Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
I was in a mad rush to take these poorly made pictures and post this rushed entry. But I did want to mention our favorite books and activities/traditions with the kids before showing my house.
Books:Jacob's gift, Alabaster's Song, Who is coming to our house?, The Tale of Three Trees
Activities:What God Wants for Christmas kit, Adornaments, acting out/using our Playmobil nativity to dramatize the story of Jesus' birth, spending the night after Christmas in sleeping bags under the Christmas tree *Before I tear it all down and kick the tree to the curb! :)
What a fun idea to be able to see everyone's decorations! I've never participated in anything like this on my blog, but here goes! Here is a blurry picture of our tree. We are still hanging in there with a real tree. I'm sure one day we'll surrender to the artificial tree, but not yet!
This is a picture of our mantle. I haven't gotten #3's stocking yet. The Christmas topiaries are one of my favorite decorations in the house.
This is what our dining room table looks like. The placemats are red velvet from Pottery Barn, I am proud to say that I paid $2 a piece for them at a yard sale. The angels are all from my first bridal shower, a Christmas shower given by my sorority sisters. Actually, 90 % of my Christmas decor is from that shower.
This is my only Christmas collection. My husband started collecting the Dickens village for me beginning with our first Christmas together. My kids love to light it up in the dark.
Gotta run! Merry Christmas!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Today we walked in the kitchen where #2 was eating Ritz crackers. He noticed Rachael Ray on the back of the box. He was giving the box little peck kisses. He caught us watching him and said,"She's pwetty." I can only imagine what life will be like with him as a teenager. With those blue eyes, his affectionate/"touchy feely" personality and his charm I shudder to think! We've call him our "smoochy-poo" because of the dozens of kisses that he plants on #3. Hopefully girls will begin to intimidate him before long. A mommy can only hope!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
December 22, 2005
Choosing joy...that's the theme of the day. Yesterday I was prepared to enter a very negative blog. I was struggling with so many heavy burdens, one of which is another virus creeping through our family. I am weary from sickness.
But I woke up with a fresh perspective. My family's wellbeing relies much on my attitude. "If mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy!" This quote is very true under our roof, especially when someone is sick. I definitely set the tone. I have found that when things are particularly yucky and everyone is down, I make or break the day around here. Yesterday I was sulking. I was asking God, "Is it too much to ask for healthy kids?" and "Please...Give me a break!!", etc.
This morning I realized that the here and now, sickness and weariness, this is where God has chosen to put me, and he asks me to be full of joy, hope and love towards Him and my family. If my happiness hinges on my comfort and getting my own way, then I need to realign my heart with God's. He has never promised me physical comfort or my own way. He promises me joy upon joys if I can rely on Him and remind myself of who I am in Him, what He has done for me by saving me, and the blessings he has given me in sharing my journey with my children and husband. Really, His grace is so amazing.
I guess through the cough syrup, vomit, Motrin and countless hours of backrubs and Thomas the Train movies, I have found the meaning of Christmas. The wonder of feeling completely loved and honored among circumstances that are bleak and out of my control. Doesn't God work in mysterious ways? I love him so much! Merry Christmas!
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
Long story short, we got lost. There is a 20 minute grace period which we did not make. So we sat in the lobby for an hour to be "worked in". I laid my head down and prayed the entire time. We were counting on these pictures as Christmas presents for half of our family! One lady even asked me if I was sick! Thankfully, an hour later I heard our name called. Thank you, Lord! The baby was in a great mood during the photo shoot, but did not crack a smile because the photographer was squeaking toys and dancing like a fool, and she was perplexed. You should have seen me changing all three kids clothes during the middle of the session. Funny thing is that after all of that trouble I hated all of the pictures in the second outfit! My #1 was the most interesting model. He was embarassed of his snaggle tooth. He's only lost one top middle tooth. He was doing the most bizarre smilish crazy faces. The photographer even asked, "What's up with his tongue?" I think he was trying to use his tongue to hide his gap. I never got a decent shot of him.
After the photo shoot, we sat at a computer screen to order the pics. #3 needed to be nursed so I proceeded to breastfeed right there in front of my 20ish year old male photographer. Meanwhile, #1 wiggled persistently and #2 asked me 15 times to help him with his shoe. It turns out that out of 86 shots I only really loved one. And then I don't even have the energy to post the ordeal we went through during the next hour getting the photos. We also had an interesting lunch at Moe's while we waited which consisted of lots of napkins. Blah, blah, blah. I actually heard a women in the phot place whisper to herself, "He is late again! (I'm sure she was referring to her husband.) If she can do it with three kids, I can do it with one.) It was my only moment of pride all day. Maybe the circumstances were nuts, but I did it all by myself. And so what if it took 86 shots to get one good picture of the three of them! And so what if afterwards I felt like I had run a marathon! I'm laughing so hard right now recalling all of the chaos. Life is so funny in retrospect.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Meanwhile, #3 and #3 and Nana and I enjoyed a more feminine weekend here at home. (Poor #2, he was outnumbered 3:1)We went to the mall, ate out and let the house get as messy as we pleased. We enjoyed quiet nights with the Christmas tree lit and a fire in the fireplace while we recooperated from the shopping. My mom (aka Nana) and I had a margarita together at dinner on Saturday and #2 ate pizza and pbj sandwiches all weekend. We were all thrilled.
Today my mom left early this morning. I only had two little ones to get ready for church and my sweetheart was not here to tempt me to sit and drink coffee with him. It was amazing how easy it was to just get two of us ready and out the door! We had to stop at the gas station and still got there early. Then after church #2 and I had a date at Chili's, followed by a trip to Home Depot. We got more paint! Paint for the boys' room and for the dining room. The little week between Christmas and New Years is going to be a painting week in our house! Okay, little #2 is begging me to play trains with him...more later!
Friday, December 08, 2006
Right now I am feeling that way about housework. I am looking back on this week with regret because I spent so much time trying to create the perfect house. I cleaned up toys multiple times a day, knowing fully well that the boys would create new messes. I just needed a little time to look around and see order. I put the baby in her seat or swing more that she needed to be just so that I could make sure my bed was made, each pillow perfectly fluffed and placed. Deep down I knew no one cared or would see that bed and in addition, my little guys would eventually jump on it and my work would be in vain. I told my sweet little #2 three times this week that I didn't have time to play with him when there could have been time, but I wanted to organize something or get just one more thing done that wasn't really necessary. I am frustrated with myself.
So here I am again, at the foot of the cross, asking my Savior for forgiveness and my children for forgiveness. If there is anything that I want to accomplish in life for the sake of Christ, it is raising children who know the Lord and who know that they have a Mommy who values her time with her family more than anything else in her life. I want them to grow up knowing how precious and unique they are , and the only way that will happen is if I am spending time with them and finding moments to communicate that to them. (Not just at bedtime or mealtime, but during the real life moments when we are living together!) I want them to have balanced memories of Mommy working as a housewife, Mommy playing and laughing and hugging them, and them playing alone or together. If I parented them during their entire childhood like I did this week, then none of these goals would be accomplished! And I doubt they would look back on that type of childhood with joy. I don't think any adult says, "I had the best childhood! My mom blew me off constantly, but the yellow in our kitchen was a beautiful color and our clothes always smelled of lavender!" Sounds ridiculous, but when I prioritize like this it is just that silly!
Lord Jesus, give me balance in my life and help me to let go of the control I want to have. Help me to find order in knowing I am doing your will and not in my own selfish desires. Help me to treasure the beautiful blessings that you have given me in my children.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
But now I feel rested and I am ready to do another silly all-nighter. My precious husband painted our kitchen for my birthday present last week. Sadly, I do not like the color. I picked it out, so his feelings aren't hurt. But I am insisting on re-painting it myself because I feel so badly about it! I picked a coffee brown. I thought it would be rich and soothing. I have a Tuscan-type painting with brown, blue and yellows. It turns out the brown doesn't remind me of yummy coffee or fresh bread, but more of poop! Maybe I've changed one too many diapers, but I can't stand it! So I am going to paint it our tried-and-true yellow. It's my favorite shade, "Arizona Tan" by Behr. I love it. It's a bright, warm yellow. Not a butter, but a warm tone. I plan to use the coffee color in our bedroom. And we are also about to paint our dining room a pumpkiny, rust color. I found a great piece of art at Kohl's today for the dining room...49.99!
Why have I chosen to do house projects now?? I just had a birthday and my generous family all caught my hint that "I don't really need any thing...but if you must, I'll take cash for home decor." We moved in this house at the end of July when I was 8 months pregnant and I haven't been able to really make it mine. Well, between my sweetie's family and mine I received over $400! And I thought birthdays were a thing of the past by 30! (I am currently 31 and loving it!) So I am ready to decorate. I have always been one that has no problem putting back savings, but once my spending money is allotted...I spend!
But I will say my timing is foolish, I know it and I can't stop myself! Trying to buy all of the Christmas presents with 3 kids, decorate for Christmas, homeschool, cook and be an at least adequate homemaker has proved to be a big challenge. And then this week I was frantically doing all of this while trying to be a good nurse for my sick patient. I was lysoling and febreezing every time he left the bed or the couch in hopes of not spreading the virus to the rest of the family, particularly the baby. I literally looked like a chicken with my head cut off running around. I don't think at sat down for a single meal for three or four days straight! I was praying so hard for my sweet Savior to give me a fulfilling sense of worship and purpose as I served Him in serving my family. Many tasks were done with just feeling, but I will admit I secretly dropped a few four letter words under my breath as well. I am and always will be a work in progress, this side of heaven at least!
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
It can't really be mid-November! Where has the time gone? We have had a wonderful fall thus far. I have enjoyed fall traditions more this year than ever. We have marvelled at God's handiwork in the fall leaves, made batches and batches of pumpkin muffins, and I have fallen for hot teas and a new type of coffee that I don't seem to have a funny reaction to. We have also enjoyed many nights and mornings by the fire already, both inside and outside. We have discovered that we have a wonderful place on our property for night time bonfires. We have even been out with a glass of wine to enjoy by the bonfire after the kids are tucked in. I am going to miss the fall. I can't bring myself to shop for Christmas presents right now. I don't want to miss an afternoon to enjoy these last few days of my favorite season of the year.
Above are my boys waiting patiently for Mommy and #3 to get on our Sunday accessories and get on our way to church. They were so sweet and patient and cute while they were waiting and watching me apply the lipstick and earrings, wrestle the big bow on the baby's head, find her prettiest blanket because the regular cotton one just wouldn't do, etc. I took a picture for posterity. Maybe I will show it to them one day when they are engaged and remind them of the patience that women require. PS...I cut their hair myself! I am learning slowly but surely how to be a good steward of what God has given us, which doesn't come naturally. I saved $25 on their hair and $15 when I cut my man's...I admit I immediately wondered what I could now buy with the $40 I saved, but I dismissed that thought and left it in the bank!
Thursday, November 09, 2006
So that was the down side, but isn't it just like God to have a silver lining? The up side was that I got to talk with some of the chaperones on the trip and be very encouraged for our road ahead with homeschooling. I got to see the most emotionally, academically and spiritually mature teenagers I have ever been around, and that was very encouraging! But most importantly, I learned something very important in my marriage. I learned that submitting to my husband is of upmost importance. I drove back home from a "failed trip" so tempted to have an "I-told-you-so" attitude towards my man. After all, who asks their wife to hit the road for 12 days with a newborn? But if I would not have heard God's sweet voice and listened, I would have missed out on so much. Yes the trip was a trial, but it was God's desire for me. My husband was not wrong in requiring me to go. I realized, by God's grace, the He is sufficient for me. I don't have to always be comfortable or organized or have it easy to be in His will. He taught me the strength I have when I look to Him. He allowed me to meet some amazing families and be encouraged enough to commit to homeschooling for the long run. He enabled me to not be mad at my husband for the mess we seemed to be in, but to seek out what God wanted me to learn. All of these lessons are things that I struggle with. I am constantly amazed at how God works in our lives.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Having said all of this I realize we are having four events at our house in one week! I am finally ready to join the land of the living after #3's birth. I am so excited to be at a point where we can open our home to our friends and family again. It is good to feel rested and be able to serve again. I'm sure I'll be blogging on how exhausted I am next week, but for now I am going to enjoy each fun day. I definitely need time alone, time with my kids, time alone with my man, etc. But right now I am just craving time with friends after the first 6 post partum weeks. This truly is like a week at Disney... all I am missing is a Starbuck's and a shopping spree to call it a vacation!
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
I almost forgot to carve jack-o-lanterns this year. The afternoon of Halloween I remembered and we all piled in the van to find the last remaining pumpkins. The perks were that the pumpkins were practically free ($1 each), and they were very ripe which made them soft and easy to carve. The kids drew their own designs on the pumpkins with a marker and their Daddy did the carving. I bought a kids' book at the Christian bookstore about Halloween. It talked mainly about not having a "spirit of fear" when they see pretend ghosts, etc. No impressive theology, but good preparation before trick-0r-treating. The night was so beautiful. The fall trees even looked amazing in the street light and the air was cool and crisp, but not frigid.
The baby stayed home happily with Daddy to hand out candy. She has always been mostly good natured, but since we cut out dairy and began a daily regimen of Zantac she had blossomed. She flirts and smiles now frequently. We are all captivated. She looked at #1 and smiled at him for the first time today. We were at the mall. There was hardly anyone there and the kids were waiting for me in the restroom. All of a sudden I hear #1 squeal and he screams, "Mama, Mama, she smiled at me!" It was the first thing he shared with his Daddy when we got home. My family blesses me so much each day!
Monday, October 30, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Well, yesterday I just could not take another conversation with him about Disney World. I did not want to hear again about Space Mountain. I did not want to be asked to tell him again about my memories of my last Disney trip. So I asked him to think of his own imaginary amusement park. I told him to go and dream it up and come back to me with fresh conversation. He quickly came back and said, "No girls allowed!" "What's that?", I asked. "That's the name of my amusement park." He is now in a dinosaur costume. "See, there will be scary stuff and roller coasters and dinosaurs." He then hears little #3 moan. He leans over to kiss her and quietly says, "Okay, there can be one princess playground...But that's it!!", and he leans over and kisses her. Sweet sisters change everything!
Thursday, October 12, 2006
As I think about my little darlings, I have so many hopes and dreams for them. My greatest desire is for them to have a deep love and zeal for the Lord Jesus. I pray that their love for Him will be the cornerstone of their lives. That should be paramount for any Christian parent. So I have been thinking beyond that to what makes our little family unique and how I can be purposeful in striving toward that end. I can't put my desires into words yet except that I hope and pray that we will always be deeply knit. That we will always share on a deep level the joys and trials of life. I hope that my children can have the respect and love for me that will bind us together for a life time. I pray that they will look fondly back on their childhood and feel blessed by it. Hmm, I'm still trying to find the words. After countless hours of nursing my little sweetheart, I've just been thinking...
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Today I knew we had a morning planned away from home and I wondered how the baby would do. I hated to get her out so soon. But the day was amazing. While the kids went to their music class, I nursed her in a chapel. It was dark and quiet and peaceful. Then she slept while we played on the playground with friends. I saw one of my dearest friends for the first time in a month and the fellowship was so nice. On the way home the most AMAZING moment of my day happened, it was a huge answer to prayer. My man called and asked if my mom could eat lunch with the kids and give us some time to have a date lunch together (with #3 in tow, of course.) I knew she would need to nurse right in the middle of lunch, but so what, I was game! We had the sweetest time together. Nothing romantic, just two best friends soaking up one another's company. I needed it SO much. I think my biggest problem yesterday was that my "love tank" was completely on empty. It had been too long since I had some cuddles and quality time with my sweetheart. The timing was perfect. The baby slept through the entire lunch, so it was more than I could have expected!
When we got home I knew we needed to have homeschool. On Tuesdays we do school in the afternoon which is not the best time for my boys to focus. It turned out to be a really great day in school. They did well and the baby slept through all four lessons. She must be going through her first growth spurt. She is eating like a little pig when she nurses, staying awake about 15 more minutes and then she is sleeping for 2 or more hours. Anyway, God was gracious to allow the events of the day to go so smoothly. It was convicting for me to see that life is so full of blessing and joy and that my melodrama is really silly. I am a thankful momma tonight.
Monday, October 02, 2006
The pattern here is not good, I know. I'm blaming it on the hormones. I am going to go and pray that God would give me a deep sense of the impact I am making on my children for eternity. I am going to pray that He will fill me with a deep sense of His love and calling for me. I am going to pray that He will take every thought captive. And, I'm not gonna lie, I am going to lay all of these requests before Him. And I am going to pray that He will help me to be realistic. The baby is only 11 days old. I think I have just been looking so forward to feeling good that I am rushing into everything. I'm exhausted!
Friday, September 29, 2006
I want a consensus. Don't you think the baby could have made Ripley's for this umbilical cord? I looked over and thought a shiny squash was hanging off of her navel! I know it's gross and I'm not trying to make her a freak show. But, have you ever seen such a thing??? They used forceps to clamp it because the traditional clamp was too small.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Today I read a newsletter from a dear friend who just had her fourth baby and is raising support to be an overseas missionary with her young family (husband, 6 yr old, 3 yr old, 18 month old, 1 month old). She quoted a book, Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss, which I have not read but have heard so much about. This quote is so beautiful and poignant to me right now as I type at the computer with a weak body, ratty hair and tired eyes. I am inspired and so deeply joyful.
After the birth of a new baby Elizabeth says,
"I shall now have one mouth the more to fill, and two feet the more to shoe; more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure for visiting, reading, music and drawing. This is one side of the story to be sure, but I look at the other. Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God, and the body in which it dwells is worthy of all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation, my other darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother's heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her life-long prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!"
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Before we go to the hospital, I wanted to post some pictures of the baby's nursery. This might not be interesting at all to anyone. But a while back I blogged on the changing table my husband was making for her and other decorating ideas and I thought some of you would enjoy seeing the finished product. I was really proud of my man for making his first piece of furniture for our little girl. It looks like a potter's bench from a garden, but of course the pastels make it soft and sweet for a baby girl's nursery. Also, remember the sewing project I talked about? I was going to recover the glider? Well...I ran out of time and found a local seamstress to do it. We actually just got it back today and I thought she did a good job. The fabric feels like a mixture of corduroy and velvet. It is really soft and comfy. The picture of the crib is hard to make out. The stars and dragonfly actually are suspended from the ceiling. I love the way they look and it will be fun for her to look up and see them, but I am a little worried that they will fall into her crib so they may not last. (I am so paranoid. My husband assured me that they are safely secured to the ceiling!) The wall with the window is painted pink with a scallop at the top. My husband worked so hard to make that scallop just right. But that too did not show up so well on the photo. Any how, that's the finished product. Again, I was going to sew curtains for her nursery but I some how ran out of time. (I am blaming it on homeschool! :) So I found these curtains at Pottery Barn and had her initials monogrammed on them.
I hope she enjoys it! Thank you for those who gave their advice on how to decorate and what you liked. We are happy with the way it turned out and more importantly it was such a fun step in getting excited about her birth and celebrating her. We are officially "on call" now with the hospital. A nurse will call within the next 48 hours to tell us to come in to start the induction. So I am signing off until we get back. Thanks so much for your prayers!!
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
The weather was so beautiful today. My friend has a newborn, so we plopped our behinds in camping chairs in the driveway and ordered the kids to play outside while we talked. They did for the next 3 hours, but there were so many interesting interruptions. First, her 17 month old fell and just about took a 6 foot plunge into the creek below. (They have a creek that runs under their driveway.) She was literally hanging in the monkey grass when we ran to retrieve her.) I think I pulled a muscle trying to run with my big belly, and Becca had her newborn baby in tow so she was not much faster. #1 was particularly bossy today and had to be reprimanded upteen times for not letting other people share their ideas. #2 ran up to the chair and impulsively grabbed Becca's cell phone and tossed it into her water cup. I have no idea why he did that, but we will probably be paying for a new phone for her. Oh, and #1 was in the garage playing with gymnastic rings and somehow wrapped the rope from the rings around his neck. It wasn't tight enough to hurt him, but a little scary none the less. We came home and my sweetie had dinner almost ready. While I bathed the muddy kids, he got fish, sweet potatoes and pasta on the table. It was delicious to me...but it took #2, our pickier eater, 1 hour and ten minutes to eat what was on his plate!
Can you tell by my tone that I am a little grumpy? I think I need to sign off and go and get a really good night sleep. That always gives me a new perspective!
Monday, September 18, 2006
We found out at the dr. that I am 3/4 cm dialated. So we are feeling good about being induced this week. We were planned for Friday, but might get moved up to Thursday. Tomorrow we will know a day and time. I am completely focussed on having this baby and can't seem to accomplish anything else. I am done nesting. I now have no desire to clean, cook or wash clothes. My husband has provided a cleaning crew for me right now, thank goodness. So at least I know that Wednesday I can count on them to clean the house really well.
That's all for us. Not much excitement today, just chuggin' along!
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Praying through this last week of pregnancy. I am really being tempted to worry and fear. I am about to put off homeschool to go and search scripture for some verses to encourage me. If you have any in mind, please comment!
Sunday, September 10, 2006
But beyond that, there is a new bond between he and #2. My little guy can absolutely not get enough of his Daddy! If they are in the same room, he is hugging him, on his shoulders, asking him questions, etc. The other day #2 got hurt and actually went to his Daddy for sympathy. It is the first time either of us can remember that we were both there and he chose Daddy. I know that it is no coincidence that this transition is happening right now as we are getting ready to have a baby. I am so thankful for what God is doing to their relationship. It makes it easier for me to see my baby become a big brother. Isn't it so amazing that our great, big God works out the simplest details and listens to the tiniest of prayers?
Friday, September 08, 2006
The kids came in to rest and then we decided to eat out. Mexican...mmm! The highlight was not the food, just the idea of not having to cook or clean. We stopped by the pond in our neighborhood and it was so cool and pleasant. We explored new trails and my sweetie gave the kids a mini science lesson on cicadas. Their "shells" were all over the trees. We also saw ducks, geese, turtles, fish and lots of mosquitoes! After a quick stop at the playground we came home and put them to bed. #1 prayed, "Dear God, Thank you for your world filled up with all of your creation. Thank you for the other planets too. But thank you for so much creation." What a day! Another day that I just sucked in slowly and wished would never end with these two amazing little boys. The weeks are flying by and I can't get enough of them...their faces, their words, their hugs and kisses. I feel overwhelmingly blessed today.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
We have been studying different types of animals this year in homeschool. First we studied farm animals and farming, then wild animals and the zoo and this week we are studying birds. I wanted to post some of our favorite projects. The first picture is of our clay monkeys. The second is of the kids feeding a calf at the dairy farm...my favorite field trip thus far! (That's my big belly in the picture.) The third is #1 finding the queen bee at the honey exhibit at the farmer's market. And the last is some animal creation that #1 made from his Kidnex toys. Tomorrow the kids are making bird houses with Dad. I'll post pictures, should be fun.
One of my highlights in school this week was #2's prayer for our day yesterday. He prayed an original that made me smile. "Dear Jesus, I just pway dat you have a good day. I hope your day goes well Jesus. In Jesus name, Amen!"
Also, reading clicked for #2 today. We used those Leap Frog refrigerator letters for reading lesson. I needed a break from 110 Easy Lessons...it's so monotonous! I started putting any and every 3 letter word I could think of together. He was sounding them out and reading! I was so excited that Daddy was down stairs and got to be a part of our big day. We were all jumping up and down (well, I was sortof jumping, maybe bouncing) and clapping and yelling. It was so sweet! As exhausted and sometimes even worthless as I feel, somehow we are getting school accomplished and the year is really going well in terms of learning and fun. Now if only I can get the rest of our life in order (laundry, bills, errands, etc.etc.etc.)!
Sunday, September 03, 2006
1. You are a walking testimony that God knows what to give us even when we don't know what to ask for. I prayed for a daughter when you were in my tummy. I really believed that I already had a son and I needed you to be a girl. What in the world would my life be like if I always got what I asked for? Your "boyhood" makes our family just what it is. You are a patient, loving, entertaining, amazing brother. I am SO thankful that I have two sons and not just one. What a blessing!
2. Your blue eyes, sweet perfect nose, white teeth, and round face are absolutely breath taking to me. Every single day I look at your face and you make me smile adoringly. You have the most animated facial expressions I have ever seen!
3. You are so sweet and lovable. You are easy to get along with, apologetic, affectionate, and bubbly. The big, amazing spirit that God gave you is contagious and fun and brings so much life to our house!
4. You are fun to homeschool. You learn fast and you are attentive. You are a kinesthetic learner and take everything apart. If anything is broken in our house, I always look for you, and you always smile and confess proudly. You are amazing with numbers and writing. When you feel joy or are excited about an accomplishment, you scream with joy. You melt my heart. Happy birthday!!
Friday, September 01, 2006
We started a countdown today with the kids. It worked well into our lesson because we are talking about tally marks in math. There are only 21 little tally marks between today and the day I meet my little girl!
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
And I'm not just going crazy to get the nursery done. I make these lists for myself that are out of control each day. Yesterday I made a list of 22 things that need to be done. I kindof thought that I might get them done all yesterday. (And if I wasn't pregnant, by golly, I would have!) Of course, the list did not include dishes, laundry, cooking or homeschooling, you know the usual stuff. So I went to bed with 4 accomplished tasks from that crazy list. I think I may have done 4 more today. Some of the things are not necessities, but most of them are. (Like grocery shopping and going to get books for our new unit study that started 2 days ago.) How did I get so far behind? I think when you become a homeschooler, you have to be willing to do things around the house after they go to bed. Most days it takes until 12:30 to finish school. Then lunch. And then I feel like the kids need to get out of the house and at least breathe fresh air, or on a lot of days see a friend or two. By the time that is all over with it seems I am moving toward cooking dinner, then cleaning the kitchen, taking baths, reading books...and then OOPS! It is 8:00. Normally that is when I put up the laundry, clean out the messy car, prepare for the next day of school, etc. Well, at this stage of pregnancy I am done with my day by 8:00. So I guess that is where I am coming up short, just lacking that hour or two at night. Hmm...I guess I'll just have to prioritize. But no matter how much I try to not let it bother me, it just does. I guess I am and always will be fundamentally a little anal.
Monday, August 28, 2006
My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We met the first weekend of our first year in college. By the time I turned 18 a few months later, we were head over heels in love. So he has been my only heart throb during my entire adult life. I've heard of a lot of statistics about people who get married young like we did. I'm sure the general consensus would be that I did not know enough about myself or my future to be able to commit myself completely to someone else. But we were extremely blessed to have complete support from our church and family when we got married. And looking back, I really didn't have a clue where I was going or what I was doing, but I did understand the gospel and God's plan for marriage. We were, at least well prepared spiritually.
So Friday night was a big celebration time for us. We left the children with my mom and my sweetie had a surprise date planned for us. (I love surprises. He plans a secret date once or twice a year and it is so exciting!) We went to the most beautiful restaurant. We had a window view of the lake, the landscape was beautiful. Dinner was great. After dinner he wanted me to open my present. I unwrapped it and inside was the most beautiful ring. It has three gorgeous diamonds in a row. I was floored! I have only received jewelry a handful of very special times in my life. I was really not expecting it at all. But what he had to say when I opened the gift was the sweetest moment of the night.
I didn't start this blog until the drama had settled in our life, so I think only 2 people who might be reading know what we have been through this last year. Wow, it's hard to look back and see that so much could go wrong and right in one year. It's definitely been the most eventful year of my life. To try to make a long story a little shorter, I'll start with our last anniversary. The very day of our anniversary I shared with my husband that we were pregnant. A couple of weeks later the morning sickness began. We struggled along, excited but tired until around Halloween when we found out that we had lost the baby. Actually I found out first when I was by myself at a routine check-up. That was really horrible, especially having to call and tell my husband over the phone. We have such a great family and friends who surrounded us during that time. I had no idea how hard it would be to mourn that loss. My #1 named her "Sarah", so that is how we refer to that baby. Of course we never knew for sure that she was a girl. During the following days of sadness is when I found the verse that lead to the hope we found to try again for another baby. "Weeping comes for a night, but joy comes in the morning." I knew that God would eventually give me a little girl that I would name Joy. I have to admit that part of me wondered if Joy would be a Chinese girl that we would later adopt. After a miscarriage, it was hard for me to imagine carrying a healthy baby full term, especially a girl. But this verse gave me peace on tough days. God's grace and love were so real and tangible to me during our loss that there is no way to describe the faith-builder that this time was for me.
In December we had another really challenging time in our family. Through a series of events I discovered that my husband had struggled to keep his mind and eyes pure. Without revealing the details, I'll just say that I also found out that this struggle had almost lead to an affair a couple of years ago. This blow to our marriage was by far the lowest point in my life. I have never felt more insecure or confused. My husband is a godly man with a servant heart. He is typically incredibly loyal and giving. To think that he had succumbed to the temptation to lust after other women or had been very tempted to actually have a physical relationship with one rocked me to the core. I spent about two weeks with no sleep, unless I took medication to help me rest. I woke up many times having nightmares or overwhelming feelings of anxiety. My world had changed forever and it was shocking, to say the least. Of course, looking back I feel extremely blessed that he had not had an affair, nor did he have any addictive behaviors. None the less, we were at a crossroads. A lot had been lost, particularly trust and security.
Leaving out a lot of details, once again my Savior's presence was real and amazing. I was able to forgive out of the overflow of love and forgiveness that I have found in Christ. My husband was so broken and humble, in need of the same mercy that I need and have tasted. We spent a solid week alone. We poured out our hearts to one another. Our marriage was forever changed. Trust is a hard thing to build back. But I came to a point many times where I had to rely on the power of the gospel in his life. Did I really believe that the gospel transforms a broken, contrite heart? And he was the most humbled, broken person I have ever seen. If I did, then I had to let go and trust God when I was not with him. Somehow I did. (Meanwhile, he went to our pastor for counseling, sought out counsel from friends and family, had three accountability partners, and we prayed together often for protection.) We did not underestimate Satan's ability to attack. But God poured his love and protection over us both.
During this time of reconcilliation, I can not describe the oneness that I felt with my husband. And during that time, #3 was conceived. The following months have been incredible. The depth of love and gratitude that I feel for my man and boys is indescribable. The faith that I have in my Lord is tried and true. And here we are at our tenth anniversary, stronger than ever. Only a God that created the universe and holds us in the palm of His hand could accomplish that! It is amazing to look at our marriage and know that we have been through the valleys and are still running the race, and loving it!
I hope that someone will be encouraged by our story or will be able to remember it when they go through a similar circumstance. Also, I want you all to see what an amazing God we serve and how his love can heal even the deepest wounds. I am amazed at how he transforms hearts and lives. I am looking forward to a lifetime with my precious husband as we follow Jesus in faith. "Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be the glory forever."
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Case in point, we were just sitting at lunch. Homeschool is over for the day. He was asking me if I had ever seen a Lilo and Stitch movie. Literally 10 seconds of silence pass and he asks, "What does the tooth fairy look like?" I say, "I don't know, I've never seen her." I see the wheels begin to turn. He tells me for this new loose tooth (He is wiggling his 5th loose tooth, first one to be loose on the top) he is going to paint a special bag to put the tooth in. 10 more seconds of silence pass. He says with a big grin, "Well, there must be magic in this world. Otherwise, how could reindeer fly?" I knew he would go from tooth fairy to Santa. I hold my breath waiting on the big question about Santa. 10 more seconds of silence pass. Then he smiles again and says to himself, "Yeah, and if there is really magic, I bet I can find the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." 10 more seconds of silence pass. And then he says, "Thank you for the food. May I be excused?"
I'm taking a deep sigh of relief right now.
Monday, August 21, 2006
One of those things is my LOVE of being with others. Poor guy, I married this precious man who is so perfectly content to be alone, at least some of the time. Don't get me wrong, I have never met a single person who didn't like him or want to be his friend. His is funny and friendly and loyal, but he is much more content to just be. I am writing all this to say that I am annoyed with myself! Today we had a great day. Nothing special, but good. I got plenty of things done around the house, we got everything done that I wanted to accomplish during school, etc. I even got to see my college roommate for a quick visit as she and her family were passing through town. (This was the highlight of my day. She lives in Paris and we only see each other every few years. I met her 18 month old for the first time today!) Anyway, so my man has plans to have dinner with two friends who both need advice. I was more than happy for him to go and be a good friend. Really, I was! But the minute he walked out the door I was lonely. WHY? I can't explain it. I spent several hours with a good friend, the kids and I had been together all day, and I still wanted more!
Have any of you ever read the Love Languages book by Gary Smalley? Well if you have, you know that there are 5 ways that people give and receive love. Not surprisingly, my top two are physical touch and quality time together. Of course, my husband would rate those on the bottom of his list. He is an acts of service guy. (The other two "languages" are words of affirmation and gift giving.) Since we read that book together 10 years ago when we first got married, my husband is incredible at "speaking my language". I have gotten better at what I expect. I just wish that I could learn to be happier when I am by myself. What's the deal?
Friday, August 18, 2006
There she is! Notice little Miss Nose Picker. Isn't she sweet? That thing on the side of her face is not a really big ear, by the way. There is so much fluid and stuff to cloud the picture. But get a load of her cheeks? I asked if all 34 week olds have cheeks this big and the ultrasound tech said no!
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
When we drove home from the doctor, I was so elated. A beautiful girl who looks healthy. It's so awesome after our miscarriage last year to keep getting these positive reports. I am so much more grateful after what we have gone through. I just can not wait to meet this little soul! So we drove up to the house and there was a package for me. A family member sent the sweetest dress, booties and blanket I have ever seen. The dress says, "Fairest among the roses" and has roses sewn into it. I tried to post a picture, but it doesn't do it justice at all. Even my mom wants little #3 to wear this dress home from the hospital instead of the actual dress that I wore home from the hospital! It was just a special night of anticipation and...joy!
Today we were rushing home from the library at 5 pm. I was so overwhelmingly exhausted that I caught myself yawning every 10 seconds. I began to feel a little anxious about every life that depends so heavily on me right now. I thought of my baby that is sucking up all of my energy and depends on me for everything. I looked at my little boys in the back seat that are depending on me for their education, security, and SO much more. I thought of my poor husband who has given a million percent to help me out and is now requesting some "intimate" time with him. I began to feel like I just didn't have any more to give to any of them! I am emotionally, physically and spiritually having the life sucked right out of me! And instantaneously God allowed this song to play from one of my favorite cds. The lyrics said, "Take my body and build it up. May it be broken as an offering of love. I have nothing, nothing without You." The Spirit used this song to automatically turn my exhaustion into pure joy. I began to think what an honor it is that these four people depend on me for things that NO ONE ELSE can provide for them! God chose me alone. I came home feeling still tired, but truly excited about the tasks before me. I really do love being a wife and mom and I am so thankful for a God who never ceases to soften my heart and show me how blessed I am!
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
So, I mentioned I was blessed by two sweet souls today. My friend was the first and my precious husband was the second. He is paying a cleaning crew to come and clean the house on Friday. OH MY GOSH! I literally teared up when he called and told me today. This Friday, I was planning to clean the entire house, buy all of the birthday party supplies, and cook a big dinner for out-of-town guests by 5 pm. I am so relieved that he was so thoughtful!! Yeah! He also told me at dinner that he had planned our anniversary date. On August 31 #2 turns four and we will have our 10th anniversary. We have always planned on Paris for our 10th. I don't think it would be a good idea just a few weeks before the baby is born, so we are settling for some kind of special date here in town. I am excited just to have a night out. I told him that maybe we could go to Paris on our 12 1/2 anniversary...you know, half way to the silver anniversary.
I really was going to post pictures tonight, but...my man borrowed my digital for work and I don't have a clue where it is. I promise, promise to post pictures soon.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
I will post some funny stories and pictures soon. I miss hearing from you all!
Thursday, July 27, 2006
I can't explain how exhausted I am! I had to lay down and take a nap today. There was no getting around it! But after the nap and a big burrito at Moe's (okay, and an ice cream cone from Baskin Robbins)...I feel a second wind. If you have the time, please pray for energy for us. God has been extremely gracious to bless a with a sense of humor that we have never had during a move. For some reason (maybe, being slap happy) we are able to laugh at just about everything. One thing that I thought was funny was #1 keeps asking, "What does a closing look like?" I explain to him that you sit in an office and just sign papers and exchange money. Then he repeats, "NO!! What does a closing LOOK like?" There is no telling what image he has conjured in his little head, but he is determined that a closing is a living, breathing person.
That's all for now. A day and a half to go until we are moved in! And #3 will be here in 7 weeks. The countdown begins!
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Anyway, mission accomplished. We accomplished many other menial, yucky tasks like getting all of the storage boxes out of the attic, going through all of the boys' toys and organizing/trashing, and I made #1's space invitations for his birthday party. I also wrote an article for our church's women's ministry newsletter. It will probably be the most worthless piece of reading that any of them have ever read. But today was the day to at least get the first draft done and I did accomplish that. Praise the Lord that the kids were having a blast at VBS and I didn't have to worry about them.
I guess tomorrow will consist of more hours on the phone with utility companies and I think I'll tackle the bedroom closet. Also, I am going to take a ton of stuff to a consignment sale. Might as well let our trash be someone else's treasure, right?
Question of the day: What is your opinion on having a joint party for siblings? I am thinking of doing that this year. I feel a little guilty because birthdays are very special days around here. We try very hard to emphasize JESUS at Christmas, and not focus on gifts for the kids. (Of course, we go the grandparent's houses and that philosophy is null and void.) But on birthdays I really try to celebrate my little one's life. I try to make their big day individual and special. I am always abiding by a strict budget, so it's not so much about the money invested, just about the celebration. So I wonder if having a joint party would be a big let down. Our boys' birthdays are 31 days apart and I'm just not sure if I can handle planning two parties as I unpack the new house and prepare for the baby's birth.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
That's it for now. I know these details sound boring, but I feel inclined to post them just to proclaim God's grace and providence. He has lined up each and every detail beyond what we could have imagined. This process has been incredible to be a part of! If I think of it, I will post a few pictures tomorrow when I am on my computer. Gotta go get ready for the college group from church to come over. Isn't that hillarious? They will have paper plates and plastic utensils to eat with. We have furniture to sit on, but absolutely nothing else to enjoy. There are boxes everywhere. Oh well!
Oh, quick funny story. I took #1 to the ENT this week. He likes to STUDY the anatomy pictures on the wall. Right as the doc walked in his proclaims LOUDLY,"Oh, great. More private parts posted on the wall. I asked, "What do you mean?" He says, "Look, (pointing to a picture of the opening of the larynx), there is the woman's hole opening where the baby comes out!" I sink in my chair. It did look a lot like the "woman's private part". Maybe I should rethink taking this kid with me to the OB/GYN! We had noticed that he was studying the graphic posters. I justified that they at least were drawings and not real photographs. Yikes! I am NOT ready for the birds and the bees talk yet.
Friday, July 21, 2006
The neatest little blessing showed that God is concerned about my silly heart. I reluctantly agreed to give our frig away with the sell of our current home. Only a stay-at-home weird mom could say this, but I LOVE my frig. The drawers pull out. The door has the little ice and water spouts and the water tastes so good! (Even though we did let a fudgesicle melt in the water line during our last move. :) ) Well, low and behold the exact same frig comes with the sell of this home that we love. The same stinkin' one! Unbelievable!
So last night we made an offer. We should hear by 3pm whether it is accepted or countered. I pray this will all work out. Incidentally, I have already mentally decorated the house and the Christmas tree will be in the front window on the left. :)
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
In spite of the obvious chaos, I am PRAISING God for the timing of the move. We will easily be settled into our house before September. #3 will actually have a nursery to come home to (not that she cares). And I can postpone homeschool for a couple of weeks and then begin without interruption (until the baby comes that is). And I don't have to keep the house in perfect order and clean each and every time we leave! In fact, until our house is empty I will probably not be cleaning at all!
Well, that's our crazy week so far!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
-Quote of the day by #1: "Mommy, I am scared of your feet. They look really old. Why do they look so old and when will they heal? *Note to self: Remind the airbrush tanning lady to go easy on the feet next time.
-Most entertaining toy of the day: The boys had a blast putting the little pretend belly pillow under their shirts and acting pregnant. That game went over really well until the third store when they began to throw the pillows at one another and one of them got a velcro strip in the eye.
-Buy of the day: I found an adorable maternity dress for my baby shower! It's a strapless sundress, black with pink polka dots and a big pink bow below the bust line. Again, no batteries in camera so I will post a picture later. My neighbor came by and saw it and asked, "Now how do you make strapless dresses stay up? She obviously has not noticed the two foreign objects below my neck that are getting bigger by the hour. I had to buy a new strapless bra today and I am still thinking that they surely sewed the wrong size in the one that fit!
-Gift of the day: My mom bought me the cutest little diaper bag/backpack! It is extremely feminine, mint green and pink with flowers all over it and #3's name monogrammed in pink. I've waited a long time to buy all of this girly stuff and it has been really fun! But I will admit it is impractical. I will be emptying and washing that pastel diaper bag upteen times a week. Oh well!
-Experience of the day: Earlier this week we volunteered at a homeless ministry. We picked up food at a local restaurant and took the boys to help serve with us. There were around 40 people there. #1, who is eager to visit Disney World, was listening as one of the men in line shared with us his history. He had been to culinary school and worked for years at Epcot as a French chef. My prayer is that the boys will see themselves and their Savior in the faces of the people we served. #1 was a little more withdrawn. There is no telling what questions he will ask during the upcoming weeks about being homeless. He likes to "sit on it" for a while. But #2 found an empty seat and a roll and went about his business of smiling, gabbing and making himself at home. I want God to continue to give us His heart for those in need. I pray that we can embody mercy and along the way learn more about our gracious heavenly Father and His grace for us!
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
That's my serious post. On a lighter note...I have a suggestion for all of you stay-at-home moms who don't have time to think about yourselves, especially for those of you who are pregnant. Bear with me now...AIRBRUSH TANNING!!! I know it sounds cheesy. But, today I gave it a try. It is suppose to be perfectly safe, even if you are pregnant. I am agreeing with a friend who recently said and I quote, "Tan flab is more attractive than pale flab." It's true! My poor stomach has not gotten any sun since I was pregnant with my first son, 6 years ago! I actually wore a maternity bikini, until...the last month. You guessed it, I got "love marks" as #1 would say. You know the permanent "marks" across the belly from too much stretching? Well, my stomach is nice and tan and the love marks look so much better! I decided I needed a "glow" for my baby shower which is this weekend. I also got my hair cut and highlighted today. The boys were so sweet. When my man got home from a meeting, they made me hide and told them they had a surprise. Then they walked him in the kitchen with his eyes closed and yelled, "Isn't mommy beautiful?" Love really is blind, isn't it? I was flattered just the same. Tomorrow I am on a search for a pink dress for the shower. Anyway, just call me "fake and spray", but I'm telling you the airbrush tan is worth a try! I'll post pictures to prove my point when I get new batteries for the camera.
Monday, July 03, 2006
My projects for the day were to price items for a consignment sale and make burp cloths for #3. I definitely need to brush up on my sewing skills. Sadly, it took me over an hour to make these two little burp cloths! My sister-in-law is going to monogram her name in pink on the pastel one and her initials in orange on the bright one. I have materials to make four more this week. I am hoping to be faster with each one! I am itching to make curtains for her room as well. But since we are moving and I don't know where we are going, I have no idea how many/what size her windows will be. I guess I am just having the urge to nest a little. But it is impossible to "nest" when all of the baby items are packed in storage boxes. We have 10 1/2 weeks to go! Pray our house is under contract in the next few weeks!
Friday, June 30, 2006
From my man:
I particularly enjoyed this devotional. It reminds me of Christ’s deep love for us and is a good reminder for me in how I am to treat you- as you are my bride. May I represent Christ in our marriage and may you be able to enter every room of my life and enjoy all that I have.
"The glory that You gave me, Father, I have given to them."--John 17:22Take a good and long look at the overwhelming generosity of the Lord Jesus for He has given us His all. Although a tenth of His possessions would have made a universe of angels rich beyond all comprehension, He was not content until He had given us all that He had. It would have been surprising grace if He had only allowed us to eat the crumbs of His bounty beneath the table of His mercy; but this isn’t how He operates. He provides us with a seat next to Him at the feasting table! Had He given us some small pension from His royal coffers, we would have a good enough reason to love Him eternally. But no! He makes His bride as rich as Himself, and He will share ALL of his wealth with her.He has been content with nothing less than making us joint-heirs with Himself so that we might have equal possessions. He has emptied all that He owns into the coffers of the Church, and shares all His wealth with those He loves. There isn’t a single room in His house that His people can not enter and enjoy. He gives them full liberty to take all they want from His treasury, and they can draw from His all- sufficiency as freely as they breathe the air around them.Christ has put the cup of His love and grace to the believer's lips and invites him to drink forever— a cup that will never be empty. [M&E]
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
*Soapy water splashed from the sink on to the walls and floor
*Bad attitude for being asked to clean up water
*"I'll wun away if you spank me!", dramatically delivered by #2 when his attitude was followed up with discipline
*Somehow they got the tivo to replay "So you think you can dance" and I came in just in time to hear #2 say. "I fink dey are gonna kiss" as they watched a pair do ballroom dancing
*Sand poured into hair
*About 50 books were brought to me from the bookshelf to read and then put in a reject pile when I pointed to the phone to say that I could not read to them
*#2 got his foot stuck in the cushion as he dangled upside down off of the sofa
*#2 got out a ton of train tracks, not to play trains, but to use as "bones" as he was pretending to be a doggy, which he carried all around the house and "buried"
*And finally, beautifully, #1 found 3 good books, put #2 in his lap and read to him
Do I get the mommy award today or what?
Monday, June 26, 2006
Jesus, keep my focus on YOU today. I pray that you are glorified in how I spend my time. Change the hearts of each of us in this little family to your likeness!
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Thank you, sweet Father, for answering my heart's desire when I couldn't even articulate it. Thank you that you care so much for me that you can bless me, even after my big pity party. Thank you that in your great love for your creation, you have given me people who love me so much, in spite of myself!