Thursday, December 31, 2009

Baby News and Other Randomness

It's almost the New Year and I have yet to do my Christmas post. I'm going with the whole, we were all sick Christmas week excuse. I had forgotten how long it takes me to get back to feeling well when I'm pregnant. So, I hope to post some pictures in the next few days.

We are having our second to last Christmas tomorrow with Doug's extended family. I'm so excited to go see his grandparents. It's been several weeks and being with them reminds me of being with my Mamaw and Papaw growing up. There's just something about grandma's from that era. :)

In baby news...

We've got another wild child on our hands I think. This baby started kicking hard enough for me to feel at only 14 weeks. By 15, I noticed that the baby gets hiccups at least three times a week (that I can feel).

I had my four month appointment yesterday and finally met the midwife in the practice. She is amazingly nice. I love that she took a ton of time with me and she even took me down for ultrasound. It was just for fun, so no real details to share. After all the kicks and punches I've been feeling I thought the baby might be moving around quite a bit. But on the ultrasound yesterday, the baby was very laid back, placid, just trying to suck it's thumb. I think I might have gotten a peek at the gender, but I'm not sure. I'll let you know if we can find out at the official ultrasound in a few weeks.

The boy name is narrowed down to two...no girls names yet. I love the name Caitlyn, but Doug doesn't. And I found out it's my brother's fav girl name. So, I kind of feel bad about using it. Any suggestions?

Have any of you seen The Blind Side or the Chipmunks movie? Doug and I were thinking about making our first trip to the theatre since Sweet Home Alabama came out for The Blind Side. My poor husband loves the theatre and I really don't like going. It's just the sticking to the floor, watching teens make out, germs everywhere yuck that I really hate. I'm weird on that kind of stuff. :)

I'm also looking for fun traditions to start with the kids on New Years Eve. Do you have any fun things you do with your kids?

It's time to bring the randomness to a close. I hope you all have a safe, fun new year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Winner!

I used random.org to pick the winning number....

#15 -which is Mimi!

Send me an email and I will get this sent to you after Christmas.

Thanks to everyone who came and left comments. And if you didn't win, you know where to find this awesome art now. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

GIVE AWAY

Comments are now closed! Mimi, I'm using my mom's comment as your second entry! I'll post the winner later tonight or tomorrow morning!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Yes!

Finally!

Or maybe it's just me who is excited.

Remember my telling you about our good friend Mike. Well he has his own website up now. Thanks in large part to my dad. Many (but not all) of Mike's beautiful work is posted at shekinahwoodturning. com. Mike's work ranges from beautifully practical to artfully exquisite. Really, you should go take a look. :)

A few months ago, Doug and I headed out his way to take some pictures, purchase a piece for a give away, and Doug worked on a piece. Mike is teaching Doug the art of lathe turning. I sat on the porch with Lynn (his wife) and watched the kids playing in the yard and climbing around in the garage while Daddy worked.

Many of Mike's pieces sit in the garage waiting to be tagged, priced, and put on the website.

I love how this one sits finished on an unfinished block of wood that is waiting to be turned.

Mike gave me a piece for to give away, but I fell in love with it. So, I'm going to have to get back out there and compensate him for it. Here's the give away: it is a beautiful vase he made with some wonderful character to it. (It stand about 6 inches tall and is made from maple.)


Want to know how to win?
I thought so. :)Leave a comment for each of the following you do. I'll do the random number thing. This is open for one week.

Leave a comment for one entry.

Check out his website and look for your favorite piece. Tell me which it is!

Blog about it and leave a link to his website -mine is optional!

Send a twitter or a tweet or whatever you call it with his website included!

This is not a promo for me or my blog so you don't need to link back here. Mike has put many hours into making wonderful vases, bowls, and art. I would love to see him get a little exposure for his work. Maybe even sell a few pieces. :) I hope you have fun looking and please, spread the word. Happy shopping!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hope's Party and the Lady Bug Cake

Although Hope didn't turn two until yesterday, we celebrated on Sunday with extended family for convenience. It was a blast. I simplified the menu and we spent time with family and friends who are like family. Hope was wonderful. She was acting very much like a two year old that morning, but cheered up after her nap. She hugged her baby cousin....
She loved her presents.... (She even gave hugs and said thank you!) She even said thank you and hugged for her gifts.
She was able after much effort to blow her own candles out. Then smiled one last time for me to get this picture.
Ate cake and ice cream like a champ.


After the whole icing fiasco, I was a little nervous about decorating her cake. With Doug's help on the detail work (he shaped the body and put on all the spots and eyes,) we finished it with an hour and a half to spare. That is a first in our house. We put the cake up on top of a dresser so we didn't have a repeat of Macy eating the cake. There was no way I could bake and decorate this one in 40 minutes.

She was so worn out and slept until 10 am on her birthday; her present to Mommy I think. :) We had again her birthday night. We ate left over cake. Followed by her opening her presents from our family. Yes, you are seeing correctly. We bought our own child a drum. She absolutely loves music and so do Ty and Becca. Much of the day was spent having a marching band parade around the home. I'll take the noise if it means peace among the siblings. And for today, it did!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

Happy Birthday, Hope. I cannot believe two years have flown by so fast. I will never forget the first time I laid eyes on you with all your beautiful black hair and bright blue eyes. You looked nothing like either of your siblings. Daddy and I were so in love with you from the start.

You came home when you were just 25 hours old. Even though there was a mountain of snow we headed right back out so you could meet your Grandma and Grandpa Bishop. It was the first time Grandma was able to see any of her grandbabies before they were a few days old. I'll never forget her saying your name over and over so she could remember it. You laid on her chest and she stared down at you, your eyes mirroring her blue.

Now you have my brown eyes, but Grandma and Daddy's sense of humor and desire for independence. You love to laugh, talk on the phone, play with your babies, and do "school" with Ty and Becca. You tell jokes, and sometimes they are actually funny. You love to "snuggle buggle" and pretend to be dog. Your favorite phrase right now is "stop it" which you use often on any and all members of this house, including the dogs. You are always "hungy" and in the pantry looking for "cookie monstersts" which is anything from raisins to crackers to cookies to cereal.

You still love your "blankely" and "pacifriwer." I'm not in a hurry for you to give them up either. Part of me wants to hang onto the baby in you forever.

We waited and prayed so long for you. God has blessed our lives richly through your laugh, your love and your crazy antics. I cannot imagine going through life without being your mommy and I treasure this time with you.

I love you so much, baby girl. Happy Birthday!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Just in Case!

We are getting ready for Hope's 2nd birthday party. She wants a ladybug cake.
In the process of making the ladybug cake I have learned an important lesson. Never use Wilton's food coloring in large amounts.

After $6 in red food coloring, lots of stained fingers I achieved the perfect red. Fire Engine, ladybug red perfection. The big kids asked for a bite and I obliged. After all, what's the fun of a birthday without a few licks of icing. Right?

A few minutes later they were panting in the living room. "It burns." They kept saying. Doug was watching a football game and it didn't really register. They told me, "it's really pretty red, but it tastes awful." "Really?" I didn't want to believe them. Doug suggested I taste it. In retrospect, bad idea. Pregnant women should not taste things their kids tell them tastes nasty. But, I have a thing with tasting stuff. Kind of like sniffing stuff. Remember?

So I tasted. And bad things happened. The burn of alcohol stayed and stayed in my mouth. I tried to fix and tasted again. Will I never learn?

I am so thankful for a husband who was willing to run into the bad part of town while a football game was on to get red icing for our daughter's birthday cake from the only bakery store in town open. And it even tastes good. Yes, I checked.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas seems to be a magical time of year, doesn't it? Innate savers turn into generous spenders. Grouchiness turns into uncontrollable grins. I love it. Silver Bells is one of my favorite songs because it captures the feeling of the season so well. That song puts into words exactly how I feel the season should be.

This year I've been thinking about Christmas a little differently. A friend who used to go to church with my family wrote a Christmas song. The chorus is something like this "You can't have the manger without the cross. If you believe in the baby you'll still be lost. The baby grew up and died for our sin. Believe in the crucified Jesus and be born again." Though it had been years since I last heard the song, it has stayed with me.

We celebrate Christmas. But I wonder, what is the heavenly perspective on the day of Christ's birth?

The past few years have been difficult for our family. There are many factors there, but they all have a common thread. Though my heart aches, and the hearts of people I love ache, our spirits rejoice. We know that heaven rejoiced in Christ's birth. Angels, stars, gifts.... But heaven knew what was coming in the years ahead. Hurt, brokenness, pain, suffering, separation. I wonder, did heaven's heart ache that day? Did God shed a tear for His only Son that day?

This year as we celebrate Christmas, I want to remember that this season too is a season of sacrifice. A throne to a manger. Commander of the angels, to washer of feet. Worshiped, to object of scorn. This list is so long. He gave so much more than His perfect blood. He gave up heaven.

He came.

I am forever grateful.

Though our hearts ache, our spirits rejoice. I praise God that He has given us a High Priest Who can sympathize. Because He came.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ever Had One of Those Days?

Tuesday was that day in our house.

After waiting over and hour in a tiny doctors office with me Monday, the kids were full of energy. I can't blame them. They went from cousins, cousins, and more cousins and my parents huge yard, to back home and they were ready to run.

I started school early in hopes of getting through all our lessons and getting them out to play. Then morning sickness reared it's ugly head. From my post on the couch we read, did English, worked on math, discussed living vs non living. Then blessed freedom. Hope was down for a nap and the big kids were playing outside.

Until I heard the scream. Becca had fallen and scraped her arm. Which is only noteworthy because anytime Becca's arms get hurt we worry. Her four broken bones have taught us much. So I prayed and iced and prayed and checked and prayed and watched. After the tears subsided, she went about her business as though nothing had happened.

I headed downstairs to do some long awaited laundry. While at my parents for three days, my sister did laundry for us. (Thanks, Meg!) So there hadn't been a pressing need to go downstairs. *Side note - Our basement is unfinished. Its purpose is storage and a place to do laundry* As I put in the load of laundry I was surveying what needed to be washed next. Out of the corner of my eye I see something I didn't know we had. A black and white fur...something? On closer inspection I realize I am looking at a dead cat. In my basement. I about puked. I went upstairs where the most beautiful sight greeted me. My husband. There is a God and He is good. I whispered so the kids didn't hear, "There's a dead cat in our basement." No "Hi, honey. How was your day?" here. No, ma'am. There were important things to take care of.

Can I just say I have an amazing husband.

Doug had to leave to work on a extra job he had picked up. The kids and I head back outside with Hope. When it was time to go in, I asked the kids to pick up the yard. A few minutes later I heard a scream. This one was more urgent. I ran to the door and asked what had happened. Here is the explanations.

"I was putting a rock back and I threw it and Becca walked into it. She should have been looking."

Oh. My. Gosh.

I was so thankful to put those sweet little bodies in bed that night. And I pray one of "Those" days isn't due to come around again for a while.

Monday, November 23, 2009

So....

You all were right! Tyler did win that game of chess. But, I wasn't the one he beat. Although if you'd ask the kids, they would say I was. For the sake of family peace I took over a losing child's place. It's totally worth it to have an afternoon with fewer squabbles. Especially during the first trimester.

Once again, you were right. Brandi and Laura, I'm impressed. Thanks, Marley's Mama (aka - my big sis) for not giving it away. I didn't take that picture with the new baby in mind but when I was trying to figure out how to share the news on here the four pumpkins lent themselves nicely to the cause. :)

Next June we are expecting our fourth little one. AND, the baby is due the week of Mom #2's birthday! It' just icing on the cake for us. We are so sad to not be able to share this joy with her, but the blessing of this child's birthday being near hers makes a small connection that we feel has God's fingerprints all over it.

Now if you'll excuse me the baby wants the French onion soup I have simmering. :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Random

I'm always amazed that once I get out of my blogging routine that I seem to have a hard time getting back into it. I love to blog, to share bits of myself and to read all your blogs and find out bits about you.


I think that's been one of the best things about not blogging. I don't log in and check to see how many comments I have, I check to see how many of my "friends" have blogged. I love reading about your families, your life, your quirks, your pets.... I love that blogging is not about me. It's about the people I have connected with.


So to that end, thanks! Thanks for emailing and checking on me when I've gone missing. Thanks for reading what I've written and commenting. Thanks for sharing your life with me too! I'm so grateful for this little community that is forming in my little world.


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The past few weeks there has been some time to focus on my man. He turned thirty, and I have nary a picture to prove there were two parties thrown for him. I swear we had so much fun. The kids and I shopped for little gifts for him and had a blast eating tacos and key lime pie. Hope was really funny to watch eating such a sweet and sour combo. Becca decided, "she's still learning to like it" and Tyler offered to finish her piece for her.


I threw a modified surprise party for him. I am great at keeping everyone's confidences, but I have a weakness for telling Doug everything I'm doing. Everything. Even surprises I'm working on for him. So I'm growing slightly wiser and told him I was inviting a few of his friends over. His friends -meaning the group of guys he's been hanging out with since jr. high. But I also invited family and friends from church. He swears he didn't, but when one of the couples from our small group (also some of his favorite people in the world) walked in, he looked at me and said "YOU JERK!" It took him until then (after a good 10 people he didn't know were coming had already walked in) to figure it all out. I laughed so hard I about wet myself. We had a blast with everyone who came by. Thanks you all for making it such a great day for my man!


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Being the wonderful man my husband is, he took all three kids to go do a side job with him. God bless the man, but I should have known better. The kids were CRAZY. Hope was playing on the laptop. Tyler was ceaselessly blowing a whistle. I'm really glad I wasn't there to witness it all. Cristi, would you tell your parents we're really sorry?


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Remember forever and two months ago I promised a giveaway? It's still coming. Hopefully next week. Bug me about it if I forget would you. Thanks!


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To finish this post off, here's a reposting of one of my favorite pictures. There's a hint of changes to come in our family in it. Can you find it?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Son's Latest Obsession...



captured by my latest obession. It is so much fun when our worlds mesh.

Anyone want to guess who won?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

After A Very Long Break....

Here is a guest poster. For your reading pleasure, I would like to make one suggestion. Every time the word "pumpkin" is used read it as "punkin."

The Apple Picking Day and the Pumpkins

By Tyler Bishop


We got ready to leave the house to go to the apple orchard. And there was a pumpkin patch there.It was a cool evening. We went to the apple place. We got two bags for the apples. We got apple cider and we also got pumpkins.


We went to get the apples first. Most of the apples were on the ground, but not all of them. There were still some good ones on the tree so we picked them. Daddy jumped to get the apples. It was silly to watch because he had to catch the apples as they fell out of the tress. Becca and me picked the lower apples that we could reach. Hope tried to eat the apples off the ground that were nasty. Mommy found the trees that had good apples and Mommy picked apples like all the others. But not like Hope. Because Hope didn't know which ones to pick and not pick.





Then we went to get the pumpkins. After we had put the apples in the back of the can, because they were heavy, we drove down to the pumpkin patch. At the pumpkin patch we ran across the road to get to the pumpkins.



Becca found the one closest to the road and I wandered back into the pumpkin patch. It was a big field with trails that led all around the pumpkin patch. There was a very big pumpkin at the back of the pumpkin patch. Me and Becca both ran to get it, but it had a big crack on the bottom of it. So we decided to leave it.



We had a couple pictures taken with a bunch of pumpkins sitting in our laps. Me and Becca smiled and Hope sort of smiled. We got our pumpkins and we went back home.




The End

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Seriously?

While talking to Ty the other day about answering me respectfully he responded....

"Well, Mom, if you had taught me when I was young not to argue, I would have learned the lesson. And then I wouldn't be arguing now."

Just for fun, what have your kids told you lately that makes you want to say...Seriously?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Raindrops on Roses

I don't even know how many times I watched The Sound of Music growing up. The Von Trapp family singers seemed so real to me. Maybe it's because my sisters and I sang so many of the songs from it together.

Maybe it's because Mom made us wimples and matching dresses and we competed in a 4-H talent show singing "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" and "Edelweiss" and "The Lonely Goatherd." The fact that we won that contest almost takes the sting of embarrassment away...almost. Thankfully I was too naive at the time to realize how uncool doing that was. Yodeling? At 12? (Giving self a mental slap.)

Okay, I'm better now.

Just for fun, I thought I'd post some of my favorite things....

My amazing husband. We went to a historic reenactment of French and Indian traders. The kids wanted to see the canoe races better so he put not one, but both big kids on his shoulders and held them there the entire time the race was going on. Who would've guessed he could do that a year after shoulder surgery.

Bare toes. The weather has been warm enough here to shed our shoes again. I hate shoes. Even cute ones. But if I have to wear shoes I prefer the cute variety. My kids, they prefer no variety.


Sandboxes...filled with shoeless children.


A daughter who finds it necessary to accessorize before going to play in the sandbox.

Finishing the garden season and putting things away. This past week my wonderful husband helped me yank the dead plants from the garden (actually, we had the kids do most of that) and he tilled it for me. Hope was kind enough to help rake it all out. That is until the rake made her mad.



Black and White pictures. Please overlook the unfinished parts of our house. One day, it will all be done. Or maybe someone who doesn't care will come make us an offer we can't refuse...or swap us houses with theirs being on a few acres of partially wooded land. A girl can dream, right?


No pictures of this one, but old friends. I spent the day with my oldest (as far as years of friendship go) last weekend. Our 7 children in 7 years had a blast together and I always forget how delightful a baby is. Why is it such a wonderful surprise every. single. time.


Brandi, I spilled one of my embarrassing stories. Are you going to share?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

99

That's how many posts I've written. What do you do about post#100? Any ideas?

I have been reading my blog list the last several days. Catching up on some. Reading again some of my favorite posts from others. Blogging, I've decided, is a great avoidance technique. :)

I really don't have much to say. For some reason my thoughts are not translating well into words. I have so many conflicting emotions with all that has gone on the last few weeks. I'm really tired, really sad, really glad Mom's in no more pain, really annoyed with some of the family I had to deal with, really frustrated that people can't play nice when they're hurt.

The other night Doug looked at me and said, "This is permanent."

And I guess that's what's hard. We don't know what life without her looks like. We don't know how it's going to feel. I kind of feel like I'm trying on clothes and nothing fits or looks right. Everything is made of the scratchiest wool imaginable and I just can't wait to get it off.

But grief can't be shed like a sweater. So we wear it. Knowing it's impolite to scratch in public. Knowing we carry this around for however long it takes us to find room for the new life we are beginning to live.

I hear her voice and laughter in my mind everyday. I see her smile.

And I miss her.

A lot.

Thank you to all you who I know and love. Who have come to comfort us. You truly have been the hand and feet of Christ during this time.

Thank you the many of you who I know only through your blog for caring enough to send kind messages and pray for us. Your hilarious words, peeks into real life, and wonderful pictures have been a breath of fresh air.

Many blessings to you all. I know He will return the blessing pressed down, shaken and overflowing.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I *Heart* Pigtails

Especially when it's the first time I get to put them in.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Other Thing... Part II

Someone in our 'family' is making their blog debut today. Let me introduce Macy. She is the dog my husband rescued from outside our local meat market. She is smart, extremely loving, and full of energy. She is also destructive, not well trained, and her other name is "Beast." Here she is about three weeks ago when I was trying out new settings on my camera.

The kids and our dogs went to my parents while we were in Colorado. It's a beautiful place on a seldom used gravel road. Lots of open space, woods and a creek. We knew they all would come back worn out from all the running and playing they would do. Macy decided recently it is her job to keep all strange cars off my parents "driveway" also known as the road. And while playing guard dog she learned an important lesson. Cars always win. The poor thing was dragged by a car and managed to make her way back to Mom and Dad's. They graciously took her back and forth to the vets, gave her her medicine, put bags on her feet before she went outside if it was wet. A few more weeks and hopefully the bandages will come off, the legs will be healed and she will be wiser about cars.


And that, my friends, is the rest of the story.

The Other Thing...Part I

Want to take a guess why our dog is wearing all this?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ancient Words

Holy words long preserved,
"God said to Moses. 'I AM who I AM.'" Ex. 3:14

For our walk in this world
"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

They resound with God's own heart Oh, let the Ancient words impart.
"...God has said, "Never will I leave you; Never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

Words of Life
Jesus answered "I AM the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

words of hope
"Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes." Revelation 21:3-4

Give us strength, help us cope
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." I Peter 5:7

In this world, where e'er we roam Ancient words will guide us Home.
"The angel said to me, 'These words are trustworthy and true.'" Revelation 22:6

They resound with God's own heart
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him."

Oh, let the Ancient words impart.
"For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of and archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words." I Thessalonians 5:16-18

May the truth of God's word encourage you today each day as it has encouraged me this past week. The light does show brighter in dark times. The truth sinks deeper. I wait impatiently for my faith to be made sight.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

We're home, She's HOME!

Doug and I had a little get away to beautiful Colorado. We were blessed with a chance to go see a bit of the western state, mostly free. Good old fashioned bartering paid off. My husband worked for a day, we played for three. We saw lot of these...


We also off trail hiked in a few places and saw some amazing rocks, beautiful plants and fun wildlife (mostly birds). My only complaint with hiking is the lack of oxygen. I guess some people in our nation haven't learned that oxygen is one of our guaranteed rights. Or should be. :)


We also got to meet up with Doug's cousin, her husband and adorable son. It was so nice to see them after several years. Of course it made me miss the kids like crazy, but pushing a toy truck across the table was good mommy medicine.

The night before we were coming home we got a phone call that Doug's mom had gone Home. It was incredibly hard to hear the news while we were away. Knowing we couldn't tell the kids, be with my father-in-law, or do anything I just kind of fell apart. But God is good. His timing is perfect. As I sat weeping in a strange bed I turned to the Psalms to find comfort. I honestly can't even remember the number of the Psalm I read but the repeating theme was of God's faithfulness.

We have prayed hard for His perfect timing in these last months. Although she has suffered little physical pain, it has been difficult to watch the disease wage war on her earthly body.

Over the past few years there is an old Chris Rice song that has been a comfort to me. The final verse of this song about praising God talks about our final breath not being the end. "I'll be running to your throne, with every nation, tribe and tongue. To Your arms I'll fly. I'll gaze into your eyes. Then I'll know as I am known. And Your praise goes on."

We are mourning our loss and rejoicing in her gain. Knowing she is running, RUNNING to His throne is a mental picture that takes my breath away and brings tears to my eyes.

We may be home. But Mom. Mom's really Home.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunsets

One of my favorite quotes in life came in a wedding card.

"May your life have enough clouds to make the sunset beautiful."

My great aunt wrote those words in her weak handwriting. I can still see the words on the card as though it was in front of me. A few words, a huge perspective.

I've been thinking about storms. Especially the one's I've been privileged to see on the ocean front. I love standing with my toes in the edge of the ocean feeling the current pulling the sand out to sea. I love watching the lightening reach its long fingers across the sky. And the wind. The cacophony of its notes sends chills down my spine. It is terrifying and beautiful.

There are two things I love after a storm. Watching the sun come out and bathe the land and sea. There are sparkles of life that were absent before the storm. Everything seems magnified in its wake. Beauty for ashes. The dust and dirt are washed away and there is a chance for new life.

The second is walking that same shore to see what new treasure has been washed up. It requires a powerful storm to remake the shoreline. I don't know about you, but my life needs remade and reshaped. Every day.

I was watching the sun set after days of rainy weather. We were heading to my in-laws house when I saw it begin its slow decent. The sun was not visible. There were far to many clouds for that, but through a small break I could see the rays of the sun stretching toward the ground. Without the clouds there would have been nothing to focus my eyes on that one spot. I would have missed the beauty of that moment. Later as we left the clouds were clearing and the sun was hiding behind a long lazily moving cloud. As I watched I was again reminded of the need for clouds to make beauty; the need for dark days to appreciate the light.

I'm thankful. I'm thankful that the sun always shines again. I'm thankful that the Maker of my life finds value in renewing it. I'm thankful that the clouds of these days added to the many storms we have yet to face will make a gorgeous sunset.

I'll pray the same prayer for you if you'd like. Leave me a comment and let me know if there's s storm you are facing or a joy that is radiating through your life. I'd love the privilege of lifting it to the Father with you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chips Off the Old Block

Doug's is really close to his maternal grandparents. I love to see the bond they have and the bond growing between them and my children. They never take anyone too seriously so I've learned not to step in the proverbial kitchen if I can't take the heat.

When Mom #2 was well, about once a month Grandma and Grandpa made dinner and come over to my in-law's place and we would all have dinner together. Grandma (Marge) makes a mean pie...and I'm not a pie eater. Because of health conditions Grandma always asked for a "sliver" of pie. Doug always gives her a tiny sliver to spite her. It's a long standing joke they enjoy.

Last night we were eating cornbread and Ty asks for a piece, but only a small one. Becca with a gleam in her eye says, "You mean a sliver?" Ty quickly retorts in his best Grandpa imitation, "No, Marge."

I'm surprised my mouthful of sweet tea didn't end up in the next room.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cracked Me Up

The last two weekends we have made the drive to my parents. The round trip is only about three hours and it gives Doug and I chance to talk.

We had stopped at a gas station and while he went to get drinks I decided to clean the windows. Something in the parking lot smelled horrible and Doug asked me if it was the window cleaner. Without thinking I smelled the sponge and said I didn't think so.

The look on his face was priceless. His comment?

"Why do women go through life like it is a scratch and sniff sticker."

I still laugh thinking about it. So I want to know, am I the only woman who puts the sniff test to more than a diaper?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy Thoughts

Nothing like a sunny fall day and a parade to take your mind of sad happenings. We went to our local downtown on Saturday for the Fall Festival Parade. Really it's more like we went for the candy, because the parade is really pretty sad. (Don't tell the kids I said that.)



The fun of playing with my new camera more than made up for anything the parade lacked. And the kids had a blast. Hope even dropped her beloved paci once she realized it was candy being thrown

The bagpipers are one of the bright spots I always look forward to.

What can you really say about a man in a kilt. There's just something cool about that.

I must confess. I was getting a little proud about my ability to find my way around the settings on my camera. And then we walked down to the parade (only about a block) and I realized left my memory card at home. My sweet husband went back for it while I watched the kids. And then I couldn't remember how to get it out of monochrome. So there were many pictures I took that did not get recorded. That humble pie is served all too often 'round here. Thank God for my gracious man. Even if he doesn't wear a kilt.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

For Today

I really get Ecclesiastes. Nothing is new under the sun. All is vanity.

Daily answering a child's questions about God, heaven, and life as it relates to the death of a loved one has changed who am I. I hope for the better.

Weekly listening to someone's thoughtless remarks about death and dying, often in the presence of my children, has challenged me. I do not think I have ever prayed more fervently asking the Lord to place a seal on my lips. And I praise Him that He does. I seek forgiveness often when I fail.

Watching my husband balance work, home, and caring for his parents has taught me new strength. I see in him fruit born of the Spirit. I see soul changes happening in his life and I rejoice.

I always knew I wouldn't have Mom #2 for long. I just didn't think it would hurt so much to say goodbye. I didn't know what helping a child grieve would look like. I didn't know how it would feel to kiss my first baby girl and have our tears mingle in that moment. I didn't know I would have to answer deep heart wrenching questions so often.

I'm glad I didn't.

My children won't accept the standard pat answers, so I dig. Deep into the Words that hold healing.

"He who began a good work will carry it to completion."

"I will not leave you or forsake you."

"Is anything hard for God?"

"Now we see dimly."

"In my Father's house...."

Ancient words. Words that are neither pat nor contrived. When the world is neither black nor white. When gray is the only color to see, those are the Words that matter. Those are the Words that bring hope into our lives.

For today, we wait. Knowing someday soon, she will go Home. And then, as my little girl said, "she will be perfect."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Because it's funny

Hope is at the "popcorn" stage in verbal development. First a few words, than a few more and now she is going strong. Last night as I sat down to dinner I heard her saying "hot sauce." I may prefer my Mexican food rather bland, but the two men in my house like it hot. Burn your tongue to ashes kind of hot. Eyes watering and spilling over hot.

Becca has followed my lead and I think the boys are determined not to be out numbered in the heat department. video

The jokes on them though. She really wanted sour cream.

Hot sauce indeed.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kid in a Candy Shop.

Yep! That's me. Guess what? My camera does monochrome. And I'm even more in love. I found the setting today over lunch break. The kids eating, I'm reading my manuel (yes, I'm a nerd). So lunch break was a little long today.

Now I just have to get the fine tuning part down. Amanda, want to help a girl out?

I've been playing around in a few different programs so I have yet to figure any of them out. I edited these in Picasa 3.

Becca doing "something silly." Yes, I'm creative in getting my kids to do "something."


Little bit was sleeping after a morning of screaming. I'll have to try to capture her on film later. The peace was blessed. Ty and Becca seemed to enjoy it to. "What about this, Mommy." I'm enjoying these last few "Mommy's" from his lips. They are far to rare these days.

What are you enjoying about life today?

I'm enjoying my kids. My loving husband. And the beautiful fall weather.