame that on the weather! It certainly hasn't been a warm July!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

Precious in Death

Psalm 116:15 states "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints". It is hard for the unsaved to understand how we can rejoice in the death of a loved one. While we lose the physical presence of that dear one, we can be assured, if they are believers, that we will see them again. They are not lost to us because we know that they are eternal beings and are now rejoicing and worshiping in the presence of God the Father. They have had the wonderful privilege of seeing Him face to face.

This past Saturday we endured the passing of such a one. Mrs. H was my kindergarten teacher, but she was so much more. She was a prayer warrior, an encourager and a standard. Oh, that my children, grandchildren and friends will be able to rejoice in my death as so many are in the death of Mrs H. I have no doubt that her funeral will be jam packed with lives that she has touched. While we sorrow for the loss we have endured, we rejoice because we know what she has gained. She has been able to see not only our Savior and Father, but also her husband who passed a few years ago. What celebration there must have been in Heaven Saturday morning! I can almost hear the choirs singing. I can imagine the saints gone ahead lining those golden streets and clapping as she walked through the gates of that city. I can see our Savior meeting her there and saying "Welcome home. We've been waiting for you. You have been a good and faithful servant, and now it's time to rest" and then taking her hand in His and leading her to where Mr H is standing. I can see the love in their eyes as they see each other again. What a blessed reunion.

So then, how can we be sorrowful? How can we NOT rejoice? Mrs H is certainly rejoicing!

Friday, June 19, 2009

My thumb is turning green!

Ok, so my friend posted a thing about her garden and it got me thinking that certain people, namely my mother, haven't seen my garden since it has been green. So for those that care, and those that don't but read my blog anyhow... here are some pictures of my now producing garden. We have eaten the first fruits of lettuce and spinach, I have already made 3 batches of pesto with my herbs, and I have a tomato (plus a bunch of buds) and several peppers growing. I think I can do this! These pictures are taken from the office window.




L to R: Spinach (harvested 2 days ago) Lettuce (harvested 2 days ago) Carrots and Onions



L to R: Mini pumpkin, butternut squash, zuchini, cucumbers. In the center are 1 each of Cherry tomato, Big boy tomato, red, green and habenaro peppers.



I know this is the wrong way, but oh well. Ok, so the far pot (on the left in this case) has Parsley and Oregano in it, the brown one in the middle is rosemary and the end is basil and thyme.

Not to bad for a first garden if I say so myself!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vacation

Ok, so this is going to be a really long post! We spent the last week in DC with my in-laws. We had a wonderful time, and here's the play-by-play!

Day 1- Saturday- We left C-bus around 7 am. The original intention was to leave at 5:30, but that was thwarted when we didn't wake up until almost 6! It was quite an ordeal making sure we had everything, and everyone, in the car. We had packed most of our things the night before, so we just needed to grab toiletries, diaper bag and kids. Still it took a good 45 min. Finally we were on the road.... oops! I just remembered that I had 3 library movies that needed returned. Good thing we're not out of C-bus yet. So... we drive around for 25-30 min looking for a library branch. Dad brought his Magellan, so we looked up the closest branch. OF COURSE... it's not a C-bus branch... next? Dropped off the movies, and of course by this time the kids are getting hungry. So we stopped in Zainesville for breakfast. For those of you who don't live around here, that's about 45-60 min away. We eat, potty and get back in the car. By this time it feels like we've been traveling for days, and yet we're not even out of Ohio yet. Boy this is going to be a long day. We get to Wheeling, WV and decide that we need a break. Here's a good place to stop... Cabelas! Understandably we were there for over an hour. But the kids really enjoyed seeing all the animals. Plus there was a trailer parked right next to us, and they had a mule and a dog that they let the kids see. Ok, so we pile back into the car and drive.... the kids fall asleep, so we keep driving. Finally we arrive at our hotel right around 6 pm. What is supposed to be a 7 hour trip has turned into an 11 hour trip. *sigh* what a day.. thankfully my kids travel well!

Day 2- Sunday- This was a more relaxing day. The kind of day you really look forward to when you're on vacation. My Uncle B and Aunt D live in the DC area, so we went to church with them Sunday morning. Their son Bb came up with his gf to visit with us too. My cousin J and her family also live in the area, so after the church service, we headed over to their church to be there for the dedication of their daughter. It was really nice to be there for that. My family is huge, so being a part of another cousins stuff is always a big deal to me. Then we went to B&D for lunch... stayed and visited all the way through dinner. We got back to the hotel just in time for the kiddos to go to bed. What a great day!

Day 3- Monday- The question was raised as to when we were going to do all this sight seeing. I had contacted my state rep to see if we could get some tours scheduled, so I didn't want to see the downtown area right away. I hadn't heard back from Kilroys office, and I wanted to wait. I'm glad I did! We decided to do the Smithsonian Zoo instead. We packed a lunch (Hubby and I had gone to the grocery store after we put kids down Sunday night) and headed out. When we got there we looked and looked for handicap parking (my FIL has a bad back). Finally we found a lot that was open... no HC parking though. Oh well, this is fine! Little did we know that we would have to climb a set of rampish stairs all the way to the zoo... with two strollers, three kids and their stuff! It was worth it though. We got to see things that aren't at our zoo. Sea Lions, an Anteater and her new baby, Lemurs, and of course the star attraction... PANDA BEARS!!! We didn't see the mom and dad, but we did get to see the baby. The girls haven't stopped talking about that day. We also went into the elephant house and got to see them giving the elephants physicals. They made them roll onto their sides and then get up. They had to squirt stuff up their trunks and then the elephants blew it out. Kind of gross, but cool at the same time. We were all hot and tired, so we decided to call it a day around 3 in the afternoon. We were headed to B&D for dinner, so we wanted to make sure we had time to clean up and rest before then. Got a call from Kilroy's office before we left that we were scheduled for a 2 pm tour of the capitol building. So glad we waited! SURPRISE my cousin and his gf stayed another night so we had more time to visit! Then it was off to bed for some much needed rest.

Day 3- Tuesday- We headed downtown for our capitol tour. We took our time in the morning and stopped at Kohls and Olive Garden. Got downtown and found a place to park then walked... UPHILL... to our appointment. Then we got searched. I knew that security was tight downtown, but I didn't think it would be like the airport! My FIL lost his pocket knife. Sorry dad :( So we went upstairs to Kilroys office and met our guide. He took us down to the tunnel. Did you know that a lot of the buildings in DC are connected underground? I didn't know that. So we walked underground to the capitol building. It was kind of weird because we came out on the second level of the building. Go figure. Anyhow... after an amasing 3 hour tour (no joke, it really was 3 hours!) we got to go into the galley and witness congress in action. Of course there was hardly any representatives in there, but they were called for a vote while we were there and we got to see how that all worked. Oh, and we had to go through airportish security AGAIN... this was the 4th time. Glad everything is secure there! The kiddos slept through he majority of the tour. I was very thankful to not have to deal with whiny kids. So finally we're done. We get out of the galley and go back to get our camera and phones (you can't take any of that stuff with you in the galley) and the place was dead. It was a little creapy. Where there were hundreds, maybe even thousands of people before our tour, there are now none, and it is silent. Guess they close at 5! So we start the walk back to our car. What we didn't realize was that we exited the front of the capitol building, while we entered the rear. So we were totally turned around. By this time all three kids are up and ready to eat, plus the sky is looking rather ominous and the wind is really picking up. After much ta-do and asking for directions several times, we finally get turned in the right direction and head back to our car.... then it starts raining. Not nice spring type rain... hurricane type. We took cover under the Department of Health and Human Services car portico. A little ironic if you ask me. Hubby ran for the car which was another 2 or 3 blocks away. As he's pulling out he goes to pay the tenant of the parking garage and realizes that he doesn't have enough cash on him. Of course, they don't accept cards. The tenant was really nice and told him to just go... I'm expecting a bill in the mail any day now... we'll see I guess! Tally-ho, homeward we go. First we drove around to see the monuments and everything though as it was rush hour. We got back to the hotel and hubby and I went out to pick up BBQ for dinner. A long day, but a wonderful experience!

Day 4- Wednesday- This day we had talked about going to the monuments, but decided instead to do Arlington Cemetery and then a museum. Arlington is absolutely overwhelming. I couldn't believe how expansive it is. It is humbiling to think that all those, and many more, have given their lives for my freedom. We heard a guide say that they do an average of 27 funerals EVERY DAY. We heard volleys from two funerals while we were there and saw a casket being drawn by 6 black horses when we left. Incredible is the only word to describe it. If you've never been... GO! We got to see the change of guard at the tomb of the unknown soldigers as well as Kennedy's grave. I would have spent another few hours there, but it was very hot, and with the kids we didn't want to do too much "boring" stuff. So, we left there and headed to the Iwo Jima memorial. I never realized how large this memorial is. Beautiful. We got back in the car and started discussing what museum we wanted to go to. It was between the Holocust Museum and the Air and Space Museum. We decided on the Air and Space since there would be things for the kids to do, and Hubby and I have already been to a Holocust museum. This is right around 2 pm. Just out of curiosity I checked my phone to see if anyone has called me... sure enough Uncle B has left me a message, so I check it. "Lydia, this is B. When you get this message CALL ME. Here is my office number. Call me." hmmmmmmm, ok, I think I need to call him. If he's left me his office number something must be up. Now my uncle is a who's who kind of guy. He pretty much know's everything. If he's calling and saying CALL ME, you call... right now. So we're getting onto 345 to head into the downtown area and there is a complete block of traffic. No one is moving. As I'm dialing my uncle I see an unmarked car fly (well as fast as he could drive in stopped traffic) by. Uncle B picks up the phone... "Good, I'm glad you called. I've been trying desperately to reach you. Where are you?" ... "We just got onto 345"... "Are you on the bridge yet?"...."no, I don't think so... I see a sign that says Regan Airport next left".... "GET OFF NOW!!! Do whatever you have to do and get off at that exit." .... "Ok, what's going on?".... "There's been a shooting". So he goes on to tell me what had happened at the holocust museum just about an hour before. Isn't the Lord good with his timing? Had we been earlier leaving Arlington, or had we decided to see the Holocust museum first...phew..! So, we went to Mt. Vernon instead. Absolutely gorgeous plantation. 8000 acres. We got there about 3 and stayed until they closed. It was amazing. I think the kids even liked it! At least they liked running around in the open :) Then we headed home and had KFC for dinner. After we got the kiddos in bed hubby and I headed to B&D to visit some more.

Day 5- Thursday- This was our last day. If we were going to see the monuments we'd better do it! I cannot think of another word to describe all that we saw but incredible. It was humbling, awe inspiring and breath-taking all while making my heart swell with patriotic pride. What an amazing country we live in, and what incredible leaders we have had. I think DC is something that every person should see at least once in their lifetime. The Vietnam wall and the WWII memorial made me cry even though I didn't know anyone that was lost in either war. To see the mementos that others had left for loved ones just broke my heart. There was a young girl who was lying by the wall of stars in the WWII memorial and crying. She must have been about 10 or 12. There were things left at the Vietnam memorial for "Dad" and "Our Beloved Brother". So sad, and yet incredibly encouraging. Thank you to those that willingly place their lives on the line for me every day! Well, we left the memorials and decided that we had to see the White House. You can't visit DC and not see the White House. We finally found parking... well, I didn't think it was a good place to park, but whatever. 3 hours it said.. surely we won't be here that long. What we didn't see was that it was 9-4... and at the time we parked it was probably 2:30. Well, we got out of the car and walked up to the White House. Incredible. The lawn was gorgeous. Did you know that the Obamas have bee hives? Yup... we saw them! Then we decided to walk around and see the front... this is not a short walk mind you! So we got to the front and watched some kids doing pull-ups on the fence... idiots. They got yelled at... DUH! Their mom got all defensive "You don't have to kill him... he's only 12!" I thought that guard was going to take her head off! We saw protestors camped outside... weird. Do they really think it does any good? We saw the media station and all the cameras set up. No one was outside at the time, that would have been cool! So we finished walking around the block taking in all the sights. We got back around to the back side of the house and decided to sit down for a minute. There is a grassy area with benches behind the house, so we rested there. After a few minutes we got up and started walking back to the car when we heard a helicopter. "That sounds really low" I said. So I look up and flying over head is an Army chopper... then another. At this point I'm getting out my camera to take a picture because I could practicly see if in the windows! Now we hear a third chopper and I'm assuming at this point in time it's the President. So I'm zooming as far as I can with my camera to the white house lawn. Sure enough... it's the big guy! Got some amazing pictures. What an incredible sight! Well, while I'm doing this my FIL runs back to the car b/c he's noticed that there are no longer any cars on that side of the street. Sure enough there is a $100 fine and a tow notice on our window. We pack up as fast as we possibly can and head back to the hotel. We got cleaned up, went to Longhorns for dinner, stopped at Starbucks for coffee and to see my cousin J, and then went to B&D to say our farewells. What a wonderful event filled week we have had!

Thankfully the trip home was totally UN-eventful! We arrived home safe and sound on Friday evening and spent Saturday doing fun things like reading (and in my FIL and hubby's case, building shelves in the garage!). It went by too quickly, and I can't wait to do it again!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Crazy dizzy

Ok, so since my surgery on Friday I've been seriously dizzy. I know it's to be expected, but I forgot just how dizzy I get! You don't realize how much you're ears actually do until one of them is totally incapacitated. Everyone knows that we hear with our ears, but did you know that when one of your ears is messed up, you can feel like you're always on a boat? That's not so much of a problem when you just have to recover... read, watch tv, talk to your boyfriend on the phone.... but when you have 3 small children who you are constantly tripping over, being on a boat in your head doesn't help!!! Once this packing dissolves it should get better... for now, don't come over! My floor hasn't been washed in *gasp* 5 days! I can't believe I just admitted that!!! Today I did the dishes.... tomorrow perhaps I'll clean the bathrooms :o)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Surgery post

(note hubby put on our family board yesterday after surgery)

You all probably know that Lydia has been having hearing problems again, and she was scheduled to have surgery this morning. We went to the OSU hospital this morning at 5AM. She was scheduled for operation on her right ear at 7AM.

The operation was somewhat "exploratory". The doctor knew there was something behind her ear drum, but unsure if it was cartilage, fluid, or who knows what. Praise the Lord, it wasn't anything too major. After pre-op & some discovery, she was only in the OR for about 45min-1h.

I met with the doctor afterward & he explained there was no fluid behind the ear drum (good!). What appears to have happened is during her surgery 10y ago, they used cartilage underneath her eardrum to stabilize it. Either right away or over time, that cartilage had fallen down on one side and was resting against one of the three bones in her ear, thus causing significant hearing loss. He said there appears to be no damage to her bones, everything works fine & all he had to do was trim and remove the cartilage that wasn't in the right place. Unless scar tissue builds up where he cut out the cartilage, she should not have the same problem again. Lydia right now is very sleepy, but is doing well. They didn't have to shave any hair off her head, and there's no bandage going all the way around her head this time around, just a cotton ball in her ear!

We will have to wait a few weeks for healing to see what this surgery truly means for her hearing... I assume she will have to have a hearing reevaluation and go from there. Thank you to all who have been praying!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Week 1

Well, I realized that I haven't said anything about K's first week of school. I meant to write this weekend, but we had friends down for the weekend. Saturday we had a cook-out/ birthday party for A (Sunday was her 2nd birthday) and then Sunday all three kids woke up sick. Anyhow, she talks about her new friends and jumping like a frog (the teachers name is Mrs Fogt (vote with an F) and so their class is called "Mrs Fogt's Frogs"). I'm not sure what she's been learning, but I know she's learning something! She has started to pretend more... well, maybe not more but she's actually trying to involve me and A when she's playing, HUGE!!! A keeps talking about the "yehyow buh" that K takes to school. It's cute to hear them talk about it. I swear they understand each other better than I understand them! Friday K left a balloon flower she made on the bus. A little while after she got dropped off (she's the last one to get dropped off) her bus driver rang the door bell. She brought K's flower back! Not many bus drivers would care! :o) That was big to me. Her teacher wrote this weekend and said that she's doing really well in class. She's apparently starting to participate a lot more. I think now that she's starting to make friends it's easier. She's exhausted when she gets home... Friday she fell asleep on the way home. But the girls have "quiet book time" while I'm getting dinner ready. Typically A has just woken up and she's not ready to play anyhow. They eventually start talking about the "yehyow buh" and then play or dance. So far, so good! Thank you all for your prayers. I'm amazed at how much K is talking since last week! Just that is a marked improvement. Maybe we will be ready for regular kindergarten at 6!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Preschool

Ok, for those that don't know what this pre-k thing is all about... K has been diagnosed with a learning delay. We thought it was a speech issue, so we had her tested. Her speech, as far as how she makes sounds and the quality of what she says, tested a 108 on a scale of 100. Then we were left to figure out what was the issue if it wasn't speech. The speech pathologist recommended that we have her evaluated by the school system. So we did that last month. I had her IEP (evaluation) meeting yesterday and learned that her score, on a scale where 100 is average, was a 74. This is MUCH lower than I had anticipated, so obviously I'm having a little trouble with the news. I knew we had some issues, but I didn't think it was that bad. She is almost 3 standard deviations below average... pretty significant. So what can we do for her? Well, she was accepted into the special needs pre-k here in Hilliard... AWESOME school!!! I can't say enough about the people that I have met, and every one I talk to has nothing but good things to say about the school. That makes me a little excited to get started. I figured with it being the end of the year, she would be starting in the fall. The teachers, therapists, psychologists and administrator all felt that it would be very beneficial to K to start this week. They had her scheduled to start today (Tuesday) but after discussing some different things that she'll be doing, it was decided that it would also be beneficial for her to ride the bus to school. This is a bus ONLY for the Pre-K. There is an aid as well as a driver on the bus, I put her on, her teacher takes her off. This is going to help her build her independence they say. I think it's more to help mom let go! As all moms are on their first kids first day of school, I am nervous and excited for her. Scared and sad for me. I can't believe that my baby is old enough to be going to school, let alone to be riding a bus with out mommy! She will be in school through the end of this year (their last day is May 22) and then she will start up again in an all 4 year old class on August 25. She will be seeing a speech therapist and an occupational therapist both once a week. Her teacher will be working on behavior modification and cognitive therapy with her every day.

For all those that have been praying with us through this ordeal, thank you! Please keep praying through the end of school. The teachers are going to be working with her and giving me ideas on how to work with her through the summer, so pray for patience for me! Sometimes it's hard to determine what is willful and what truly isn't understood! I (we) really do appreciate all your prayers, and your continued support :o)

Love to all...
Lydia

Thursday, April 30, 2009

hmmmmmmm

what do you do when one child throws a fit because you're holding another???

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

10 things I never thought I'd say.

10. If you put that in your ear it's going to get stuck.
9. Stop growling at your sister.
8. Where did those scissors come from?
7. You are NOT a monkey. Stop jumping on the bed!
6. Sharpies are not for bodies.
5. Spit those clippies out right now!
4. You have to wear clothes if you want to go to the store. Those are the rules!
3. Don't touch Batman's (the dog) butt, that's gross!!
2. Go put your panties back on!

and the #1 thing... which, of course, I say now on a daily basis.....

BECAUSE I SAID SO, AND I'M THE MOM!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hooray!!!

When you go to the bathroom at my house, be prepared to be met by two little cheerleaders when you exit. You would have the wonderful pleasure of using the restroom without an audience. I do not have this luxury. My girls feel that the bathroom is common property at all times. This hasn't been too much of an annoyance for me, until today. I guess I've just felt that if they see that mommy does it this way, it's ok for them to do it also. Well, today I have rethought my view on this. It has been absolutely gorgeous outside the last few days. In the 80s with a nice breeze. Just my kind of weather! So, needless to say, all the windows in my house have been open. That is very important to remember..... ALL THE WINDOWS! Well, I had to use the restroom. It happens... of course, as always I shut the door, but it didn't stay closed for long. K comes in "What you doin' mommy??" ... "I'm going potty".... "Oh. (pause.... then....) *gasp* YOU DID IT MOMMY!!!!! Hooray!!!"... she runs.... litterally, RUNS to find A. "A, guess what!!! Mommy went pee all by herself in the potty!!!".... in comes A... "meme, YAY meme!!!" by this time I'm done and I turn to flush... A beats me too it.... "Bye Bye pee!!!" Now remember, all my windows are open. I wash my hands and come out to K jumping up and down...and yelling... YELLING.... "Mommy You did it!!! Good job mommy, you went pee like a princess!!!".... I hope my neighbors windows were closed!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mountains of toys and not a shower in sight....

If anyone came by my house today I think I would pretend to not be home..... although that's a little hard to do when my van is sitting in plain sight and my kids are peeking out the front window. It seems that I am never caught up. Many people would claim that my home is impressively clean for having three small kids and a dog...... I think anything other than complete filth is considered impressively clean! Bathrooms typically get cleaned twice a week..... last week they got done once. Not at all so far this week... that's a first! My floor has been cleaned almost every day, but you would never guess! I guess that comes from having hardwood and an almost crawling baby that spits up and then smears it around everywhere before I (or the dog) catch it! This has been one of those weeks where you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off, but you seem to get nothing... and I mean NOTHING... accomplished. As I am sitting here, I can hear the floors and bathrooms begging to be cleaned. As my middle child, A, is tugging on the strings of my sweatpants (which so desperately need washed) I smell that all too familiar smell.......gross.... got to go wipe another stinky bottom! But it's ok.... all too soon my children will seem to have no need of me. The poor toys that my dog has attacked will forever be forgotten and will be replaced with I-pods and cell phones. I'll be chasing boys away instead of dust bunnies and wiping too much make-up off my "grown-up" girls instead of messy stink!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Day5- Something Old



I'm a little sad that this challenge is coming to an end. Today's picture is of something old. It's not really that old to me, but this piano lamp was my husbands grandmothers. We inherited it when she passed away last year. I have really enjoyed it. Not only is it useful, it's beautiful! I love the light blue glass and the antique brass of the base. This picture does not do it justice!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Day 4- Something I do every day


There are a lot of things I do every day... but kissing my hubby is by far the BEST!!!

That's right folks... I kiss my hubby EVERY day! It's the only way

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Day 3- the view from my door



This is actually out my kitchen window. Not extremely interesting, but hey, it's a view! It's better than staring at a wall, and when the kids are outside I get to watch them play while I work.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My life in pictures- Day 2- Something on your table

With two toddlers my table is NEVER clean. This is the remnants of this mornings breakfast.

Monday, March 30, 2009

My life in pictures challenge- Day 1- Something New





I decided to do a challenge that is being hosted by http://everythingexceptthegrill.blogspot.com
The first day challenge is to take a picture of something new. This is my newest possession, a beautiful necklace and pendant from my mother.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Musings

I wonder sometimes why Sundays are such hard days. We're supposed to be taking our sabbath and resting, yet by the end of the day everyone is just exhausted. Wake up, shower, clothe and feed everyone, jump in the car and make it to Sunday school just as it's starting. Make sure the kids get to the right classes. Pry away from crying babies that want to be big girls and go to class with sister.... just a few more weeks A... I promise! Sit down in my own class and TRY to focus on the lesson. Inevitably my brain is working on much more "important" things like what I have (or failed to) put in the oven, or what song choir will be singing. After prayer I jump up and say hello to people as I run by to check on the kids. Everyone's in the right place and not giving teachers a hard time. Quickly rush back through the auditorium trying not to get stopped on my way to choir. Wouldn't do well for the directors wife to be late you know! Get through the song a few times and line up... then the service. I know there is something there for me today. Why can't my brain stop thinking so I can absorb something new???? Just one thing Lord, please... teach me at least one thing! Hebrews 12:1 "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" Pastor V uses Pilgrims Progress as an illustration several times... I should read it again. "Sin which so easily ensnares us"..... Satan doesn't make it like a carnival that we would avoid.... it's a new path that seems right at first but leads us into a net. Not so easy to escape. Keep my eyes fixed on you, Lord. Prayer, benediction. Get the kids... potty the girls. Go practice while everyone gets in the car. Pastor K holds K.... she falls asleep on his shoulder. Wake her up and get in the car.... it's gotten about 15 degrees colder.... remember warmer jackets for tonight...... Home, finally. Feed everyone. Naps???? please? No luck, only C and Daddy nap. Girls decide to play. I need to transpose some music for hubby to practice tonight. Can't find my software. "Honey, where's Finale???" ...... "Oh, I guess I didn't re-install it. Sorry"...... ok, what do I do now? I don't want to hand write all this! Download new software, can't be that much different.... WRONG!!! No need to get so upset, I tell myself. It'll be ok....... Finally I figure it out and get the music written. But now it's time to get the girls up (well, they're already up, just out of their room) and fed. Dress, change diapers and off we go again. Practice with group, practice for duet, practice for solo. Choir practice..... oh yeah, I'm on piano tonight. Glad I have an offeratory with me! All the while thinking... "Lord, I want to be serving you, but I want to learn too. Please let my heart absorb tonight what it failed to this morning!" Pastor K is back in Job.... 19:25 " For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth"...... At last..... not today, maybe not tomorrow, but AT LAST!!! What a blessed thought. Even through the business of my resting day I KNOW that my redeemer lives and will AT LAST take me home. I'll have all the rest I could ever want there! :O)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Quotes

Gotta love the way kids tell you what's on their minds. Dialogue between me and K, who will be 4 in July.
K: "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!!"
Me: "What? You don't have to yell, I'm right here." (man do I sound like my mother!)
K: "Is takin ALL DAY!"
Me: "What's taking all day?"
K: "I eat my ice cream. Is takin all day!"
I think she is referring to the fact that it's cold, so it's hard to scoop with her spoon.
Me: "Is it kind of hard to scoop up?"
K: "No.. I like this ice cream. It's takin all day."
ummmmmmmmmm OOOOOOOK!
I guess she wants to eat ice cream all day. I would agree with that!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mom School

I seriously think that I need to enroll in college for moms. You would have thought with 3 that I would fail to be surprised.... NOPE! I think that classes for mom-school should consist of the following.....
Mom 101- Diapering and feeding your child (this is a relatively easy "freshman" level course)
Mom 201 (onto Sophomore classes already!)- Learning to construct active and meaningful playtime while still teaching your young ones. This class would consist of exercises like, teaching your child to count while measuring out flour for cookies (and actually being able to keep track of how much REALLY went in!), sorting clean laundry into small, medium and large size piles and matching socks.
Mom 301 and 401 would be a little more in-depth. Classes could include "Removal of objects from bodily orifices" and "Removal of objects from odd pieces of furniture"......... Never in my life did I consider that I would need a degree in mechanics to get the plastic Mickey Mouse out of the VCR, or that I would need a degree in Otolaryngology (EMT) to remove the random bobby pin from my daughters ear canal!
Today my skills as a mother were again put to the test. I guess I forgot to take the "removal of odd substances" class..... who would have ever thought that my 2 year old would figure out how to paint her nails, tattoo herself and my furniture with a Sharpie marker. I have found more uses for toothpaste that I ever imagined possible! Bet you didn't know that plain generic white paste will take Sharpie out of wood! Or that plain old rubbing alcohol will get pen out of upholstery. Now you know..... but never claim that you have your degree.... They'll just find another way to enhance your learning!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Life in the fast lane

It seems that things just keep speeding up... or maybe by! I feel like I haven't existed the last few days... well, weeks I guess! Life keeps on chugging along without me. I've been a little on the down side the last couple of weeks... being sick doesn't help! Oh well...... on to bigger and better things. My oldest may soon begin preschool. That will be interesting. On one hand it will be nice to be -1 for a few hours, but I can't believe she's old enough! I can't believe I'm old enough! When did I grow up again???? I guess it happened when I wasn't looking... just like everything else! Maybe spring will come back.... that would be nice.... it would brighten my mood, that's for sure! (of course shopping would do the same thing, but it's not as good when you have to drag 3 mini-me's around!)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lessons

Pastor has been going through Hebrews on Sunday mornings. He's been in the book for well over 2 years, but we're in chapter 12 finally! When we started attending BBC we were in the last part of chapter 10..... that was over a year ago. Tells you how in depth he gets! It really has been interesting and eye opening to go through it with so much detail. Anyhow... yesterday we started chapter 12. The title of the message was "Never Give Up". He took us back to chapter 10 verse 36 where Paul writes "For you have need of perseverance (patient endurance), so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise" then onto chapter 12 verses 1-4 "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (those from chapter 11), let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with (patient) endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the JOY that was set before Him endured (patiently) the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured (patiently) such hostility from sinners against Himself, let you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin."

I was thinking about a book I read about a girl named Anne Askew. She was a young woman, about my age, who was martyred for her faith during the reign of Henry VII in England. She truly endured with patience the race that was set before her. There is one section in the book just before she was 'arrested' where she actually bakes her Bible into a loaf of bread so that it will not be destroyed by the men hunting her. Her servant, and friend, finds it later and is saved herself. Pastor talked about the fact that life requires endurance. People mistreat us and disappoint us. Our circumstances may require endurance. Trials bring about spiritual fruit. The harvest does not come easily or overnight. "Whether the outcome of our lives looks good or bad, we should never give up (for the testimony of Christ) faithfully trusting God." - Pastor V-
Will I be able to remain steadfast and unmovable when the trials in my life cause me to resist and strive against sin unto bloodshed? Not only that, but will I be able to do it with JOY????

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I'm still alive... I think

My mom commented on the fact that I haven't written in a while. Neither has my sister.... I guess we're both busy with life! I had surgery last week, so I've been a little incapacitated. For those who have been asking, my foot is healing well. I had some trouble with the nerve block (hence all the pain) and I still have no feeling in my toes or the top of my foot. It's quite annoying! The Dr thinks it will return to normal soon... I certainly hope so!!!

The kids have not been enjoying this activity free time. I was ordered to stay off my feet for an entire week.... IMPOSSIBLE!!!! Thankfully I take my kids to my appointments, so my Dr knew how much of a challenge that would be for me. I'm looking forward to being able to walk normally again and get back to playing with my kids! I'm sure they're looking forward to that as well. We've been doing a lot of puzzles and coloring. I'm an expert at getting marker off the table! Other than recovery my life has been rather boring of late..... except for the fact that we're adopting a dog!!!!

His name is Batman... he's an American Pit Bull Terrier. He's a sweetie and I can't wait until he's home for good. Hopefully we can bring him home Saturday and start our Foster-to-Adopt period. Bullies have such a bad rap the adoption process is TERRIBLE! We've been "courting" him since November. The girls are excited though... it's more tangible now that there are doggie beds and toys around the house.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Reminders

It's amazing the things that our kids can remind us of. As I was encouraging them once again today to "sit down and eat!" I got to thinking about how often God has to remind me to do the same thing. How often I sit at His table and just talk and talk and never take in any nutrition. It doesn't do me any good if it just sits on my plate. Some days we don't like to eat the vegetables and fruit. We just want the good stuff. The easy stuff. Give me mashed potatoes and gravy any day, but hit me with some broccoli and I might just sit back in my chair and stop eating for a while. But just as my kids need to finish the broccoli and meat and not just the macaroni, so I need to eat the meat of the word. I need to take the time each day to digest what is on my plate. Chicken soup is great when we're sick, but if it's all we ever eat we'll never grow.

We've been working on the potty thing for a while. For some reason it's just not catching on like I thought it would. I guess my kids don't mind smelling like a garbage dump! This week I decided that I'm not buying any more diapers (well at least for the ones over 1 year of age!). I have a drawer full of pretty panties. Any girly thing you can name, princesses, fairies, ponies, flowers.... we have it all. I thought it would be encouraging to not get the pretty panties messy... I was wrong! Now we just cry when they get dirty and have to go to the scary basement. Well, we had a break-through today. Ariel is the ticket. Forget Snow White and Cinderella. We could care less about Tinkerbell.... but Ariel! Now she's special. We CERTAINLY don't want to get HER dirty!!! We had more potty time today than we have all week! Mommy needs to figure out how I am supposed to feed the baby, have 2 girls on the potty, answer the phone and get dinner started all at the same time! Well, my "work" may not have gotten done the way I would have liked today. I didn't get my practice time in, but if that's what I have to give up in order to have diaper free girls I'll gladly resign!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New to this

Ok, so I thought I would start blogging. I don't know why, I just thought it might be something interesting to do in my 5 minutes of free time each day! So, while my kids are content from lunch, have clean pants and are watching Elmo, I thought I would sit down and write.

I guess I should, first of all, explain my blog name. Isaiah 58:11 states "The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; You shall be like a WATERED GARDEN, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail." I have a little notebook that I keep on the sill of the window just above my sink. In that notebook I write verses that have stuck out to me. Most of these verses I read during my devotions, or they stick out during a sermon, but they all have wonderful reminders in them. I like to switch to a new verse every day and be reminded of whatever that verse has to say. I'm at the sink very often during my days, either washing the dishes, filling bottles and cups or just looking out that window. This is one of my favorite verses in my book so far. More are being added from time to time, but I find myself looking at this one at least once a week. It's such a comfort to know that even in the times of drought, both physical and spiritual, God has promised to sustain me, and "He has not failed one word of all His promise"!

Well, this past week was a week of physical drought for me. Maybe that is why this verse stuck out to me yet again when I was thinking about blogging. I was sick with a cold. Mom's don't get sick days, so I was still cleaning and such, but I was EXHAUSTED!!! By the weekend I didn't think I could take anymore. My dad and his wife were planning on coming down to visit, so I didn't have a choice but to "suck it up" once again. Friends of ours were married on Saturday evening, and they were going to watch the kids for us so we could go to the wedding unhindered. I cried getting ready. I got mad at my hair and broke my straightner. I yelled at my husband. I decided not to go. But then I changed my mind because the only place I wanted to be less was stuck at home! So, feeling totally awful and extremely ugly, I got in the car. The wedding was beautiful. I cried again..... that made me feel a little better. I went to the reception where the only people I knew were my date (hubby) and the bride and groom. We sat down at our table and thought that maybe noone was going to sit with us after we'd been there for 20 minutes or so. But then came a wonderful family. Aunt of the bride, her husband and their two sons. We had a wonderful conversation about how awesome it is to know that God will supply our needs no matter what is going on in the world. I was reminded again to "be anxious in nothing", and impressed once more of how loving our God is. He knew my need and filled it with a wonderful lady who had no idea how much of an encouragement she was being to me. We danced, laughed and returned home refreshed (at least I did!).

So, amid the dirty diapers, snotty noses, mountains of dishes and laundry, I am being watered. Continually, unfailingly (I think I made that word up) and sufficiently.
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